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Articles

HERBIE GOES TO PALM BEACH

The newest addition to the illustrious list of four-wheeled film stars to cross the Barrett-Jackson block

An authentic "Herbie" from the famous Disney movie series will be crossing the block at the 13th Annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction.

An authentic “Herbie” from the famous Disney movie series will be crossing the block at the 13th Annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction. Whether the car will be driving itself, as it did in the movies, remains to be seen!

Bill Walsh, producer of "The Love Bug" (Herbie's first movie) chose Herbie's trademark "53" racing number.  Walsh was a fan of LA Dodgers baseball player Don Drysdale, who wore a 53 jersey.

Bill Walsh, producer of “The Love Bug” (Herbie’s first movie), chose Herbie’s trademark “53″ racing number. Walsh was a fan of LA Dodgers baseball player Don Drysdale, who wore a 53 jersey.

It was a casting call like no other. Outside the Burbank, California, Walt Disney Studios in early 1968, a dozen or so cars were lined up in anticipation. There were a handful of Toyotas, a TVR, a few Volvos, an MG and a Pearl White Volkswagen Beetle. Members of the crew walked by the aspiring movie stars for a closer look, kicking tires and checking the steering wheels to assess handling capabilities. It is said that when the rough and tough crew members came across that Beetle, however, they actually began to pet it – and a star was born.

“The Love Bug,” also sometimes known as “Herbie The Love Bug,” was a huge success in 1968, leading to three subsequent films in the original series starring the anthropomorphic 1963 Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own. Naturally, there were quite a few “Herbies” used in the films, although only a few remain in existence.

To create the effect of Herbie driving himself, Disney concocted a detailed system of sprockets and pulleys connected to a second steering column under the front seat for a rear seat driver. There was also a second set of pedal assemblies,clutch cables and a shifter extension. For the films "Herbie Rides Again" and "Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo" (in which this particular Herbie starred), Disney installed a hood-mounted Carello fog light that concealed a small camera, which allowed the rear-seat driver to view the street and sit lower.

To create the effect of Herbie driving himself, Disney concocted a detailed system of sprockets and pulleys connected to a second steering column under the front seat for a rear-seat driver. There was also a second set of pedal assemblies, clutch cables and a shifter extension. For two films, including ”Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo” (in which this particular Herbie starred), Disney installed a hood-mounted Carello fog light that concealed a small camera, which allowed the rear-seat driver to view the street and sit lower.

Crossing the Barrett-Jackson block at the 2015 Palm Beach Auction in April will be a particular 1963 Volkswagen Beetle Sunroof Sedan (Lot #394). Known to movie-going public as “Herbie” and to Walt Disney Productions as “5916,” this car is better known in the loyal Herbie community as the “oil squirter,” as it was designed to squirt oil out of the passenger-side wheel well (particularly famous for doing just that on a police officer’s foot in the 1977 film “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo”).

Unlike many of the Herbies, this one actually drives, and was used for both driving and interior shots during its Hollywood career. This Herbie retired after his final appearance in 1980’s “Herbie Goes Bananas” and was sold into private hands. The famous car was later purchased by Arthur Porter, who had the car restored to its “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo” appearance and piloted it in many vintage car races until the year 2000. Herbie spent the next few years relaxing in museums. The next owner, Doug Kaufmann, saw to it that Herbie’s interior was restored to its “Monte Carlo” state, and reinstalled the bumpers, which had been removed for vintage racing events.

This well-documented Herbie has an 1835cc engine with dual Kadron Solex carbs, has had a full mechanical service and is ready to roll again.

The 1926 Hudson Speedster from "Driving Miss Daisy."

The 1949 Hudson Commodore 8 from “Driving Miss Daisy.”

With his appearance at Palm Beach, Herbie joins an illustrious list of four-wheeled film icons that have had starring roles at previous Barrett-Jackson auctions. Some are from movie classics, like the 1926 Hudson Speedster from the 1940 movie “The Grapes of Wrath,” starring Henry Fonda (sold at the Scottsdale 2010 auction for $55,000). Who could forget that 1949 Hudson Commodore 8 from the 1990 film “Driving Miss Daisy,” starring Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman? It fetched $66,000 at the Scottsdale 2014 auction. And there’s the 1966 Ford Thunderbird from 1991’s “Thelma & Louise,” which stars Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon drove over the edge of the Grand Canyon. Selling for $71,500 at the Scottsdale 2008 auction, the car had one particular passenger of note during the course of the film: Brad Pitt, in his first major motion picture.

The 1959 Plymount Fury from the 1he movie "Christine."

The 1959 Plymount Fury from the movie “Christine.”

Car stars from cult classics have always proved popular at Barrett-Jackson, as was witnessed at the Scottsdale 2015 auction, when the 1958 Plymouth Fury from the 1983 movie “Christine” sold for $198,000, and the 1955 Chevrolet Custom from 1971’s “Two-Lane Blacktop,” starring James Taylor and Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys, which fetched $159,500.

What’s an action-adventure movie without a great fast car? Barrett-Jackson has seen an abundance of silver screen specials cross the block – from the 1967 Pontiac GTO Custom from the 2002 film “XXX” starring Vin Diesel and Samuel L. Jackson (sold at Palm Beach 2011 for $28,600) to several cars from the popular “Fast & Furious” movie series.

The 1969 Dodge Charger Custom from the "Fast & Furious" movie series.

The 1969 Dodge Charger Custom from the “Fast & Furious” movie series.

Most popular were the 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Custom from 2006’s “The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift,” which went for $187,000 at the Orange County 2010 auction, and the 1969 Dodge Charger Custom featured in two films: 2009’s “Fast & Furious 4” and 2011’s “Fast Five.” That Charger sold for $95,700 at the Scottsdale 2013 auction.

So keep an eye out for yet another famous movie car, Herbie, at the Palm Beach auction – but remember: he’s known for having a mind of his own. He may well take that journey across the block all by himself!

MORE THAN JUST PLEASING CURVES: Rick Hendrick’s 458 Spider will be a Palm Beach attention-grabber

Rick Hendrick's stunning 458 Spider (Lot #412) will be crossing the block at the 13th Annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction, April 17-19, 2015, at the South Florida Fairgrounds.

Rick Hendrick’s stunning 458 Spider (Lot #412) will be crossing the block at the 13th Annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction, April 17-19, 2015, at the South Florida Fairgrounds.

Since melting eyeballs at its Frankfurt Motor Show debut in 2009, the Ferrari 458 has continued to transform onlookers into instant fans. The sharp yet swooping lines of the Pininfarina-designed 458 are unmistakably Ferrari, and anyone lucky enough to drive one would have no trouble believing the car is capable of hitting 200 mph.

The 458 seemed hard to top, but in 2011 Ferrari did exactly that — by losing the top. The 458 Spider introduced that year was the first mid-rear-engine car to offer a retractable hardtop. The double-curved aluminum top weighs less than a traditional fabric top and can retract or deploy at the push of a button in just 14 seconds. When the system is engaged, the rear deck automatically rises and the hinged top drops securely into its own compartment.

The 4.5-liter V8 delivers 560hp at 9,000 rpm.

The 4.5-liter V8 delivers 560hp at 9,000 rpm.

Despite the ferocious speed potential of the 458 Spider, the car is engineered for civilized open-air motoring. An adjustable electric wind-stop rises once the top has lowered, keeping turbulence in the cabin to a minimum. The intake and exhaust systems in the Spider were tuned to optimize the V8’s throaty song without overwhelming passengers.

And you’ll want to hear the intoxicating roar that burbles from the tri-tip exhaust pipes. The flat-crank 4.5-liter V8 delivers 560 horsepower at 9,000 rpm. The engine has double overhead cams, four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing, direct injection, dry sump oiling and a 12.5:1 compression ratio.

The factory rates the 458 Spider’s top speed at 199 mph, with 0-60 times in a brief 3.3 seconds. A seven-speed dual-clutch F1-style automatic transmission is teamed with that engine. Other systems also reflect Ferrari’s racing heritage, such as the E-Diff3 active differential and F1 Trac traction control. The chassis is made from leading-edge aluminum alloys that are lightweight yet deliver exceptional structural rigidity.

Reflecting the Ferrari racing heritage, a seven-speed dual-clutch F1-style automatic transmission.

Reflecting the Ferrari racing heritage, a seven-speed dual-clutch F1-style automatic transmission.

Stopping power is astonishing thanks to carbon-ceramic brake rotors, six-piston calipers in front, four-piston calipers in the rear and high-performance ABS. These artfully engineered pieces are readily visible between the spokes of the 20-inch wheels.

The body is beautiful, but there’s more in play than just pleasing curves. The design takes an active role in the aerodynamic profile. Two aeroelastic winglets are tucked into the nose, generating downforce and, as speed increases, deforming to reduce drag around the radiator inlets. The large buttresses behind the driver and passenger channel air toward the engine cover grilles, but also act as rollover protection.

The driving environment was designed with both comfort and performance in mind. Just as with a Formula 1 car, the 458 Spider clusters almost all major controls on the steering wheels so the driver can perform most functions without taking hands off the wheel. A large centrally mounted tachometer dominates the instrument cluster. And yet the rear bench in the 458 was designed for a regular-sized golf bag for those slower-paced days.

The Corsa Red 2012 Spider (Lot #412) offered for sale at the 2015 Palm Beach Auction is a great representative of the breed. Nearly every interior surface is covered in leather or suede with accent stitching in red. Comforts include power heated seats with driver memory, navigation, carbon-fiber steering wheel, parking camera with front and rear parking sensors, and automatic climate control. The options on the car include eye-catching parts such as the yellow brake calipers, as well as such welcome functional pieces as the Suspension Lifter system and Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS).

If anyone knows a thing or two about fast cars, it’s the first owner of this 458 Spider — Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group. “I love the throaty sound and torque of the V8, and the F1 transmission is the fastest and most positive of any Ferrari I’ve driven,” he said. “The car’s handling is unbelievable — like a go-kart. The big bonus is having a coupe or convertible with the push of a button. It’s an incredible car and the best all-around Ferrari I have ever owned.”

Hendrick put nearly every one of the car’s 1,000 miles on the odometer, and overlooked no details in the 458 Spider’s maintenance. The car has undergone an extensive 168-point Hendrick Performance inspection and has a clean CARFAX report. All service and recalls are up to date. RESERVE.

 

This article appears in the Spring 2015 issue of The Barrett-Jackson Experience magazine. To order your copy or subscribe, click here or visit www.shopbarrettjackson.com.

IT’S ALL ABOUT FAMILY: The first “Shelby” comes home

 

The game-changing 1949 MG TC on the auction block at the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction.

The game-changing 1949 MG TC on the auction block at the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction.

Four generations of Shelbys: Carroll, son Patrick, grandson Aaron, and great-grandsons Pierce and Larson in 2006.

Four generations of Shelbys: Carroll, son Patrick, grandson Aaron, and great-grandsons Pierce and Larson in 2006.

It’s easy to see how car collecting is in the genes at Barrett-Jackson. The passion for this hobby is literally in the DNA of multiple generations of families. One of the best examples of this is the First Family of Ford performance, the Shelbys.

The spirit of Carroll Shelby certainly lives on through his son, Patrick, and grandson, Aaron. Like the family patriarch, both are successful in their own right.

Patrick served as the chairman of the board of Legacy Texas bank for more than 25 years and operates a successful family investment office. Aaron was also a board member for the bank before it merged with another one; he is currently executive vice president. So, instead of working on cars, they finance them, along with mortgages and commercial loans.

However, their passion for their heritage is as tangible as the cars that Carroll built. Aaron Shelby’s office is adorned with memorabilia, model cars and photographs that pay homage to the only man to win 24 Hours of Le Mans as a driver, manufacturer and team owner. 

For his father Patrick, the memorabilia is on an even larger scale.

Aaron Shelby with his grandfather Carroll at Indy in 1991.

Aaron Shelby with his grandfather Carroll at Indy in 1991.

Growing up, Patrick fondly remembered the race car that launched Carroll’s racing career – a ’49 MG TC, which was owned by Carroll’s friend Ed Wilkins. Though Carroll had no formal racing experience, Wilkins let Shelby pilot his MG at a race in Norman, Oklahoma. Carroll won that race and was well on his way to earning his stripes.

Over the years, the car passed through the hands of several owners. Just before it crossed the block at the 2008 Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Auction, Carroll signed the car to verify its authenticity. It then became a prized piece of the Pratte Collection until January 2015.

“We were excited to hear the MG was going be available as part of the sale of the Ron Pratte Collection,” said Aaron. “My father and I reached out to (Barrett-Jackson President) Steve Davis to see if we could bid on the car quietly. We were concerned that people might not want to bid against Carroll’s family. That would not have been fair to Barrett-Jackson and Ron Pratte. So we asked that none of the other bidders would know that our family was bidding for the MG.”

From left: Bill DenBeste, owner of Carroll Shelby Engine Company, Steve Davis and Aaron Shelby at the Scottsdale auction.

From left: Bill DenBeste, owner of Carroll Shelby Engine Company, Steve Davis and Aaron Shelby at the Scottsdale auction.

When the big day came, the MG crossed the block as Aaron was sitting in another star of the Pratte Collection, Carroll Shelby’s personal 1969 GT500, in the staging area. 

“I was asked to drive the GT500 across the block, so I had a very unique perspective of the bidding on the MG,” added Aaron. “My father was bidding by telephone from home in Texas, while I sat in my grandfather’s personal Shelby GT500 watching the crowd’s reaction to the bidding. It was an exciting moment when I realized that we had won and that my grandfather’s first race car was coming back home to Dallas.”

When Aaron stepped out of the Shelby GT500 as it crossed the block, Steve Davis officially announced the MG was purchased by the Shelby family. The crowd roared its applause, knowing the car had found its way back home.

Now that the car has come full circle, it is also a symbol of the “new Shelby.” That is because Aaron is beginning to play a much bigger role in the Shelby legacy. He is more involved in his grandfather’s company and has been asked to serve on the board. “I love being a part of the magic of the Shelby brand,” Aaron added. “I’m honored that our family continues to be a significant part of the legacy that he built.”

 

This article appears in the Spring 2015 issue of The Barrett-Jackson Experience magazine. To order your copy or subscribe, click here or visit www.shopbarrettjackson.com.

You CAN Afford This Classic!

1954_Ford_F100_SD15

Which would you rather have: a brand-new, top-selling, standard-cab pickup—or a fully restored 1954 Ford F100 custom pickup with a rockin’ body, power windows and seats, air conditioning, overhead console with CD player and a hot rod V8? The going price for that popular new pickup is just under $35,000. Using traditional methods, you can get that truck financed at a rate of around 3.99% for 60 months, leaving you with a monthly payment of about $645.

13If the ’54 Ford is more your style, consider this. That very vehicle (pictured above) sold at the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction in January for $31,900. Most traditional lenders will laugh at the notion of classic car financing, but have you ever watched the big screens at a Barrett-Jackson auction and noticed the “Estimated Monthly Payment” graphic down at the bottom of the screen as the cars cross the block? Many people don’t realize it, but you can actually get financing on the collector cars featured at Barrett-Jackson auctions. That fabulous ’54 Ford could have been yours for a monthly payment of only $419 a month, based on financing with a 5.99% interest rate over a 96-month period. That’s a whole lot less per month for a whole lot of cool that may appreciate in value.

Since 2012, Woodside Credit has been turning dream cars into reality at every Barrett-7Jackson auction. The nationwide collector car finance company partnered with Barrett-Jackson to make it easier than ever to put great cars in the hands of enthusiasts. It’s something Mitch Shatzen, president and COO of Woodside Credit, is pretty jazzed about. “We provide cash that allows car enthusiasts to enjoy the cars of their dreams,” he says. “They get to keep their savings in the bank, use ours, and we deliver to them the lowest monthly payment in America.”

The template to the low monthly payments dates back to the 1980s, when Roger Kirwan, founder of Woodside Credit, pioneered never-before-seen low payments in the RV industry with terms up to 180 months. He recognized the purchasing power and cash-flow benefits of those low payments. His next thought was to apply the same principle to the world of classic cars.      

Here’s how it works.

If you’ve got your eye on a collector car that’s at least 25 years old, or perhaps a late-model exotic (Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, etc.) or specialty vehicle (most Corvettes or Porsches, for example), just contact Woodside Credit. Ideally, reach out before the auction, so you can get pre-approved (it’ll also save you $100 on the loan fee). That pre-approval is good for 60 days for amounts under $100,000, or 30 days for larger loans. You’ll need to have good credit (typically a 700+ FICO score), no bankruptcies and pay the down payment, which is typically 15 percent. Shatzen insists that each case is considered individually. “We are truly common-sense lenders with our eyes on every application,” he says. “A computer doesn’t approve loans.”

Woodside Card - FrontWoodside offers competitive fixed rates, loan amounts from $10,000 to $500,000 and flexible terms of up to 12 years. As an example, on a $50,000 loan, you’d be looking at a monthly payment of around $555 (as opposed to approximately $921 per month for a traditional bank loan). For a $100,000 loan, you’d pay about $975 per month through Woodside, but around $1,841 through a standard-term loan. If you’re looking at a higher dollar acquisition, Woodside can work with you on a custom loan. They’ll even finance tax, title and license.

The collector car hobby is robust. As passionate enthusiasts descend on Barrett-Jackson auctions to buy and sell specialty vehicles, Woodside Credit is the place to go. They provide a personalized financing option with a proven track record. If you have any doubt about how well the program works, just have a look at the many testimonials on the Woodside Credit website—or better yet, ask Gary Bennett, Barrett-Jackson’s vice president of consignment. Thanks to Woodside, in 2013 Gary was reunited with a beloved 1965 Corvette he had sold more than 40 years earlier, and he’s one happy customer indeed.

To find out more, visit www.woodsidecredit.com, call 800-717-5180 or visit the Woodside Credit folks in person at any Barrett-Jackson auction.

To find out how to become a bidder at a Barrett-Jackson auction or register to bid, click here.

 

This article appears in the Spring 2015 issue of The Barrett-Jackson Experience magazine. To order your copy or subscribe, click here or visit www.shopbarrettjackson.com.

HOW TO CONSIGN YOUR CAR AT BARRETT-JACKSON

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Whether on live TV or in person, you’ve witnessed the incredible variety of vehicles crossing the block at Barrett-Jackson, and now you’re thinking about consigning your own vehicle. We wish to welcome you to Barrett-Jackson, the World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions™.  Barrett-Jackson events represent the purest marketplace in the collector car universe, where thousands of pre-qualified potential buyers have direct access to your collectible car. Imagine 1,000 or more potential buyers lining up at the curb in front of your driveway to look at your car. Every potential bidder has passed a stringent qualification process to ensure buyers can back up their bid. To put that in perspective, more than 4,500 pre-qualified bidders were on hand at the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction.

 

To gain access to Barrett-Jackson buyers, your car must first be accepted for consignment at one of our four premiere events. The first step in the process is to submit a consignment application, known as a Preliminary Consignment Form. The application helps us evaluate your car. There are several ways you can get a consignment application form.

 

Apply online
By far the easiest method of consigning is here on our website. Just click on “Consign” at the very top of the page, or simply click HERE. You’ll be taken to a page where you can owner and vehicle information or explore additional options.

  • Start by inputting your contact information and vehicle details into the online form. Before consigning online, it’s important to gather all vehicle images and documentation in digital form (for tips on how to take optimal photos of your car, click HERE). Scan both sides of your title. Know where the images and scans are located on your computer.
  • If you have multiple vehicles to consign, we suggest that you register as a member on the website (top right of the page) and then log in. As a registered member, your contact information is automatically applied to each vehicle application, avoiding repetitive steps. When you click on “Consign” after logging in, you’ll be taken directly to the online consignment process.

Download and print the form

If you’re not computer-savvy, there is also an option from the “Consign” page to download a printable consignment form, which you can fill out by hand and mail with photos and all relevant information.

 

Speak to a specialist
If you have questions prior to consignment, please call 480-421-6694 and speak to a consignment specialist, who will also be happy to explain the consignment process. You can also email the consignment department by clicking HERE. 

 

USEFUL SUGGESTIONS

The single most important rule of the process is to gather relevant documents and photos before you begin the consignment process — especially online.  Complete applications are more likely to move through the process smoothly. Cars cannot be accepted for consignment unless applications are complete with photos, title scans and descriptions. Timing is also important. As we almost always have more applications than available slots, it’s important to submit your application as early as possible.

Here is a checklist of what you should have before starting the application process:

⎕ Photos

⎕ Short and Long Descriptions

⎕ Title Scans (front and rear)

⎕ Supporting Documentation

 

Photos

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You will need five good photos of your vehicle.  The images are important, as they show all sides of your vehicle to potential buyers. Furthermore, the images are utilized on the Barrett-Jackson website, in the event catalog and possibly in other marketing avenues, such as eBlasts or print advertisements. Because they are a key factor in marketing your car to the masses, they need to be the best possible photos you can obtain.

  • The photos must be in focus.
  • With the exception of interior and engine shots, the entire vehicle must appear in the photo; it cannot be cut off.
  • As the photos represent an asset, there can be no other vehicles in the photos; only the vehicle on the application can be present.
  • The background should be clear and free of clutter and trees.
  • It’s best to drive the car to a large, clear area, such as the back of a supermarket or industrial warehouse.
  • The car should be photographed on level pavement. Grass or snow are not recommended.

Before snapping photos, look in the viewfinder and study the frame. Are reflections washing out the image?  Are trees, people or other cars reflected in your shiny paint? Look through our archives for great photos to inspire you. Photos should be at least 3 megabytes (3MB) in size at a minimum.

 

The photos that we need with your application are:

  • 3/4 front view (not three-quarters of the car; this refers to the angle showing the front and side of the vehicle at the same time)
  • 3/4 rear view (from the other side)
  • Side view
  • Interior
  • Engine 

 

Click HERE for a detailed article on how to photograph your car.

 

PHOTO TIP: Know the location of photos on your computer so you can easily navigate the upload process.

 

Short and Long Descriptions

Informative, well-structured descriptions are the single most overlooked aspect of the application process, and can have a positive impact on the sale price of your vehicle. We require that you submit two descriptions with your application, each serving a distinct purpose:

  • Short Description: Appears in the docket list on our website as well as in our printed event catalog.  Containing only about 25 to 30 words, this short description should focus on features and information that cannot be seen “from the curb.”  This is not the place to list color or wheel selection, as viewers can see these details in photos and on the auction block.  Instead, you should list selling points that may not be immediately evident, such as “ground up restoration,” “fresh engine rebuild,” or “twin-turbo.” Here’s an example of a good short description:  Nut and bolt restoration of a fully-documented, matching numbers car with only 3,000 miles since new. Listed in the Shelby Registry.
  • Long Description: This is where you can get into the details of your vehicle, as well as its provenance, if known. People love to read the back stories of cars. This description can be up to 300 words, and can include restoration information, expenditures, major facets, modifications, history, awards and anything else you feel will add to the selling power of your vehicle. Mention any documentation you have to back up any claims, particularly with regards to custom vehicles. This is extremely useful in instilling confidence in prospective buyers. Also make sure to include basic information, like transmission type, engine size, etc. The long description will appear on the website docket listing and the “car card” that is on the windshield of the vehicle while it is displayed at auction. This description may also be used in marketing materials, and portions may be read by the auctioneers on the block, so it is crucial to mention the most important or impressive things first. Make sure to talk about your specific vehicle, not the marque in general. You want people to understand your car.

 

DESCRIPTIONS TIP: Stick to the facts and avoid subjective terms and wild superlatives in your descriptions, such as “world’s greatest car.”

 

TITLES

To effectively process your application, we need a copy of both sides of your title. Your title must be clear. We do not auction cars with liens. Of course, the vehicle title and VIN must match.  Unless you are a car dealer, the name and address on the title must match the name and address on the Preliminary Consignment Form. If you have any questions relating to titles, please feel free to call a consignment specialist at 480-421-6694.

Also, Canadian vehicles must be titled in the U.S. in order to be eligible for Barrett-Jackson auctions.

 

TITLE TIP: Don’t take photos of your title. Scan both sides. The scans must be flat and clear.

 

DOCUMENTATION

Supporting documentation (including factory documents) is not only useful for boosting bidder confidence, it’s also helpful to support any claims made in your vehicle descriptions.  For example, if you claim that your car’s custom-built engine produces 900hp, provide a dyno sheet in support of that claim. (Of course, verifiable factory engine output ratings do not need dyno sheets.) Another example: If your Mustang has a Marti Report, submit a copy of that document along with your application.

 

DOCUMENTATION TIP: If your car is accepted for auction, make a large board with a collage of supporting documentation to display with the vehicle.

 

 

DO’S AND DON’TS

 

Things To Remember

  • If you don’t have a scanner at home, use the services of your local office and print centers (FedEx Kinkos, etc.). They can scan documentation or existing photos of your vehicle to obtain digital images.
  • Provide copies/scans of a clear title in your name, with no liens.
  • Exercise care and salesmanship when crafting your vehicle’s short and long descriptions. As with good photos, good descriptions are important.
  • Ensure the descriptions are written in your own words; don’t plagiarize.
  • Make the extra effort to take good photos of your vehicle. For detailed tips on how to do this, click HERE.
  • Get your application in early. While an early application doesn’t guarantee placement, it can certainly help.

 

Things To Avoid

  • Try not to submit incomplete applications. Wait until you have descriptions, images and supporting documentation, if applicable. If you just want to speak with someone, click HERE for the “Speak to a Consignment Specialist” page.
  • Ensure other cars, people or objects are not in your photos.
  • Taking a photo of a photo is not a good idea, especially if it is in a frame; scan the image instead.
  • Avoid photographing your car in your driveway, or on grass or snow.
  • It is not advisable to speak in superlatives when writing your descriptions (for example, “world’s best car”).
  • If your car was built by a top-name restorer or customizer, please feel free to list the name in your description. However, please refrain from promoting your car dealership or other business.

 

Ready to consign?  Click HERE.

PRO TIPS: How to Take Better Photos of Your Vehicle

 

Tim Heit, automotive photographer for Barrett-Jackson Auction Co. since 2005, has photographed thousands of vehicles for various marketing purposes and publications. We asked him to share his wisdom in this article to help car owners master a key piece of the consignment puzzle.

You undoubtedly have heard the expression “a picture is worth a thousand words. When consigning your car to auction, pictures could literally be worth thousands of dollars. You might be surprised at how often people send us applications to consign even great cars accompanied by mediocre or poor photographs. While we will work with whatever photos you provide us, help us help you by providing quality photographs of your vehicle before it crosses the block.

Photographs play a significant role in the auction process, helping us both evaluate and market your car. Those photographs will be seen on the Barrett-Jackson website, in the event catalog and on the large high-definition screens in the auction arena as your car makes its way across the block. Though not guaranteed, vehicles accompanied by great photos are more likely to be used in advertisements. Photography matters.

Above all, seeing exceptional photos of your vehicle will inspire confidence in potential biddersbidders who may purchase your car without ever having seen it in person. During our 2015 Scottsdale auction, for example, Internet and phone bidding accounted for 4.7% of our total vehicle sales. That may not sound like a lot, but it translates into $6.5 million in auction vehicle purchases.

In light of this, I want to help you take better pictures of your collectible. I could write volumes about the specifics of photography, but instead I will focus on three key areas: location, equipment and composition.

Not everyone has a 50,000-square-foot automotive museum or a beautiful willow tree forest covered in dew on a light foggy day with sunbeams painting their car to create the ultimate photo. But with a little bit of time and a few tips, you can make your vehicle the focus of the image. Which leads us to our first tip:

Location, location, location
High school business class teachers pound this into students brains from the first day. Your vehicle’s photographs are no different. You want to sell your car for top dollar and make it stand out from the rest. Make the effort to drive your car to the rear of a supermarket, department store, warehouse—any place that is a large, blank canvas on which to place your car. For this article, a location behind a nearby department store was chosen because it seems achievable in almost any city. When choosing a location, there are some basic don’ts to keep in mind:

  • Don’t shoot the vehicle in your driveway.
  • Make sure there are no people or other cars in your shot.
  • Avoid trees or signs in the background.

Remember these three major factors: light source, background and reflections.

  • Light source. Most consignors will use the sun as their light source, so that is what we will use for the duration of this article. Shade is recommended (for even lighting), or natural light just as the sun rises or sets. This is especially important when shooting the engine and interior.
  • Background. Remember: you are trying to sell a vehicle, not capture an image of a stunning landscape.  Lets look at the first photo (below left). This is an example of a poorly planned photo: the car is cut off, the angle is too high, the photographers shadow and handicapped signs are in the image, theres a busy background,  the lighting is uneven, and there are unwanted reflections on the car. Now, take a look at the second and third photos, which were taken at the same time of day, 200 feet away from the first location. The lighting in this location is even and the shot was taken from more of a distance, avoiding unwanted shadows in the picture and allowing the entire car to be in the frame.
  • Reflections. You have just spent thousands of dollars and countless hours in the paint booth. The last thing you want to do is have reflections of parking lines (see the image below left), another car, or your bright blue recycle trash can visible on the side or hood of your collectible.  In these examples, a very reflective car was used to help support this factor.

take better photos of your car

Equipment
Over the past year, Barrett-Jackson has seen a steady increase in consignors using cellphones to take photos. It is not the most optimal file type, but it cannot be ignored that smartphones will account for nearly one trillion photos in 2015. If you study the three examples below, you can see the difference between an iPhone 6, a $150 Canon “point and shoot” and a Nikon D600 DSLR. Notice how the front of the car is distorted in iPhone versus the Canon, and even more so when compared to the Nikon.

Tips for photographing your car

However, if a smartphone is all you have, here are a few important tips:

  • Hold phone in landscape mode. (Remember, your photos are displayed on high-definition screens during the auction. A portrait orientation will not fit the HD screens properly.)
  • Don’t use digital zoom (pinch-to-zoom); there are only a few phones that have optical zoom.
  • Make sure your camera lens is clean.
  • Avoid shooting in low-light scenarios; this will cause blurriness and loss of detail.
  • Don’t use the flash, use natural light.
  • Use a Camera App. Yes, the iPhone’s built-in camera app has improved from version to version. But there are companies out there that only focus on photography, such as Camera+ and Camera Awesome.  There are several video tutorials on these apps.
  • Don’t use filters or effects. Although they may look cool for Facebook, they do not help represent your vehicle’s true color or condition.

For those of you with more advanced DSLR cameras or point-and-shoot-style cameras, here are a few key tips to consider. (There are well over 2,300 camera models; most of these tips are standard features.)

  • White balance. Auto white balance can be a blessing and a curse.  For this article, the sun is used as the light source, which can mean direct sun or shade. Either way, choose one of these white balance settings for more consistent color.
  • File type. JPEG is the most common file type for digital cameras.  However, not all JPEGs are created equal.  Most cameras use the terms JPEG Fine or JPEG High.
  • Resolution. Choose the largest size available. We’re looking for at least 2MB per image. This varies from camera to camera: it may say Large, 12MP or 4000 x 3000.
  • Use a long lens. If you use a DSLR and have a 105mm or 200mm lens, use it. This will compress the background and let the focus be on the car. If you use a point-and-shoot camera, it is very important that you turn off digital zoom. You want to capture what the camera lens sees, not what a computer chip thinks it sees.
  • Avoid using a wide-angle lens. For the interior and engine shots you don’t have much option. But for the front, rear and profile angles, a wide-angle lens will change the proportions of the car and even cause distortion.

Photographing you car

Composition
Although this subject can go hand-and-hand with location, lets concentrate on the angle and height of the camera in relation to the vehicle.  Barrett-Jackson requires five standard shots of your vehicle: front 3/4, rear 3/4, side profile, engine and interior. The online consignment application includes clear examples and diagrams of exactly how to achieve these shots, like this:

Photo_Clock_examples

The front 3/4 is by far the most used and best representation of your car. So lets focus on this money shot. The three biggest mistakes commonly seen are that you cannot see enough of the front of the car, the car is cut off in the frame and the camera is positioned too high. If every car could be shot using a DSLR with a 300mm lens, we would be happy, but this is not always an option. As mentioned above, three different cameras were used to show the different results.

Angle
Every car has a stance; the height of your camera is the No. 1 factor that will accentuate its attitude. The most common shots seen are from 4 to 5 feet in height, looking down on the car. If you take the same shot from a lower angle, 2 to 3 feet off the ground, you are now on the same level as the cars center, and with a non-professional camera you will reduce the distortion. The angle is key in showing off the proportions of your vehicle. Every vehicle is different, but a go-to rule for most vehicles involves the right rear tire: if it is visible behind the front left tire in your image (see photo taken with Nikon above), you’ve got the angle right.

Submit your files
Send only full-size files. It’s a good idea to know where your photos “live” on your computer before you start the application process. For example, they may be stored in your “Documents” folder or your “Photos” folder. The new Barrett-Jackson website allows you to upload photos directly from your computer, smartphone or tablet.

My last tip is a simple one: Ask for help. Ask your family, friends, a neighbor, even your kids if they know anyone. When I started taking photos in high school, I took on every opportunity to expand my experience. Photography is an art that requires practicebut remember, better photos can equal better block results.

Ready to get started? Visit the Consignment page of our website by clicking HERE.

 

**If you are a photographer and want to be added to our local photographer directory, please submit photos of at least one vehicle with the five required angles (front 3/4, rear 3/4, side profile, engine and interior) to photos@barrett-jackson.com with the subject “Photographer Directory.” In the body of the email, please include your name, phone number, city, state and any URL for an online portfolio of vehicles you have photographed.  

 

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