Palm Beach, now in its ninth year, was the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company’s first continuously successful geographic expansion.
Palm Beach brought “the experience” of Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale to a new venue far from Scottsdale’s WestWorld and demonstrated that it was a viable, vital concept outside the limits of Barrett-Jackson’s home turf and the January window.
Since then Palm Beach has explored new initiatives – tours, shows, previews – that have then translated to the glitz of Las Vegas and the car-centric culture of Orange County as well as to Scottsdale. It also brought new consignors and bidders from the East Coast and Canada who found Florida a more familiar setting than Arizona’s Valley of the Sun.
2011 brought another new – or rather, recycled – concept to Palm Beach, reserves. Eschewed in Barrett-Jackson auctions since 2005, reserves (previously agreed but undisclosed minimum bids sellers would accept) eased consignors’ concerns over the possibility of not finding just the right combination of bidders.
The change was announced only in mid-February, after Scottsdale 2011, and from the aggregate numbers would seem to have had little effect on Palm Beach consignments.
The sale total of $14,774,875 is the lowest at Palm Beach since 2004’s sale sold 298 of 338 offered with a total of $11.5 million. It is less than half of the 2006 and 2007 sale totals of $34.6 million and $32.1 million respectively.
Lightning still strikes on the B-J block, however, as several of the cars reported in the following narrative reveal. It also brought increasing activity from absentee and Internet bidders who spent $926,500, 6.2% of the total.
Barrett-Jackson is a “Collector Car Event”. The auction and the auction cars are its core but increasingly it is the spectator event – the sponsors, vendors and increasingly the charity sales which in Palm Beach brought in $445,000 on cars alone plus more than $67,000 in spontaneous donations – that are its focus.
The auction cars were reviewed and reported by Jonathan Sierakowski. Rick Carey remains responsible for the descriptions, opinions and for this summary.