When we still lived in our sticks & bricks in Michigan, Nicolas used to watch the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction on TV, and dreamed of one day being able to see it all in person.
When we decided to spend the winter in Arizona this year, his one request was that he be able to go for the entire week of the auction in Scottsdale.
We bought week-long passes for both Nicolas and Tom, and a one-day pass for Bryce to go with them on Thursday.
Sunday and Monday were pre-auction days, with the 1000s of vehicles arriving, getting detailed,
and lined up in one of the various tents that housed them until their assigned time on the auction block.
Tom went with Nicolas on Sunday to scope it out, figure out where to park, and just get a handle on the event, and then I went with him on Monday to get a look at the action.
As we walked in the main entrance, the Ford presence was immediately felt.
Monday was a short day, because of the Opening Night Gala that was being held in the evening, and the Exhibit Tents were all scheduled to close at 3pm (that’s why I went on Monday!), so Nicolas had just about 2 hours to show me around. We made a quick stop in the “gift shop” and I bought Nicolas his Barrett-Jackson 2014 T-shirt and auction catalog, and after a quick peek at the Main Event Building,
we made our way into the tents.
The really “high dollar” vehicles are in a special collection called the “Salon Collection”, and are all auctioned on Saturday evening. They also have very special exhibit space in the main building.
This Ferrari was of particular interest to Nicolas because he had seen its restoration on the TV show “Fast & Loud”.
This Camaro was another project from the same TV show.
As we continued through the main Exhibit Hall, there was plenty of shiny metal,
as well as lots of vendors selling car-related art, furniture, clothes . . . etc.
In addition to the car auction, there is also an automobilia auction each day, with gas pumps, neon signs and anything else a car collector could want for his home or garage.
There are always a few specialty items up for auction, too . . . like several boats (check these out, Andy!!),
(or maybe you need something a little faster and flashier!)
or if you prefer a more leisurely ride, there was this carousel.
Nicolas and I continued through the main Exhibit Hall,
and he noted the Lot Numbers of cars he wanted to see auctioned off.
How do you like these trucks, Danny? Pretty cool, huh?
You could have had them . . . the bidding went to $1,000,000, but it wasn’t enough to meet the reserve, so they didn’t sell.
Then there was this Hot Wheels booth . . . they probably have some that you don’t have!
When we reached the end of the Exhibit Hall, we walked outside to look through the five HUGE tents set up for all the cars being auctioned during the week.
Nicolas liked this Torino . . . apparently somebody else did, too . . . it sold for $100,000!
We walked through all the tents and found lots of vehicles we liked . . .
This is the vehicle that Paul Walker drove in the 2nd Fast & Furious movie . . . Nicolas missed this one going on the auction block, so we don’t know how much it went for.
The trucks are nice, but Nicolas really likes those big old boats!
This one went for $9500, but another one just like it went for just $6500!
We both liked this little Ford truck!
As we walked from tent to tent, there were some bigger vehicles parked between the tents.
We got through all the tents before 3pm, and walked past the staging lanes on our way back into the Exhibit Hall.
Not much action on Monday, but this spot gets really busy later in the week!
On our way back inside, we saw a Haulmark Toterhome, and went inside for a look . . .
oh yes, this could definitely be our next home! These are beautiful motorhomes, but probably a little more heavy-duty than we really need!
Nicolas and I made our way back to the shuttle stop, where there were plenty of busses waiting to take us back to the parking lot.
We were only there for about 2 hours, but that was plenty of time for me to get a look around . . . it’s definitely a huge event – even bigger than I expected!
The auctions started on Tuesday, and for the rest of the week, Tom went with Nicolas. They left each day after lunch and stayed until closing in the evening . . .
they alternated between sitting in the bleachers to watch the auction and walking around outside. They had a favorite spot in the bleachers, and sometimes the auctioneers would invite spectators to sit in the bidders area on the floor, to make it look more full for the television coverage.
The crowds increased each day, and by Saturday there was no need to make the room look any more full than it was!
They also had a couple of favorite spots up by the stage,
one where the vehicles left the stage and got their “Sold” sticker,
but their favorite was to the left of the auction block where the vehicles entered the building from the staging lanes.
They didn’t see Jay Leno, but they did see a few celebrities while they were there . . . Gene Simmons auctioned off a truck, and Reggie Jackson did some buying & selling, and then there was Richard Rawlings (middle)from Fast & Loud and his millionaire friend, Dennis (right). Nicolas thought he might be able to get a picture or autograph, but never did get his attention.
By Sunday, the last day of the auction, Tom was pretty well burned out (actually he was burned out by Thursday, but he wasn’t going to miss the high dollar action on Friday and Saturday!), but Nicolas wasn’t going to miss a single day so I went with him one more time.
The crowd had diminished again and they were letting spectators sit in the bidder area, so Nicolas and I found a couple of seats with a good view and sat for awhile.
We saw one guy win a car, and we may even have been on TV since we were right in the camera’s line of view.
After awhile we moved over to Nicolas’ favorite spot by the entrance to the auction block., where we had a good view of the cars coming in,
and the people buying and selling the cars, too!
There’s Richard Rawlings again (in the Gas monkey Garage shirt),
Nicolas spent so much time in this spot during the week, that he got to know some of the guys working there. The sign guy knew that Nick liked to read the info on the cars, so he always brought the signs over to him.
Before we left on Sunday, he gave Nicolas one of the Barrett-Jackson license plates that they put on all the vehicles, too.
It was a good spot for getting pictures – the black background makes all the cars look good – but I couldn’t take the fumes for more than an hour or so.
The auction wrapped up early on Sunday (5pm), and we made our way back through the Exhibit Hall as the vendors were already beginning to break down their displays. Everybody was ready to get out of there after a long week! We made our way to the shuttle stop, and got in the LONG line waiting for the busses.
Fortunately, they had plenty of busses running, and we hardly had to wait at all!
I asked Nicolas if he enjoyed the week, and he said that he definitely did – it was a long week and he was tired, but he really enjoyed being there in person. He said if he goes again someday, he’d probably register as a bidder so he has access to the staging lanes and can go up on the auction block, too . . . those were the only places he wasn’t allowed to go as a spectator.
I’m glad he enjoyed himself . . . he definitely got his money’s worth out of the week-long pass!