Almost half a century. The Barrett-Jackson Auction House is perhaps the oldest auction house in the world that only organizes vintage car auctions and has been doing so continuously since 1971. About 20 years ago, it became known as “the one that offers unreserved cars.”
This experience has clashed with the virus that we have all come to know, in spite of ourselves. No races, no events or rallies, no auctions. Like others, “Scottsdale’s” have re-emerged by demonstrating a spirit of adaptation that few expected. They composed a nice parterre of cars, most of them with reserve prices in front of the new experience and perfectly organized the online auction: the seriousness and professionalism of Barrett-Jackson was not questioned. In fact dozens and dozens of photos from every angle of the lots, photos of every detail that was no more than correct, video to show the functionality of all mechanical or electrical organs. Fans could safely revive.
This online auction has confirmed a trend already in place in the previous ones: what you sell is more important than how you sell it. Take the example of the two Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastbacks I mentioned in the preview of this auction: I had made the prediction that one of them was worth much more than the other, and time proved me right. One was red with 71,000 miles and was sold for a whopping 195,000 dollars. The 4,300-mile Grabber Green has come to the offer of 360,000 dollars. Although it has stopped at this figure remaining unsold this should not be misleading since the main cause was the reserve judged by many to be too high. If they had sold it (you have to add 10% commissions and we’d be at 396,000 dollars) it would be one of the most expensive Mustang Boss ever sold. We can’t say yet, but the trend seems to be that of a rapprochement between the prices of historic cars sold online and those beaten at traditional auctions.
The top lot of the auction was a 1996 Chevrolet Monte Carlo ex-NASCAR that participated in the races led by Dale Earnhardt. The figure of 425,000 would seem decidedly misplaced for such a model (although it won on the Rockingham Speedway circuit in 1996) but the real factor that multiplied the value of this car was that the entire proceeds would go to charity. Offered by Richard Childress, collector, philanthropist and team manager of the eponymous NASCAR team, in addition to the car the offer included a VIP tour of the property where racing cars are developed, a lunch with the seller on his estate and a personalized case of his award-winning wine. Both Barrett-Jackson and Reliable Carriers – the car transport company – did their part because the former decided to waive commissions while the latter decided to deliver the car for free in any US state and therefore all of the 425,000 dollars will be divided between Feeding America (which deals with giving food to the neediest, often forgotten at this time) and Samartian’s Purse – COVID-19 First Responders.
The price reached by the Sunbeam Tiger MkI (lot 120) of 1965 is also excellent. Definitely beautiful car (the small chipping on the hood that you see in the photos does not lower the value too much) and with a pleasant combination of Silver Gray Metallic exterior and an inner Scarlet, restored in 2013 by a loyal owner. The price tag of 88,000 dollars was perfectly in line with the 89,600 dollars obtained by RM at Amelia Island (so at a much more established and emblazoned auction, as well as real and non-virtual) for a copy of the same year. The difference between the two – as well as completely irrelevant – is due to the fact that the two auction houses applied different commissions (one 10%, the other 12%) but at the hammer they both got 80,000 dollars.
Again, trying to look “in the corners”, there was a chance to take home some interesting deals.
Accomplice also to have been the first lot of the second day of the auction, it may have escaped some Porsche enthusiast that the 911 3.2 Targa of 1985 sold for 50,050 dollars had just 9911 miles and was in conditions described only as “without defects”. Whoever bought it could take it in a few months to a few more well-known auctions and easily make a profit of a few thousand dollars.
In conclusion, the two cars I had advised you to follow were both sold. The 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 with 1,650 miles got a hammer price of 33,550 while the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado that belonged to Hank Williams almost doubled the price of a regular specimen to 92,400. Both, however, have been business and, in this period, it is no small matter.
While waiting (and hoping) to return to las Vegas, in September, Barrett-Jackson still managed to add 3,466,000 dollars to this year’s total.