Classic Car Capital

Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2012 – Auction Report

Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor

Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale event was so different from years ago it’s difficult to put it in perspective.

B-J was once a collector car auction with a big party.

Today it’s a bigger party, built around a collector car and affluent lifestyle trade show, custom/collector car auction and multi-day automobilia auction, almost in that order.

Even year-to-year Barrett-Jackson evolves noticeably with its management team’s perception of enthusiasts’ – it’s hard to characterize the B-J clientele as “collectors” – interests. In 2012, the 41st Anniversary of the first Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, over 30% of the automotive lots offered were characterized by their consignors in the Barrett-Jackson docket as “custom” something – and that doesn’t include the High Boy (or “Hi-Boy” as it’s often put in the B-J descriptions, like a greeting between boys) hot rods.

Year after year the Barrett-Jackson events pull half their registered bidders from previously unknown clients. There was a time when that was viewed skeptically, but over the years it has been demonstrated to be a draw, backed by 40 or so hours of live coverage, and days of repeats, on SPEEDTV, that builds the collector car community into an ever-larger and more diverse group.

For the 2012 edition Barrett-Jackson returned some its emphasis to its roots in classic cars and to the luxury and concept cars of the Fifties and Sixties. Gordon McCall, impresario of Monterey’s Wednesday Airport Party and “The Quail”, A Motorsports Gathering, organized the “Salon Offering Collection” with exceptional cars from collectors like Ron Pratte, Don Williams, Tom Crook and Mark Hyman. Offered with reserves, the Salon Offering was grouped in a Saturday Prime Time slot and returned Barrett-Jackson to the million-dollar transaction club. It did it in a big way, too, with seven of the event’s eight million-dollar lots.

That was a huge change, especially since B-J Scottsdale hadn’t had a million-dollar sale since 2008’s Ford Tri-Motor airplane. Barrett-Jackson notched half of the sixteen million dollar hammer sales in all the Scottsdale auctions, a ranking it hadn’t achieved in years. It helped propel Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale total sale of automotive lots to over $90 million, up a whopping 31.3% from 2011 and 34.9% from 2010.

Equally important, Barrett-Jackson continued to post exceptional results on a wide variety of cars. Expanded emphasis on custom cars, however, left less room in the six-day sale docket for the accurately restored muscle, pony and collector cars of the Fifties and Sixties which once were the meat-and-potatoes that collectors gathered in WestWorld to discover and take home. Their prices reflected the shifting spotlight of publicity and docket placement.

Case in point could be Corvettes. There were two L-88 coupes in the Arizona auctions. Neither was at Barrett-Jackson. Of the 95 Corvettes offered at WestWorld, 25 were customs, including the four top sales, the only Corvettes to bring over $200,000.

But that’s what Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale is, a great event celebrating the automobile in its many and frequently individual expressions, conducted to high standards of transparency and even-handedness. It is what it is, and it’s not to be missed.

Here are the numbers from Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2012:

B-J Scottsdale
Cars Offered / Cars Sold
Sale %
Average Sale
Total Sales
Chg from prior year
1299 / 1296
1247 / 1247
1193 / 1193
1084 / 1084
1164 / 1164

Click here for a complete list of all lots offered with their chassis numbers and transaction results. Lots reviewed and to be reported on Sports Car Digest are highlighted.

Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2012 – Auction Report

1983 Chrysler LeBaron Town and Country Convertible for sale
Lot # 1 1983 Chrysler LeBaron Town & Country Convertible; S/N 1C3BC55G0DG183419; White/Saddle leather; White vinyl top; Unrestored original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $6,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $6,600 -- Wire wheel covers, narrow whitewalls, automatic, cassette stereo. Good original paint, cracked Mark Cross leather upholstery. Good plastic faux wood. 49,964 miles and exceptionally well preserved. The first car across this year's B-J auction block. Exactly why it is so well preserved is a mystery. So is why it's worth this much money. $11,000 more just bought me a 2005 Pontiac GTO with 19K fewer miles. The two transactions seem out of balance.
1967 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible for sale
Lot # 20 1967 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible; S/N 157156601; Red/Tan vinyl, cloth; Tan cloth top; Enthusiast restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $10,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $11,550 -- AM-FM, 1600 engine, pushbutton radio, bumper overriders. Poor repaint with orange peel and blisters in body creases. Clean chassis. Good interior and chrome. Beetle convertibles have a loyal following. Like 6-cylinder first generation Mustang convertibles, their value is steady and they bring smiles to their owners' faces. This isn't quite as much car as the money it brought, but it's close enough.
1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer 2-Dr. Hardtop for sale
Lot # 393 1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N D55342747; Red, White/White, Blue vinyl and cloth; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $19,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $20,900 -- 4-barrel 270 inch little Hemi, automatic, P/S, Vintage A/C, 12 volt electrical system, wheel covers, wide whitewalls, Town & Country radio. Good repaint over old paint, good chrome, very good interior. Old undercoat on chassis and underbody. Orderly underhood, shows some age and use. A sound, attractive and unusual cosmetic restoration of an unusual car. It really is wrong to call this a 'restoration' as the car card did, but it's a reasonably well presented and unusual car in presentable and usable driver condition. The bidders paid a realistic price for it.
1965 Pontiac LeMans GTO 2-Dr. Hardtop for sale
Lot # 667 1965 Pontiac LeMans GTO 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 237375B136029; Blue Charcoal/Blue vinyl; Recent restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $29,527 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $32,480 -- Replacement 389, 4-barrel, converted to 4-speed, Rally wheels, red line tires, pushbutton radio. PHS documented GTO. Right side filled and door closes hard. Good paint, chrome and interior. Small dent in end of left rear fender. Chassis restored like new and little used. The seller should be happy to get this much for a GTO in this condition, even with PHS documents, with a replacement engine and 4-speed conversion. The unusual Blue Charcoal paint helps offset some of the engine and transmission's taint. (Sold for $29,000 hammer with 12% Internet commission).
1962 Pontiac Catalina 2-Dr. Hardtop for sale
Lot # 682 1962 Pontiac Catalina 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 362S9876; Black/Gold vinyl; Cosmetic restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $70,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $77,000 -- 389/348hp Tri-Power, 4-speed, Ventura decor, 8-lug wheels, pushbutton radio. Good paint, chrome and upholstery. Very good translucent steering wheel and dashboard. Erratic attention to chassis and underbody. Passenger's vent window delaminating. Better than a driver, but not a show car. These are terrific specs and an attractive example of a period in Pontiac design before its stylists discovered plastic cladding. A pretty car that brought a convertible price for a hardtop.
1964 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible for sale
Lot # 683 1964 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible; S/N 884P41358; Light Gold/Black vinyl; Black vinyl top; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $21,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $23,100 -- 398 with Tri-Power, 4-speed, 8-lug wheels, pushbutton radio, dual mirrors, P/S, no P/B, bench seat. Poor old repaint, pitted trim chrome, scuffed stainless. Sound interior, good top. Engine compartment black-bombed, clean unrestored chassis. Tires worn out, loose trim. A sound but shaky car with no documentation that the Tri-Power is original. Sold at Spring Carlisle last year for $20,900. The condition is such that the seller should be very happy to get this much for it after a summer's use.
1970 Ford Mustang Mach I Fastback for sale
Lot # 937.2 1970 Ford Mustang Mach I Fastback; S/N 0F05R150849; Grabber Blue, Black stripe/White vinyl; Cosmetic restoration, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $49,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $54,450 -- 428/335hp, automatic, shaker hood, silver wheels with trim rings, Radial T/A tires, power front disc brakes, P/S, Traction-Lok. Documented with Marti Report. Good paint, chrome and interior. Wide gap rear of hood. Ugly chassis and underbody with partially peeled undercoat and surface rust. Claimed to be a 'recent rotisserie restoration' that leaves a lot to be desired where it's hard to see, the price the B-J bidders put on it reflects its shortcomings and leaves the new owner some room to rectify them without going into the red.
1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Fastback for sale
Lot # 961 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Fastback; S/N 0F02G160678; Calypso Coral, Black stripes/White vinyl; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $190,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $209,000 -- 302/290hp, 4-speed, Magnum wheels, Wide Oval tires, shaker hood, pushbutton radio, P/B. Fresh restoration to like new condition. Chassis still has body shop dust on it. It's the unusual and visually striking color which makes this Boss 302 such a special car, and it brought a special price by a factor of two. Even among a field of School Bus Yellow Bosses this car will stand out, as does its price.
1969 Ford Mustang 428 CJ R Fastback for sale
Lot # 1014.2 1969 Ford Mustang 428 CJ "R" Fastback; S/N 9F02R140062; Acapulco Blue, Black hood/Black vinyl; Older restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $72,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $79,200 -- 428/335hp, 4-speed, shaker hood, chrome wheels, trim rings, 3.5 Traction-Lok, power front disc brakes, Polyglas tires. P/S, slats and spoilers added during restoration. Quality older restoration with excellent paint, chrome and interior. Like new or better but the chassis is dusty and shows some surface rust. Documented with Marti Report, factory invoice, build sheet, warranty card and old registrations. An unusual Ram Air CJ, unusually well documented. Bought here last year for $88,000 and none the worse for the year's passage, except in the bidders' estimation of its value.
1987 Buick GNX for sale
Lot # 1233 1987 Buick GNX 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 1G4GJ1178HP448983; Black/Black, Grey cloth; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $65,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $71,500 -- All original now with 289 miles. Sold by RM in London in 2010 for $70,703 with 233 miles in a transaction that brought the Grand National and GNX to the forefront of collectors' consciousness, then by RM at Monterey last August for $79,750 with 238 miles, the only people getting rich off this car are the auction companies.
1965 Shelby Mustang GT350 Fastback barn find for sale
Lot # 1263.1 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350 Fastback; S/N SFM5S492; White, Blue stripes/Black vinyl; Unrestored original, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $350,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $385,000 -- Complete, straight original car with 44,243 miles. One owner until 2009. Paint is buffed through, cracked on hood. Sound old interior. Drivetrain recently gone through and said to run and drive well. Documented with California pink slip, original sales agreement and California black plates. An amazing find, sympathetically refreshed and presented. Nothing more should ever be done to this GT350 than the limited work it needs to keep it running and driving. Think about the thrill of taking it on something like the California Mille, Colorado Grand or Copper State 1000 where its scruffy originality would more than hold its own against freshly restored showpieces. This is a $100K premium for the condition and originality, and it's worth every penny.

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  1. With the succes of the BJ auction far be it for me to be critical. However, (and I attend the auction as an average guy) the best part of the auction is watching cars(not shown on TV) which go by early in the auction, early in the morning and later in the afternoon). Low dollar cars that I would guess would be in the $$ reach of guys who don’t have a lot of cash but do have a lot of interest. In any price range, we all have a wish list. Anything on TV over $40,000 is fairy tale time; anything under is fodder for hours of follow up SPEED CHANNEL viewing. I attend, buy a bidder’s pass, sit far forward at low attendance time and its my winter vacation. Regards, markb

    1. Mark:
      Craig Jackson, Steve Davis and Gary Bennett of B-J will be gratified by your observation.
      They have worked for years to populate their auction “docket” with cars accessible to collectors like you who follow the B-J auctions on SPEED and are looking for something good, fun and affordable.
      To me the important figure in their auction summary is the Median sale value — half the cars sold for more, half for less.
      Median Average
      2012 $48,400 $69,871
      2011 $41,800 $55,296
      2010 $44,000 $56,255
      2009 $40,700 $55,974
      2008 $44,000 $73,514
      This is a week populated by affordable but desirable and interesting cars. In 2012 it was 650 cars sold for $48,400 or less including the 10% commission
      On the other hand, some big money sports, muscle and classic cars are an undeniable draw and I wholeheartedly endorse B-J’s decision to add the Saturday Prime Time grouping of Gordon McCall’s “Salon Collection”, especially with RM, Bonhams and Gooding in Scottsdale with their high end catalog auctions competing for headlines and collectors’ attention.
      Collector car auctions are a dynamic business, and it’s never been dull in the 22 years I’ve been following it.
      I look forward to meeting you in Scottsdale in January.