Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Roadboy's 2017 Arizona Collector Car Auction Roundup

Once again Arizona played host to five collector car auctions last week. And, that means I made my annual pilgrimage to the Barrett Jackson collector car auction at Westworld in Scottsdale.

This year the Barrett Jackson event billed itself as a "Lifestyle" event (which admittedly made Roadboy gag a little bit).

I went on Wednesday this year to avoid the rain and Friday and Saturday's expensive admission prices.

As always it was huge. Yet I did feel like there is a bit more space for the marketing of massage chairs, magnetic ion bracelets and fly-in fishing trips, and just a bit less space showcasing the Auction's signature "Salon" collection. 

No matter, there were still lots of great cars to admire, new hood ornaments to photograph and lots of greasy heart stopping comfort food to eat.

My day always begins by getting my free shirts from Ford and Chevy and is then followed by a methodical sweep through the event site. After seemingly miles of walking and ogling I eventually return to the auction floor and watch the gavel fall on car after car.

This year there were some interesting cars. The Cord Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh drove to the premiere of Gone with The Wind. A sternly aerodynamic Chrysler concept car from the 1955 Turin Auto Show entitled The Gilda. There was Justin Bieber's custom blue Ferrari (with an imperfect Carfax report). There was Burt Reynold's "Smoky and the Bandit" car and an odd Austin Princess hearse John Lennon purchased and converted for his personal use.   

At the event's end on Sunday Barrett Jackson sold over $100,000,000 worth of automobiles (1719 vehicles in all for those keeping track). And, while there seemed to be an endless supply of mustangs, camaros and corvettes all fetching top dollar, the Barrett Jackson only sold two vehicles in the million dollar price range this year.  One was an experimental Chevrolet and the other a lovely 1964 Aston Martin DB5.

Some cars (in my opinion) went for bargains early in the week and others went pretty high (a 1964 21 window VW bus fetched over $302,000). And, while it was a beautiful restoration I'll always remember as a teenager getting trapped following one too many of those oil spewing beasts as they struggled to climb through the Santa Cruz mountains at top speeds reaching 40-45 mph.

Hated that.

This year the most million dollar babies were sold at the RM / Sotheby auction at Phoenix's venerable Arizona Biltmore Resort. The RM / Sotheby auction saw 15 cars exceed the million dollar mark with top honors going to an exquisite 1939 Mercedes Benz selling at $6,600,000.

1964 Aston Martin
(Sold for $1,485,000)

Bonham's auction at Phoenix's Weston Kierland set the record for the single most expensive sale (a 1963 Jaguar D type) that sold for $7,370,000 (a world record for a post 1960's Jaguar's).

A comparison of the sale of high value cars (cars that pass the $1,000,000 mark) shows that this year's million dollar transactions dropped to $78,719,957. Which is a pretty marked decline from last years $101,757,000 in sales. 

Only Bonham's saw a jump in million dollar sales (last year $8,742,000, this year $26,840,000).

The breakdown for million dollar babies was:

Sotheby's RM 15 cars = $34,025,000 (2016 had 18 / $35,635,000)
Gooding's 9 cars = $13,618,000 (2016 had 8 / $21,287,000)
Bonham's 7 cars = $26,840,000 (2016 had 6 / $8,742,000)
Barrett Jackson 3 cars = $2,805,000 (2016 had 3 / $4,445,000)
Russo and Steele 1 car = $1,431,957 (2016 had 0 / $0)

2016 was another year dominated by Ferrari. Of the thirty five vehicles selling for more than $1,000,000, eleven were Ferrari's and six were Mercedes.

Here are my 2017 snaps...

Interior of a New $37,000 Chevrolet Bolt

 1937 Pontiac "Woody" Wagon 
Hood Ornament

 1932 Rolls Royce Springfield Phanton II
(Sold for $341,000)

 1934 Armstrong Siddeley Saloon
(Sold for $28,000)

 1955 Chrysler Gilda Concept Car
(Did Not Meet Reserve)

 1958 Austin Princess Hearse
Owned by John Lennon
(Sold for $159,000)

1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk
(Sold for $95,700) 

 1958 Bentley Flying Spur
(Did Not Meet Reserve)

 1962 Chrysler Imperial
(Sold for $40,700)

1935 Dodge Custom Roadster
Exquisitely Detailed With its Cut-Out Flame Hood
(Sold for $60,500)

A New Ford GT

For Roadboy's photos from 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 (I didn't post for 2011) just click here:

2016 Event

See you next year!

Roadboy's Travels © 2017

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