Barrett-Jackson, Palm Beach, Florida, April 8-10, 2016
Barrett-Jackson’s East Coast bridgehead pulled in nearly record results, surpassed only by the sale totals in 2006 and 2007 when Palm Beach was as yet undiluted by a growing number of Barrett-Jackson spinoff events and the economy was riding high before the onset of the Great Recession.
At its inception Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach showed the strength of the Florida market. That market is now abundantly exploited by other auctions but Barrett-Jackson’s continuing success here – and its steadily increasing sale totals since the low point of 2011 – demonstrate the appeal of the Barrett-Jackson ‘event’ formula.
Palm Beach is literally thronged by spectators. Whether they’re attracted by the cars, by the host of vendors and exhibitors or simply drawn by Barrett-Jackson’s aura and outsized television presence makes little difference to the spectacle. It is a sea of humanity activated by the packed auction arena, a steady stream of celebrities, both automotive and human, and a carefully curated sequence of auction vehicles.
While the makeup of the Palm Beach docket, as reflected in the Median Sale data below, is weighted toward affordable, accessible cars in medium 5-figures the overall sale total and resulting Average Sale is giving greater emphasis to higher value consignments. The Median is up 6.7% from 2015 while the Average is up 30.6%. Sixty-four lots hammered sold on bids of $100,000 or more. That is exactly double the thirty-two $100,000 or more lots in 2015.
The diversity of Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach auction docket is not accurately reflected in the cars that follow in this report. As at other Barrett-Jackson sales a large number are street rods, Resto-Mods (a category formalized by B-J years ago) and customs. By their nature such vehicles are individual and tell us little about the market since each is comparable only with itself. As a result we look past them to find examples that are presented in largely stock configuration, a bias that obscures some of the appeal of Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach.
Here are the overall numbers:
B-J Palm Beach
Cars Offered / Sold
480 / 480
519 / 519
513 / 511
431 / 424
435 / 433
429 / 375
464 / 464
Andrew Newton contributed the on-site observations and photography at Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach this year; the final content and comments are the responsibility of the editor.