Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Well, that was a long week . . .



Day 2 and Nicolas is having a blast!


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.

Another tent full of cars and trucks

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.

We parked in the free offsite parking, and rode the shuttle bus to Westworld.     Offsite Purple Parking








As we walked in the main entrance, the Ford presence was immediately felt.

Ford is a big presence

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,

Auction Room set up for the Opening Night Gala

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.












Ferrarri F40

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,

Inside the Exhibition Hall


A couple of nice T-Birds











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.

Plenty of automobilia for auction, too

There are always a few specialty items up for auction, too . . . like several boats (check these out, Andy!!),

This is a beautiful boat

How would this one look on Higgins Lake?!











(or maybe you need something a little faster and flashier!)

Miami Vice Boat

or if you prefer a more leisurely ride, there was this carousel.

Even a carosel -- just like the one at the Henry Ford

Nicolas and I continued through the main Exhibit Hall,

Lots of shiny metal

and he noted the Lot Numbers of cars he wanted to see auctioned off.

Nicolas checking out the Mustangs












71 Corvette

How do you like these trucks, Danny?  Pretty cool, huh?

Bidding went over $1 million on each of these, but thtey still didn't sell

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.

How about these, Danny?

Then there was this Hot Wheels booth . . . they probably have some that you don’t have!

Found some Hot Wheels for Danny!

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.

Tent # 1 of 5

Just finished detailing -- sold for $1,000,000


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 . . .

Nicolas likes the old Mercuries

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.

Paul Walker's Fast & Furious Car


Ford Truck

We found a Jeep for Tom



Low Rider

The trucks are nice, but Nicolas really likes those big old boats!

He likes the old Lincolns, too!

This one went for $9500, but another one just like it went for just $6500!

We both liked this little Ford truck!

Candymobile -- love it!










As we walked from tent to tent, there were some bigger vehicles parked between the tents.

Truck & Bike

Old Motorhome











They even have a duck!

We got through all the tents before 3pm, and walked past the staging lanes on our way back into the Exhibit Hall.

Early cars lining up in the pre-staging lanes

Where they'll go in to the auction block










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 . . .

Nice Toterhome!

My next kitchen!


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.

Busses ready to take us back to parking

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 . . .

Sunset at Barrett-Jackson

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!

Saturday crowd - I'm glad I wasn't there!

They also had a couple of favorite spots up by the stage,


one where the vehicles left the stage and got their “Sold” sticker,

Getting the sold sticker

but their favorite was to the left of the auction block where the vehicles entered the building from the staging lanes.

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.

This is as close as we got to the celebrities

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.

On the auction block

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.

This guy just bought a car - maybe we were on TV!

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,

1928 Ford Roadster -- Black Widow












and the people buying and selling the cars, too!

There’s Richard Rawlings again (in the Gas monkey Garage shirt),

Richard, the Gas Monkey Garage guy

and Dennis.     Does this guy look like a millionaire?









Dennis checking out the Pantera

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.

Nicolas studies the specs on the Boss 302

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.

'66 Corvette

Another nice Thunderbird











Here's a Porsche for you, Andy!

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.

Long line at the shuttle stop tonight

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!



  1. WOW...that is a car lovers dream!!! The memories of the week will be with him forever:o))

  2. For anyone with a love of cars that would be a treat just to be able to attend one day let alone the entire week. Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  3. I was able to attend Barrett Jackson on the last day, I was very pleasantly surprised. I'm already looking forward to attending next year. But for me one day a year will be enough. Glad that Nicolas got to experience the show. Hope that you all are enjoying your time at Lake Pleasant, we were there Monday to kayak and enjoying our awesome weather.


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