Winds Of Change, Barrett-Jackson Edition

While my wonderful wife and I have attended our fair share of automobile auctions, obviously we watch them more often on TV. For TV, I record the broadcasts to watch later. That allows me to skip commercials and vehicles in which I have no interest. These would include Volkswagens, Porsches, pickup trucks, SUVs, minibikes and motorcycles.

When you are attending an auction live you can’t skip through anything. The extent to which the “automobile” auction market has changed has become VERY apparent, for me anyway, while attending the current Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale. My ability to skip through lots while watching the broadcasts had sheltered me from the change, at least to some extent.

I would estimate, crudely, that I have interest in less than a third of the lots offered at this auction. Frankly, that diminution of interest makes watching the auction live less enjoyable than in the past.

The last auction we attended was the Mecum auction last August in Monterey, California. That is a special event, of course, filled with exotics and pre-war cars. Perhaps that has contributed to my “shock” and my perception of how much these events have changed.

I don’t think the collector “car” market is going to return to its previous state anytime soon. I fully understand that auction companies are at the mercy of consignors and buyers and are going to offer lots that will return good prices.

That being said, my being a “motorhead” doesn’t mean I have to have interest in anything with an engine and wheels. The seeming litany of pickup trucks is a huge turnoff for me. (Sorry, Philip.)

While I seriously doubt I will live to see it, I suspect online auctions will continue to significantly increase their share of the automobile auction market to the point where those auctions will dominate. When I first started following Bring A Trailer about five years ago, the number of active auctions was usually between 200 and 300. It’s now usually between 400 and 500.

You know what I am going to write next. The only constant in the world is change.


Don’t know if you can get a sense of how many people were at the Barrett-Jackson auction this afternoon from this picture, but it seemed far more like a Friday crowd than a Thursday.



Anyway, I suspect you want see more photos like the following.



The car above is not just a Split Window Corvette coupe, it’s also a “fuelie.” Extrapolating from actual figures, there were probably only 1,000-1,500 fuel injected coupes built in 1963.

The next two photos show a beautiful 1967 Corvette convertible restomod. Yes, it had an automatic transmission. The winds of change…



C1 (1953-62 Corvettes) and C2 (1963-67) interiors are not really that comfortable. The exterior of a C2, though, is a masterpiece.



This is a 2002 Cadillac Eldorado “Collectors Edition.” 2002 was the last year for the legendary model. While I could do without the rear spoiler, c’mon who are they trying to fool, I do like this car a lot. These have not been swept up in the rapidly rising tide of collector car prices. This one sold yesterday for $8,800 all in.



Yes, I showed a 1967 GTO from the auction a couple of days ago. So sue me. This is a 1965 Goat with documentation from Pontiac Historical Services (PHS) and, as you can see, has the much sought after Tri-Power setup. The interior is not the same as the one in my 1967 GTO. I guess the interior was changed between 1965 and 1967.



This 1951 Nash Airflyte is a restomod, which will turn off a few “purists”, but will make me smile. Yes, it has an automatic transmission. It sold for $39,600 all in.

The last photo for today shows a car already shown, but from a different perspective.



From this close, this 2004 Maserati convertible took my breath away. It hammered at $30,000 meaning the buyer paid $33,000 all in. If the buyer lives in Scottsdale, then he/she had to pay a sales tax as well.

I stuck my head into the aisle to get a better view and the bidder assistant (Mary Hartley) looked at me and asked if I wanted to bid $23,000 (the active bid was $22,000). I said, “My wife won’t let me.”

My wonderful wife left a few minutes later to get some refreshments. When she returned Mary said to her, “He only bought two cars while you were away.” We all had a big laugh. No, I didn’t buy any cars.






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4 thoughts on “Winds Of Change, Barrett-Jackson Edition

  1. My interest in pickup trucks is valid, yet limited. All car builders/collectors need at least one truck with which to haul parts for the other projects. There are a limited number of performance pickup truck models like the original Ford Lightning all of which I have an interest. The general, run-of-the-mill restored pickup truck does not interest me.

    I suspect that part of the reason that you and others like to attend the live auctions is the interaction with the people who share your common interest. The conversations, like the one you described, provide happy memories. Stay safe and enjoy the company of the attendees.


  2. The one good thing about the market changing and the cars that interest you seeking to disappear from the auction is… they go under the B-J radar and start to normalize in price. The B-J effect in reverse. At least that’s the hope sometimes!
    I’m with Philip on pick ups. They’re very handy. If I had the wherewithal in terms of space etc, I’d love to have a 67-87 Chev/GMC or a 67-86 Ford truck (my girlfriend would opt for a red pre-60 pickup, they remind her of Christmas tree farms).


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