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Resource Guide
Auction Central
By Larry Edsall
Back to Community

New kids on the AZ auction block
By Larry Edsall

Classic Car Articles by Larry Edsall

Today we begin our preview of the Arizona classic car auction week, which in 2011 actually stretches over three weekends, thanks to the new kids on the Arizona auction block and to a change being made by one of the long-time auction events.

First, the new kids on the Arizona auction block, though these are kids with a lot of previous experience even if this is their inaugural Phoenix Classic & Exotic Car Auction.

The "kids" are Motoexotica, a St. Louis-based classic and exotic car dealership, and Manheim, which since the 1940s has been staging wholesale vehicle auctions where auto dealerships can buy and sell primarily late-model used cars.

For the last three years, Motoexotica and Manheim have staged classic and exotic auctions in Missouri. Motoexotica president Scott Brandt said he and Manheim are staging their first Arizona classic and exotic auction to help fill a void left with the demise of the annual Kruse and ICA events.

Basically, Brandt is lining up the 300-400 classic and exotic cars for the event which Manheim will host the event at its massive Phoenix facility, which includes 150 acres of pavement and an indoor auction arena.

Brandt noted that not only does the facility include its own restaurant and indoor rather than portable restrooms, but that for consignors, vehicles remain on pavement throughout the weekend.

The first Phoenix Classic & Exotic Car Auction is scheduled January 14-15, the weekend before the Barrett-Jackson, Russo & Steele, RM, Gooding and Silver auctions. Click here for more information.

In the other change to the Arizona auction schedule, Silver is moving its "Last Chance" auction from the Monday immediately after to the following Saturday, in this case, January 29.

Steve Silver, Silver Auctions general manager, said the change in date is an experiment to see if car count and attendance increase by staging the "Last Chance" event on a weekend instead of a weekday.

He said the "Last Chance" auction is designed for people who "bought something they wished they hadn't" or who consigned a car during auction week that didn't sell, or for bidders who couldn't be at two auctions at the same time and therefore missed out of a car they might otherwise have bid. Silver said the auction hopes to offer at least 150 vehicles.

Based in Spokane, Washington, Silver Auctions has been in business since 1979 and annually holds 10 classic car auctions in western states and Canadian provinces. Its Arizona event, annually featuring several hundred collectible vehicles, is held at the Fort McDowell Casino and Resort between Scottsdale and Fountain Hills. Dates this year are January 21-23 - and 29.

Don't forget Wheels of Wellness show

Arizona Auction week officially kicks off January 16 with the annual Wheels of Wellness vintage race car show in downtown Phoenix. In addition to some two dozen vintage racing cars, the event features a sneak preview of the Henry Ford Museum's "Women in The Winner's Circle" exhibit and a panel discussion among Dario Franchitti, Danica Patrick, Bobby Rahal, Denise McCluggage and Lyn St. James.

For details, visit

FIVA inspections January 22 at Scottsdale

Scrutineers from FIVA, the international federation for historic vehicles, will be at the Penske Racing Museum in Scottsdale on January 22 to inspect and certify vehicles for events ranging from the Mille Miglia rally to the concours d'elegance at Villa d'Este in Italy.

You'll need to complete an application form and schedule an appointment, both in advance. For information, call Tim White of the Historic Vehicle Association at (866) 922-9397 or contact him at

Motorcycle auctions at Las Vegas

Auction action in the New Year actually begins January 5-8 with two classic motorcycle auctions at Las Vegas. MidAmerica stages its 20th annual Las Vegas event January 6-8 at the South Point Casino and Exhibit Hall, where Gene Romero's West Coast Flat Track motorcycle racing series also will be taking place.

Meanwhile, Bonhams & Butterfields stages its first Las Vegas motorcycle auction January 5-6 at the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino.

Shelby Bash is January 13-16

A few days after the motorcycle auctions, Las Vegas will be the scene of the fifth annual Shelby Bash at the Shelby American factory on the grounds of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The celebration will feature Shelby Cobras, Shelby Mustangs but also Dodge GLHs in car shows, cruise-ins and open track time on the speedway. For details, see

New date for La Jolla

Organizers of the 7th annual La Jolla Motor Car Classic, a concours d'elegance near San Diego, are moving their 2011 event from its traditional January date to April 3 in pursuit of better weather.

"Moving the show to April will limit the chance of rain and make for a much milder climate," co-chair Trip Bennett said in a statement.

Featured marque for April will be "German automobiles." For more information, visit

Click here for event calendar.


Click here for more articles by Larry Edsall.

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