Barrett-Jackson is a very visual TV experience, but it cries out for editing from a viewer’s perspective.
That is why you have to record the festivities via DVR or VHS (for the old school viewers) and edit the program.
Either that or channel surf like you are listening to a ‘Best of Beach Boys‘ collection.
Either way, you have to hold onto your remote control like your best girl on prom night if you hope to plow through 40 hours of TV coverage.
The main reason is an incredibly over-represented number of narrow interest and wildly popular vintage car makes and years in the auction. We all know which brands are over-represented, mainly because of the high interest in these models. There are vehicles from all three of the Big Three represented in this narrow focus of collector car interest.
So the viewer is left with an endless traffic jam of the same cars within a tight boundary of years and models. I won’t name names in this game because any car guy is well aware of model overkill at the Barrett Jackson.
I don’t blame Barrett-Jackson or the enthusiasts themselves for the sameness. The auction guys want to sell and the car guys want to buy into the cult-like popular car market. That is a basic tenet of supply and demand economics.
But it carries a very real danger that viewers are going to buzz through yet another example of the same car. Not even the massive appeal of a lighted ash- tray receptacle that made the car only one of 12,687 manufactured with that rare option is likely to hold a viewer’s interest.
It must be difficult for the Speed Channel crew to work up any molecule of enthusiasm for the same kind of car by Day 3-let alone Day 6. But they tough it out and deliver a brief biographical sketch about a car model that will likely haunt their dreams for weeks after the auction.
There is something very special about every vintage ride-that is why we built this site. But picture this scenario to put it in perspective: A herd of zebras on an African plain is interesting, but it is difficult to get real excited about individual zebras in that crowd. They pretty much look exactly the same to the viewer.
But picture that zebra in a herd of horses in North America and it will be noticed-a lot. The same principle applies to garden variety collector cars because we barely notice them in a Barrett-Jackson herd. But we love them on the street in a herd of Toyotas and mini vans.
That is when we are all on the same page.
Jim Sutherland @mystarcollectorcar.com
MARK:”I enjoyed all the auctions in person, but it looks to me like the market is still down!!”
BILL:”There were a lot of awesome cars and some for a very nice price. Only wish I had 1/2 to 1 Mill. Sure could have an awesome collection”.
ROBERT:”You’re right on the $ with your description of the seemingly endless parade of the same old favorites. I love em all but it’s the unusual that wakes me up. That said any of the cars crossing the block would be standouts if they passed you on the street.”