Arizona in January: Feeding frenzy or Pocket(book) protectors?
By Larry Edsall
* The 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
* The Holman/Moody 1965 Ford Mustang A/FX racer
* Chip Foose’s 1937 custom Studebaker convertible
* Sydney Allard’s personal 1947 Steyr-Allard racecar
* Eddie Van Halen’s pair of customized 1956 Chevys, with matching guitars
* Steve McQueen’s 1950 Hudson Commodore convertible
* The 1996 Buick Blackhawk
* The 1950 Saturn “Bob Hope”
* The 1954 Dodge Firearrow III
* 1937 Bugatti Atalante Type 575C
* 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Boattail Skiff
* Pebble Beach-winning 1932 Daimler Double Six Sport Saloon
* 1937 Talbot Lago teardrop coupe
* Even a 1929 Ford Tri-Motor airplane.
And those are just some of the highlights among vehicles that will be up for auction in mid-January when the classic car world gathers in the Phoenix area for its annual automotive orgy.
Of course, the question remains, in light of the current economic condition, will we see the usual feeding frenzy or will bidders restrict their enthusiasm in light of the recent restriction in seemingly everyone’s pocketbooks?
The high-end, Pebble Beach-class classics figure to draw million-dollar-plus amounts, but there also figures to be some real bargains to be had, especially with Barrett-Jackson sticking to its “no-reserve” format.
At most auctions, many vehicles come with a “reserve,” an unannounced minimum price set by the car’s owner. If that figure is not met during the bidding, the car is not sold.
But Barrett-Jackson rebelled against that tradition a few years ago. Consign a vehicle to the biggest show in car collecting and you have to agree that it goes to the highest bidder. There are no reserves. Be the last bidder standing and the car is yours.
Sure, it creates anxiety for consigners and opportunities for bidders, but that only adds to the drama enjoyed by those in attendance or watching via Speed Channel.
While Barrett-Jackson is the biggest show, it certainly isn’t the only show in town. Russo and Steele, RM, Gooding, Silver, Kruse and International also stage collector car auctions in mid-January, auctions that overlap to the point that you have to be a dedicated enthusiast just to visit each of the venues.
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