Most car guys have mixed feelings about the Barrett-Jackson auctions. On the one hand, these guys provide one of the greatest events that can take place in a non-moving car.

On the other hand, there is an element of sleazy showmanship to their auction events.

But we would like to concentrate on the good vibrations from the Barrett-Jackson auction.

Speed Channel brings a pretty solid crew to these events, so the television presentation is very good. Especially since they got rid of the British guy who had such an obvious contempt for iron from the colonies.

Sure they trot out a lot of garden-variety iron, but the viewer gets a lot of background information on the cars, and the history behind the vehicles.

Barrett-Jackson does have a large number of oddball vehicles that really become the backbone of the shows. It is a world- class car show with an array of rare and iconic cars and trucks from the past, and this is the window on automobile history that draws us to this events.

The other part of the equation is the Friday and Saturday night slugfests when the big boys show up to Barrett-Jackson. The cocktail hour begins and a room full of Type A alpha males start to heat up the auction.

Some of them have trophy brides and/or girlfriends on one arm, and a glass full of good whiskey in the other free hand. Booze and women is always a volatile mix, but these events are aggression by checkbook. The end result is a collision of massive egos that can walk the walk any day of the week with each other.

Eventually the game reaches well past common sense and one guy is left standing-long enough to pay the insane price run up on a car by a good buzz and a challenge from another bidder.

Is the guy really a winner?

That night he is indeed a winner. He outlasted all others in a test of willpower in the absence of common sense. He may have even impressed Amy Assiter during the bid process. But mainly he has become a hero to a large army of car owners who may have a car with similar enough features to drive up the value of that make and model.

Heroes come in many forms, including drunken money guys with giant egos, high blood alcohol levels, and a my-way-or-the-highway attitude.

So the theater of the absurd that is Barrett-Jackson will always be prime time TV for car guys. The affordable early rounds of the events are the stuff of average Joe dreams.

The heavyweight events on Friday and Saturday are just really good comedy.

Jim Sutherland @mystarcollectorcar.com 


DAVE:”We have tried very hard to drink that place dry and have been unable too. As the rums go down, the prices go up.”

DENNIS:”I always watch the Barrett-Jackson auctions if for no other reason than to drive the wife nutz by saying “I had one of those” all night.It gets boring watching the seemingly endless numbers of 60’s era Camaro’s, Chevelles and Corvettes go across the block but every once in a while REAL “classic” will show up.There’s very little difference between the bulk of the guys bidding on those cars and the hedge fund traders standing around in the stock exchange. To most of them, those cars are just 4 wheel “commodities”, to be put away in a garage for future “speculation.”