Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2014 – Auction Report

Barrett-Jackson, WestWorld, Scottsdale, Arizona, January 14-19, 2014

Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor

Barrett-Jackson opened a completely revised auction site in 2014.

Gone was the famed giant fabric covered auction arena with its huge American flag. Gone were the flood prone preview tents in the ‘Polo Field’ catchment basin. Gone were the rows of plastic and trailer potties.

The new site is anchored by a sparkling new permanent auction arena lavishly equipped with the latest high-tech sound, video and communications gimmickry and, it was noted proudly by Craig Jackson, extensive permanent toilets designed to meet the needs of the huge Barrett-Jackson crowd. A row of temporary structures that qualified for a Guinness record, eight tenths of a mile from the spectator entrance to the last row of cars, housed the premier consignments – as well as a continuous array of vendor and sponsor displays vying for the attention and dollars of the Barrett-Jackson bidders, their guests and hundreds of thousands of walk-in day trippers.

Between the auction complex and a row of more tents every one of the 1,403 cars consigned had a place under cover.

It was a nearly miraculous make-over completed in the less than one year since the last hammer fell at Barrett-Jackson’s 2013 WestWorld auction. If there were glitches in the implementation they were essentially invisible, a credit to Barrett-Jackson’s organization and the dedication of its team.

Barrett-Jackson included seventy-five ‘Salon’ lots and all but four of them found new homes, adding the cream of the crop of hyper-rare American muscle and classics to the selection offered to B-J’s eclectic audience. The return of great classics to Barrett-Jackson is one of the most important sub-topics of the WestWorld sale’s development over the past few years.

Overall Barrett-Jackson sold 99.7% of the cars offered, achieving another record sale of $111,023,715, a total up a bit from the early post-sale totals after some significant post-block sales. The revised total is up 8.2% from 2013 and 22.6% from 2012, a number that rivals the last two years’ growth in China’s GDP.

Other things changed, too, and not for the better.

Media were denied access to the auction arena and to the ‘Salon’ cars, resulting in the ‘Restricted access, not viewed closely’ description of a number of the Salon cars. The limitation is a disservice to the wider audience for Barrett-Jackson’s premier event. The cars can’t be observed and reported, a restriction that serves no purpose. Where the cars were displayed close to the limiting barriers they were reported somewhat more accurately, but even then without access to important details. The block itself was totally out of bounds: no experiencing the high-octane excitement that lends flavor to any Barrett-Jackson event report.

All things considered, though, the new Barrett-Jackson WestWorld event was a further step forward – maybe even a leap forward – in the Barrett-Jackson collector car event presentation. The restrictions on reporting it may call into question ‘what’s behind the curtain’, but what’s out front is a spectacular celebration of car collecting and the joy it brings to its participants.

Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2014 – Auction Report

1981 Cadillac Seville 4-Dr. Sedan
Lot #1 1981 Cadillac Seville 4-Dr. Sedan; S/N 1G6AS6998BE683089; Light Green, , Metallic Grey/Green leather; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $1,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $1,100. No Reserve– 4-6-8 FI engine, automatic, P/S, P/B, etc. Rebuilt title. – Tired but sound old car with a chipped, dull old repaint and sound but worn original interior. – This may be a new record for a dismal opening car at Barrett-Jackson, the kind of beater that is usually found in Salvation Army charity donation sales. It’s surprising there was any money for it at all but driven to the airport and left in long-term parking it is virtually certain to be there upon returning; no one would bother stealing it.
1973 Ford Mustang Coupe
Lot #2 1973 Ford Mustang Coupe; S/N 3F01H136092; Medium Charcoal Grey, /Black, White fake suede; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $6,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $6,600. No Reserve– 351/177hp, automatic, Grant GT steering wheel, Corbeau seats, 17 inch polished Torque Thrust wheels, P/S, P/B, A/C. – Cheap, runny repaint, worn, soiled seats, cracked window seals. Raised suspension. An unattractive but sound driver. – It was probably relief at getting the Seville off the block that induced the B-J bidders to pay this much for such a scrofulous Mustang.
1984 Oldsmobile Toronado 2-Dr. Hardtop
Lot #5 1984 Oldsmobile Toronado 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 1G3AZ57Y6EE335941; Light Briar metallic, , Brown vinyl roof/Mauve velour; Unrestored original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $6,200 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $6,820. No Reserve– Wire wheel covers, narrow whitewalls, A/C, and all the rest. – Orderly, seemingly well-maintained low mileage Toronado represented as 31,780 miles from new. Sound original paint, chrome and interior. Bald tires. – Surprisingly well preserved, including the bawdy house velour upholstery and trim which usually loses its fuzz after five years.
1949 Mercury 4-Dr. Sedan
Lot #28 1949 Mercury 4-Dr. Sedan; S/N 9CM289339; Dark Metallic Charcoal, /Grey velour; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $8,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $9,350. No Reserve– 255/110hp, 3-speed, overdrive, oil filter, hubcaps, sombrero trim rings, narrow whitewalls, pushbutton radio, clock. – Orange peely, scratched old repaint, sound upholstery, cracked steering wheel, sound old chrome, dull stainless. Mostly original except for paint and upholstery. Sound, straight body. An unusual unmolested example. – Most Mercs like this have become kustoms so it is unusual to see such a well-preserved original example. It will probably soon get the mild custom treatment with flames and dual Smitty’s, but that’s not a bad thing.
1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC 2-Dr. Hardtop
Lot #40 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 10702412029462; Black, /Beige leather; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $9,500 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $10,450. No Reserve– Chromed alloy wheels, sliding sunroof, automatic, P/W, Becker Mexico cassette stereo, A/C, new tires, sheepskin seat covers. – Surprisingly clean and sharp for the 108,855 miles on the odometer. Clean untouched chassis and underbody. sound and shiny repaint with no obvious flaws although what lies under the sheepskins is a mystery. – A generous price for an SLC, but not unreasonable as long as the air conditioning continues to blow cold.
1968 Fiat 500L 2-Dr. Sedan
Lot #41 1968 Fiat 500L 2-Dr. Sedan; S/N 2621662; Dark Blue, /Cognac leatherette; Black vinyl top; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $14,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $15,400. No Reserve– Folding sunroof, luggage rack, bumper overriders, upgraded to 24hp 650cc high performance engine. – Thick but sound old repaint, good interior and chrome. Dull aluminum trim. Old undercoat in fender wells. Usable as is and fun. – Offered last year at Russo and Steele’s Monterey auction with a reported high bid of $11,000. The consignor made a little more by waiting, and the new owner is going to have more fun with it than this much money would buy at a luxury resort.
1948 Buick Roadmaster Sedanette
Lot #119 1948 Buick Roadmaster Sedanette; S/N 14862969; Light Green, , Metallic Olive/Beige cloth; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $38,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $41,800. No Reserve– Dynaflow, dual remote spotlights, hubcaps, sombrero trim rings, pushbutton radio, stoplight viewer, skirts, fog lights, grille guard, heater, backup lights. – Good paint, chrome and interior. Clean, sharp older restoration to like new condition, showing a little age but no appreciable use. – These are dramatically designed automobiles that still look good today and attract favorable attention for those who know and those who are just moved by sleek postwar design. Top of the line Roadmaster, thoroughly restored and attractively presented, this price is fair to both the seller and the buyer.
1970 Dodge Challenger T/A 2-Dr. Hardtop
Lot #170 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N JH23J0B296647; Top Banana, , Black vinyl roof/Black vinyl; Recent restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $60,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $66,000. No Reserve– 340/290hp Six-Pack non-original engine, 4-speed, Pistol Grip shifter, stripe package, vinyl roof, power steering, power brakes, hubcaps and trim rings, front and rear spoilers. – Recent restoration. Good exterior paint and brightwork, trim is original with signs of rechroming and slight pitting. Engine has been refreshed and engine bay is detailed to a good quality. Interior is as new. A quality car, but nothing special – The replacement engine had little effect on the price, not surprising considering the way these cars were used when new so that a correct original engine is the exception rather than the rule. The original engine might have brought 10% or so more but no harm, no foul at this price.
1965 Volkswagen Beetle 2-Dr. Sedan
Lot #320 1965 Volkswagen Beetle 2-Dr. Sedan; S/N 115612003; Java Green, , Pearl White/Cream leather; Cosmetic restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $7,700 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $8,470. No Reserve– 1600, 4-speed, 12-volt electrics, whitewall inserts, chrome hub caps, amber fog light, radio, reproduction wood slat roof rack. – Recently restored. Detailed engine bay. Several paint flaws, several trim pieces poorly fit, discoloration on the white wall inserts, slightly tired chrome. A quickly cosmetically restored car with some character that presents nicely enough for a Beetle. – This is a good example of an auction car, superficially restored to look good under the lights of the auction block but with little attention to its details. The B-J bidders were not fooled and paid a superficial price for a superficial car.
1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass Rallye 350 2-Dr. Sedan
Lot #427 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass Rallye 350 2-Dr. Sedan; S/N 332770M243484; Yellow, , Black/Black leather; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $29,700 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $32,670. No Reserve– 350/310hp, automatic, P/S, P/B, W25 fiberglass ram air hood, N34 Sport Steering Wheel, FE2 Rally Suspension, Radial T/A tires, bench seat, Kenwood radio, rear wing. – An older restoration represented as matching numbers. Sound paint, good interior, engine compartment almost like new. Filler in parts of the sills. Good cosmetic restoration, but has clearly been driven. – Done to a visibly compromised standard which in the end makes it a decent value in a rare body style and equipment package that promises better handling and performance than its big block brothers but is fully valued at this price.
1948 Ford F-1 Pickup
Lot #428 1948 Ford F-1 Pickup; S/N 88RC121977; Medium Green, , /; Recent restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $30,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $33,000. No Reserve– 3-speed, heater, dual outside mirrors, hubcaps, trim rings, whitewalls, chrome grille and bumpers, oil filter, tinted windshield, varnished wood bed floor, stainless bed strips. – Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Restored like new, except under the hood where the engine has been superficially painted assembled to dress it up for the auction. – The odometer on this truck shows 5,479 miles, probably since its competent and attractive restoration. The mileage goes a long way to explaining why the engine got its quick respray. This is otherwise a quality truck that should give its new owner ample reason to appreciate both the truck and the price paid for it.
1968 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 2-Dr. Hardtop
Lot #474 1968 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 344778Z122014; Sapphire Blue, , White roof/Blue; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $37,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $40,700. No Reserve– 400/350hp, represented as numbers matching, heavy-duty suspension, 12-bolt Posi-traction rear end, close-ratio 4-speed, blue Rallye wheels, vinyl upholstery, includes owner’s manual and sales brochure signed by David North (designer of the 4-4-2). – Straight body with fresh paint. Chrome shows some scratches and minor pitting. Seats, carpet, dash look new. Shelf above speakers is lightly damaged with chipped paint and faded color. Overall, a better than average driver. – This is a strong price for a mediocre 4-4-2. Still, it’s possible to be proud to own this car at this price and enjoy its brilliant colors and lusty engine.

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Show Comments (7)

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    1. Keith,
      I beg to differ, although I agree the subject is open to debate.
      We all know the Continental Mark II as a Lincoln Continental.
      The Standard Catalog describes it as a Lincoln-Continental, and there is widespread confusion about Zephyrs, too, as Ford struggled to develop an identity for its models.
      I have to be searchable, so please forgive the simplistic representation of the Mark IIs as Lincoln (marque) Continental (model). It will pay off some day when you ask me to search the database for results. I’ll actually be able to find them.

      Rick

  1. I just love the use of the word “scrofulous,” and I still have 15 more screens to go! Good bye productivity on Thursday!

  2. Olds interior velour described with superb accuracy as “bawdy house,” a term I haven’t seen since looking at an old dust jacket of a Ledbelly album decades ago. Bravissimo!

    1. It’s a substitute for ‘bordello’, which I might use in a subsequent description. Gawd, they were awful.

      Rick

  3. Great and comprehensive report Rick. Enjoyed the latter half of the selection illustrating the Talbot, Delahaye, etc. Certainly cars of distinction, and not the mass produced Camaros, Chargers, 57 Chevys etc, which for all intents and purposes, although iconic and emulate the cultural period in which they were built, can be boring in the sheer numbers of their production.

  4. Always a real pleasure to read. Would trade any car magazine for this, extremely interesting for any car enthusiast.