JANUARY 20, 2015: SOME OF MY STRONGEST IMPRESSIONS FROM THE 2015 SCOTTSDALE BARRETT-JACKSON AUCTION

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My visit to the 2015 Scottsdale Barrett-Jackson car auction in Scottsdale, AZ was a memorable one because it was my first time at the big show.

 

It was difficult to pick out individual highlights from the continuous highlight of the show itself, but here are a few that spring to mind for me.

 

The sheer numbers of vehicles for sale is staggering, but there were a few on my must-see list.

 

At the top of the list was Christine, the evil movie car from the 1983 cult movie of the same name. The car is a modified 1958 Plymouth Fury because these cars never actually came in red and white from the factory.

 

 

Admittedly, I have watched the movie enough to feel intimidated in the presence of a real Christine and I hoped I had not angered the misfit Mopar in any way when I stood in front of it.

 

Another movie car on my list was the 1966 custom Barracuda from Fireball 500. The movie was a forgettable bomb that starred Frankie Avalon, but the George Barris-designed custom ‘Cuda was the real star.

 

 

One of the most famous car guys in North America is Ron Pratte and he was at Barrett-Jackson to sell-not buy- vehicles for the first time. Pratte was one of the most prolific buyers in Barrett-Jackson history and he sold his most famous stars at this auction.

 

It was easy to spot his iconic 1950 GM Futurliner bus, even in the large gathering of eye-catching rides at the Scottsdale auction. The giant concept vehicle was visible from a long distance because it is difficult not to notice iron mountains on rubber tires. This baby was a crowd-pleaser’s crowd-pleaser.

 

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Pratte also had the world’s most desirable Cobra for sale at Barrett-Jackson.

 

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Carroll Shelby was the first owner of the Super Snake and this insanely fast car has always been a legend in car circles. It became the highest seller when it topped 5 million dollars at the 2015 auction.

 

Another personal highlight was the onstage action. I have often wondered what it feels like to stand on the big stage while the vehicles roll by just before they are sold to bidders.

 

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Barrett-Jackson, in short, is a wild mix of sights and sounds as auctioneers, their assistants and the buyers get involved in the dance.

 

The most famous member of the Barrett-Jackson auction staff is likely Amy Assiter and she was literally front and center at the front of the big stage while I was in the midst of the action. She is even more attractive in person, in case anybody wanted an answer to that question.

 

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The staging area was also a big highlight for me because you can get to see the vehicles run at this location. You get to hear the sound of a big block engine and smell the high grade race fuel as an added bonus.

 

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Actually I lean toward the unusual at shows and Barrett-Jackson had a deep lineup of off-beat rides ranging from tow trucks to puppy dog-cute tiny Euro cars and everything in between from the past.

 

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Expect the unexpected and you will not be disappointed at Barrett-Jackson.

 

My final impression of Barrett-Jackson is the high degree of organization required to put on a show of this size.It was clear this event was not their first rodeo and they kept things on a very even keel the entire time I was at the auction.

 

My final observation?

 

This is a must-see show for every car guy on the planet.

 

Jim Sutherland

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