Barrett-Jackson, South Florida Fairgrounds, West Palm Beach, Florida, April 5-7, 2012
Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor
2012 marked the tenth anniversary of Barrett-Jackson’s first sale in Palm Beach. Its success has conclusively proved the attraction of B-J’s “event” format and led to other B-J events in Las Vegas and Orange County.
Each of the Barrett-Jackson auctions is distinctly, if subtly, different, as Craig Jackson described in his Friday morning press conference. Here, for example, there is a large consignment of late model cars, “which sell well in South Florida” Craig said. 69 of the 435 lots were model year 2000 or later, 15.9% of the full docket.
Similarly, 118 of the lots offered, 27.1%, were self-described as “custom” in one way or another. The “Custom” term encompasses many things, it should be said, from skirts, spotlights and lakes pipes to the far-out ’63 Corvette “V7”, but it, too, speaks to the makeup of Barrett-Jackson’s Florida bidder base, which largely comes from the eastern U.S., Canada and Europeans hoping to take advantage of a relatively strong Euro (and sunny weather).
But, please, Gary, spare us the likes of Lot # 694.1, the Bentley Continental GTC on grotesque 24” chrome wheels, in the future. It isn’t a car, it’s a caricature, even if it did sell for $129,800.
Among the 435 lots there were six offered with reserves. All but two sold. There were two pairs offered, a ‘57/’07 Corvette pair with matching 6-digit VINs and the Yellow Submarine and trailer.
Aside from some morning showers (one morning was more like a deluge) the weather was great.
Top sale was the 2011 Mustang Shelby GT500 sold to benefit Wounded Warriors Family Support that sold twice, first for $500,000, then for $450,000. Two onlookers then each pitched in $25,000 to bring the total to $1 million. The beneficiary (and its spokesman’s remarks on the block) sparked a controversy that is still going on, but does nothing to diminish the effectiveness of B-J’s charity marketing or the continuing generosity of its bidders.
There is no controversy, however, about the success of this auction or about Barrett-Jackson’s success in attracting bidders and a horde of spectators in for a few days of tire-kicking and buying.