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Articles

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 (or simply click HERE). This will take you to a page where you can begin the online application process or explore information and 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, you may choose to 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 redundancy. 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 as 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 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.  Complete applications are more likely to move through the process smoothly. Cars cannot be accepted for consignment unless applications are complete. 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

⎕ Descriptions

⎕ Title Scans

⎕ 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

  • Use the services of your local office and print centers (FedEx Kinkos, etc.) if you don’t have a scanner at home. 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.  

 

HISTORIC HIGHS FOR THE 44TH ANNUAL BARRETT-JACKSON SCOTTSDALE AUCTION

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It’s a wrap. The biggest auction in Barrett-Jackson history concluded today at WestWorld, reaching historic highs and resulting in some truly unforgettable moments. During the 10-day auction, Barrett-Jackson recorded more than $131 million in sales of 1,612 vehicles (unaudited) and a world-record $6.55 million in automobilia sales (unaudited), making it the highest sales result to date. The highly regarded Ron Pratte Collection alone brought in over $40.44 million in vehicle and automobilia sales.

“This year’s Scottsdale auction was on a scale unlike anything in our 44-year history,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “From sales and consignments to our ratings on Discovery and Velocity, we smashed records at every level. Our week kicked off with a gala and continued to build excitement with our largest vehicle consignment in history, including the sale of the Ron Pratte Collection on Tuesday. Everyone who attended this year’s Scottsdale auction was a part of automotive history.”

TOP TEN

A record number of bidders attended the auction for a chance to purchase from the wide range of American muscle, European classics, exotic sports cars and one-of-a-kind customs. Here are the 10 cars that finished on top in Scottsdale:

2509Above: 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake (Lot #2509) – $5.1 million

2501Above: 1950 GM Futurliner Parade of Progress Tour Bus (Lot #2501) – $4 million

2500Above: 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama Concept Car (Lot #2500) – $3.3 million

5087Above: 1949 Talbot-Lago T-26 Grand Sport Franay (Lot #5087) – $1.65 million

5090Above: 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster (Lot #5090) – $1.595 million

5075Above: 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing (Lot #5075) – $1.1 million

5086Above: 1937 Mercedes-Benz 320B Cabriolet (Lot #5086) – $1.045 million

2515Above: 1936 Delahaye “Whatthehaye” Street-Rod (Lot #2515) – $671,000

5071Above: 1991 Ferrari F40 (Lot #5071) – $643,500

5076Above: 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300S Cabriolet (Lot #5076) – $643,500

 

RECORD SALES

The auction saw a number of benchmark sales, including Italian, German and domestic marques. While record auction results are typically the domain of restored originals, one car—the Ringbrothers Pantera—proved that a fully customized car can hold top spot in terms of value. Here are overviews of record sales from the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction:

50721972 De Tomaso Pantera by Ringbrothers (Lot #5072)
As Italian supercars go, two things are true about the De Tomaso Pantera. First they are quite affordable relative to other classic Italian Supercars from the era. Top prices for restored steel bumper Panteras hover in the $80,000 to $100,000 range. The second truth about Panteras is that modified examples often sell for more than original examples. The Pantera community, as a whole, embraces upgrades. Ringbrothers, a custom car building shop owned by Mike and Jim Ring, created this one-of-a-kind custom that rocked the industry when it was unveiled in 2013.  At the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction, the radical custom attracted the attention of fans and bidders alike. When the gavel dropped, the Pantera sold for a record $330,000 at No Reserve.

50421952 Alfa Romeo 1900C Sprint Pininfarina (Lot #5042)
Coachbuilt examples of the 1900C, the first production Alfa Romeo made after World War II, are in very short supply. Legendary coach builders such as Ghia, Zagato, Bertone, Pininfarina and others produced cars with bespoke bodywork between 1952 and 1959. Recently, a Zagato-bodied barn find, in non-running condition, sold for $1,000,000. Also at the top of the sales spectrum, a Ghia-bodied car sold a few years ago for $649,000. Conversely, standard cars with standard Touring coachwork trade for approximately $125,000 to $150,000. In the case of the Pininfarina 1900C Sprints, there is little or no public data available. While a private sale in Europe is said to have transpired at approximately $325,000, the car before had some watchers holding their breath in anticipation. Would the little Alfa sell for $125,000 or $1,000,000? Sold at No Reserve, the market truly decided the value of this car. Under the bright lights of the legendary Barrett-Jackson stage, the Alfa Romeo 1900C Sprint Pininfarina sold for $550,000. This is a world record sale.

2508

Above: 2005 Ford GT Serial #003 First Production Car (Lot #2508)
It’s no secret that 2005-2006 Ford GTs are appreciating. With a top speed of 205 mph and docile street manners, the Ford GT is easy to own and to collect. Typically the most valuable examples are the Heritage Edition cars with their “Gulf Racing” inspired livery. A Heritage Edition Ford GT sold here at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2015 for $473,000. There is one car, however, that tops them all. Ron Pratte’s Serial #003 Ford GT is the first production car sold to the public. In 2006, Pratte paid $530,000 as a charity sale in West Palm Beach. Eight years later, that purchase has proven to be a wise investment, as the same car sold here in Scottsdale, Saturday night for a record $605,000.

1937 Mercedes-Benz 320B Cabriolet (Lot #5086) (pictured above in top 10 sellers)
Few cars at the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale sale captured the attention of onlookers and bidders as much as this 1937 Mercedes-Benz 320B Cabriolet. Perhaps it’s black and deep navy-colored bodywork combined with exquisite red leather interior. Sparkling wire wheels and gleaming chrome add to the car’s panache. For every reason, the crowd loved this car, chassis #172436. It sold for a record $1,045,000 which is quite a bargain for this near concours-ready beauty. Between the 190SL record set in 2014 and cars like this sedan, Barrett-Jackson has been setting the pace for classic Mercedes Benz collectibles, as of late.

 

CROSSING THE BLOCK FOR CHARITY

“It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Ron and building his collection over the years,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “Ron took great pride in the cars and automobilia. He painstakingly restored many of the vehicles, making them truly outstanding collectibles. It’s wonderful to see ownership of some amazing vehicles pass along to new collectors.”
FuturlinerWide

Led by the 1950 GM Futurliner that raised $4,650,000 ($4 million bid and $650,000 in additional pledges) on Saturday evening, a total of 10 cars crossed the Scottsdale auction to raise more than $8.6 million to benefit local and national charities. The Futurliner was donated by Pratte, a Vietnam veteran, to benefit the Armed Forces Foundation. The other nine charity auction cars were:

 

lot3001Above: 2015 Jeep Wrangler Custom SUV (Lot #3001), donated by SEMA to benefit Child Help and Victory Junction – $85,000

charity3002Above: 2015 BMW M5 (Lot #3002), donated by BMW to BMW Car Club of America Foundation
and Tire Rack Street Survival Program – $700,000

charity30032016 Cadillac CTS-V (Lot #3003), donated by GM to benefit College for Creative Studies – $170,000

3004Above: 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Hurst (Lot #3004), donated by Joe Riley for Cancer Research Fund
at TGen in memory of Russ and Brian Jackson – $140,000

3001Above: 1939 Cadillac LaSalle C-Hawk Custom Roadster (Lot #3005),
donated by Bubba Watson for Birdies for the Brave – $410,000

3006 copyAbove: 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible “1st Retail” (Lot #3006), donated by GM for United Way – $800,000

jeffgordoncarAbove: 1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR Busch Series Stock Car (Lot #3007),
donated by Jeff Gordon and Ray Evernham for Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation – $500,000

gt350frontAbove: Ford Shelby GT350R VIN #001 Coupe (Lot #3008),
donated by Ford for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation – $1,000,000

3009Above: 2014 Victory Cross Country 8-Ball Motorcycle (Lot #3009),
anonymously donated to benefit Ride 2 Recovery – $180,000

 

DSC_2600The 2015 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction was a star-studded extravaganza and included celebrities from the movie screen and TV, as well as from the sports industry and corporate world. Some of the biggest stars included four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson and Hollywood stars Sharon Stone and Tim Allen. Other popular luminaries included pop music artist CeeLo Green, country music artist Rodney Atkins, country music duo Thompson Square, rock music artists Alice Cooper and Michael Anthony, MLB Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, and actor Steven Seagal.

Barrett-Jackson’s new relationship with Velocity and Discovery Channel premiered with a spike in ratings for the channel during auction coverage in Scottsdale. Throughout 2015, Velocity and Discovery Channel will broadcast more than 100 hours of coverage that will include auctions in West Palm Beach, Fla., as well as Reno and Las Vegas, Nev., in 2015.For the first time, the Big Three automotive manufacturers—Ford Motor Company, GM and Dodge—were together at Barrett-Jackson, showcasing their latest models and offering exciting interactive activities for auction guests.

BARRETT-JACKSON SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS: Electrifying and unforgettable

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Like a lumbering giant, the 1950 General Motors Futurliner Parade of Progress Tour Bus from the Ron Pratte Collection idled into the packed arena at the 44th Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction. Onlookers could truly get a sense of the vehicle’s massive size. Pratte, a Vietnam veteran, is donating 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the Futurliner to the Armed Forces Foundation (AFF) in support of service members, veterans and their families. As the huge crowd enthusiastically waved American flags and cheered, a U.S. Marine Corps color guard took center stage, joined by veterans and active-duty military, and flanked by the ultra-rare transporter. The auctioneers got the ball rolling. As the price rose, so did the roar of the crowd—culminating in the hammer going down on the winning bid of $4 million. The collector car hobby is full of generous, patriotic enthusiasts. Another dozen or so generous individuals donated an additional $650,000, bringing the grand total to $4.65 million, all for AFF.

2501Lot #2501 – 1950 General Motors Futurliner Parade of Progress Tour Bus – $4,000,000

Just days after what would have been Carroll Shelby’s 92nd birthday, his personal 427 Cobra Super Snake returned to the auction block for the first time since 2007. After presiding in the Ron Pratte Collection, it’s clear that the Super Snake was in pristine condition with sparkling paint and a high state of tune. Hundreds of thousands had visited the car at its impressive display at WestWorld during the prior week, almost as if paying homage to a king. Enthusiasts reveled in what is the most valuable 427 Cobra roadster in existence. Between the car itself and the Barrett-Jackson display, it was clear that Ron Pratte and Barrett-Jackson covered all of the bases in anticipation of the Super Snake sale. When the time finally came for bidding to begin, only one thing was missing: Carroll Shelby himself. A friend to Ron Pratte, Craig Jackson, Steve Davis and so many in the collector car world, Carroll Shelby touched many lives. His spirit lives on in his legend as well as his cars. His soul has, in part, transferred to the metal, fabric and rubber that comprise the Super Snake. As the legendary Cobra changes hands, the new owner is but a custodian of a great car and a significant piece of Carroll Shelby history. Congratulations to the new owner. Shortly after the bidding closed without meeting reserve, a deal was struck for a sale price of $5.1115  million.

2509Lot #2509 – 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 “Super Snake” – $5,115,000

gt350Ford is knocking it out of the park with the Ford Shelby GT350R Coupe. The exciting new car was donated for a great cause with all proceeds benefitting Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The striking GT350R was driven onstage by none other than Mark Fields, CEO of Ford Motor Company, and accompanied by representatives of JDRF, who got the bidding rising quickly, resulting in a whopping $1 million raised for the cause, with another generous donation of $100,000 tacked on after the hammer went down.

gt350frontLot #3008 – Ford Shelby GT350R Couple – $1,000,000

The morning saw some incredible pieces of automobilia from the Ron Pratte Collection go up for auction, with the hottest item being a 1950s Chevrolet “Chevy Boy” single-sided neon porcelain dealership sign (Lot #9495), which went for $69,000. A unique Carroll Shelby Signature stainless steel neon sign (Lot #9490) was among the top sellers, fetching $37,950. An unusual item to rank in the top 10 of Saturday’s automobilia was a superb 1958 17-foot ChrisCraft wooden speedboat bar (Lot #9476), which a lucky bidder walked away with for $34,500. Ron Pratte’s pedal car collection was second to none; a 1956 Pontiac Club de Mer concept car design studio model pedal car (Lot #9471) sold for $33,925.

Among the record crowds at today’s auction were celebrities that included actress Sharon Stone; comedian Tim Allen; racing legends Jeff Gordon, Arie Luyendyk and Rusty Wallace; former MLB players Reggie Jackson, Pat Burrell and Paul Konerko; and Phoenix Suns player P.J. Tucker. Visitors not only enjoyed the acres and acres of car displays, sponsor exhibits, and the giant vendor marketplace, but were entertained to a true taste of the Southwest by a country music band and the second round of the exciting 2nd Annual Barrett-Jackson Bull-Riding Challenge.

 

Here are the remaining Top 10 sellers of the day:

2500Lot #2500 – 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama Concept Car – $3,300,000

5087Lot #5087 – 1949 Talbot-Lago T-26 Grand Sport Coupe – $1,650,000

5090Lot #5090 – 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster – $1,595,000

5075Lot #5075 – 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe – $1,100,000

5086Lot #5086 – 1937 Mercedes-Benz 320B Cabriolet – $1,045,000

2515Lot #2515 – 1936 Delahaye “Whatthehaye” Street-Rod – $671,000

5071Lot #5071 – 1991 Ferrari F40 – $643,500

5076Lot #5076 – 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300S Cabriolet – $643,500

2508Lot #2508 – 2005 Ford GT Coupe – $605,000

HONORING THEIR FATHERS AT BARRETT-JACKSON: Designers Boyd Coddington and Gil Ayala remembered

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An early promotional photo of Boyd Coddington and his Chezoom.

As a multitude of cars cross the block at the 44th Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction, you’ll notice one name mentioned by the auctioneers frequently: Boyd Coddington. In the world of hot rodding, the late Coddington was somewhat of a god. Known for his clean, elegant designs that became known as the “Boyd Look,” Boyd moved to California in 1968, building hot rods by day and working as a machinist at Disneyland during the night. He opened his own shop, Hot Rods by Boyd, in 1978, producing such iconic customs as Cadzilla and Chezoom. His already solid reputation escalated further with the success of the TLC/Discovery Channel show “American Hot Rod,” which debuted in 2004.

There are a dozen or so Coddington-built cars on the docket in Scottsdale, three of which will be auctioned today, one after the other, from the storied Ron Pratte Collection. Pratte was a great admirer of Boyd’s work. You’ll see the 1929 Ford “Alumatub” Hot Rod (Lot #2516), which was built on the “American Hot Rod” show, the 1936 Delahaye “Whatthehaye” Street-Rod (Lot #2515) and the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air “Chezoom” Custom (Lot #2514)—arguably the most recognized and famous ’57 Chevy in the world and one of Boyd’s most famous creations.

Chezoom, in fact, is quite special to Boyd’s son, Boyd Coddington Jr., who is at the Scottsdale auction today to watch his father’s cars cross the block. “That car was the beginning of the hot rod shop,” he remembers. “That time, that place, the whole electric atmosphere that surrounded that car from concept all the way through to completed product is one of my best memories of Hot Rods by Boyd ever. It’s my favorite car for sure.”

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Boyd Coddington Jr. by his father’s Chezoom at Barrett-Jackson this morning: “It’s my favorite car for sure.”

Boyd Jr. and his two brothers are carrying on their father’s legacy through businesses that deal in car care products, wheels and “other venues,” as Boyd Jr. puts it. Although it’s not his main line of business, he says he is doing some design work now, a “one-off deal,” but nowhere near the 15 to 20 cars a year like his dad used to do. He’s actually working on a concept car called the “Euro-Coupe,” which was on his dad’s drawing board when he passed away. “I’m going to build that car as a tribute to my dad,” he says. Boyd Jr. He also hopes one day to establish a “Coddington Registry,” similar to the Shelby Registry, to keep track of all of his father’s exceptional vehicles.

Gil Ayala was another great car builder out of California, a few decades before Boyd Coddington made his mark. Like Boyd Coddington Jr., Lynn Ayala, Gil’s youngest daughter, is here to celebrate her father’s legacy. Brothers Gil and Al Ayala were among the original custom car builders in the United States, along with their biggest rivals, George and Sam Barris. Gil started working on custom cars and hot rods when he was 17, back in the late 1940s. The Ayala brothers are both members of the Hot Rod Hall of Fame, their creations were often featured on the covers of top automotive magazines and Gil won the Grand National Roadster Show in 1951.

Although none of the Ayala creations are on the Scottsdale docket this year, Lynn made the trip to Barrett-Jackson this week to gather information and interviews as part of a docu-series she is producing about her father and the custom car world. “I was the son my dad never had,” she says. “I loved the race track and loved cars—I still do.” Lynn would go everywhere with her father, including hanging out at his shop. “He was one of a handful of a very few people, at least on the West coast, who began the whole art of customizing cars,” she says. “He started chopping Mercs. My dad would come up with a design; he was super-creative. And then together, he and my uncle would build the car and paint it.”

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Lynn Ayala by a 1950 Mercury Custom Coupe at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale.

Lynn came to Barrett-Jackson to film some cars similar to what her father used to create, and was thrilled to discover some with obvious Ayala influence, like a 1950 Mercury Custom Coupe (Lot #1103), which crossed the Barrett-Jackson block on Friday to the tune of $106,700. Her visit is all part of a quest to find her dad’s cars and have current builders restore them. “Every car has a story,” she says. “I’ve located a few of them, but there’s mystery around a couple.”

As the wonderful spectacle unfolds at Barrett-Jackson and these great cars continue to cross the block, you’ve got to wonder how great designers like Boyd Coddington and Gil Ayala would feel, seeing their creations auctioned off and going to new homes. Lynn laughs when asked what her father would think of the cars here at Barrett-Jackson this week. “I would probably have to go looking for him, because he’d be underneath a car looking at stuff,” she says. “But I think he would have a great time. He would love it, and he would love that I am doing this.”

“My dad would be extremely pleased,” says Boyd Jr. “He’s watching, you know. I think he’d be sad that Ron is giving up the collection, as he obviously had more Boyd cars than anybody out there and I know they were good friends. But he’d be really pleased at how they are doing. Anybody who owns a Boyd-built car, they’re part of the Coddington family now.”

SATURDAY AT BARRETT-JACKSON SCOTTSDALE: 25 STORYLINES TO FOLLOW

If you’ve been to Barrett-Jackson before, you’ll know that the final Saturday is always a blockbuster experience. But this year, Saturday at the 44th Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction has so many extraordinary vehicles crossing the block that no single press release or eBlast can contain the news. Everywhere you look, historically significant and groundbreaking cars abound. While there are literally hundreds of tales to tell and every car is special, here are 25 storylines to keep in mind as the vehicles cross the block Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015.

ONE: Two of the most important Thunderbirds in the world are here: The first production Thunderbird and what is arguably the most rare performance-equipped bird of them all.

1957 Ford ThunderbirdLot #2523 (Above) – 1955 Ford Thunderbird Convertible “Serial #005.” Produced at the Michigan factory on September 9, 1954, this car has been verified by Ford officials as the first production Thunderbird. It has captured the attention of writers, collectors and car buffs throughout the world.

 

1957 Ford Thunderbird Phase One D/F SuperchargedLot #5104 (Above) – 1957 Ford Thunderbird Phase One D/F Supercharged. This is one of 15 hand-built for Ford Competition at Ford Headquarters, and one of only eight known to survive today. The “Phase One” cars are considered to be even more rare than the coveted 1957 “F” Factory Supercharged Thunderbirds.

 

TWO: The incredibly rare and significant Futurliner will be auctioned for charity.

GM FuturlinerOne of 12 built, the 1950 General Motors Futurliner Parade of Progress Tour Bus (Lot #2501, above) is a bona fide piece of American history. The GM design staff, under Harley Earl’s direction, created this self-contained display and transport vehicle. Its sale is made even more special by the generosity of Ron Pratte: 100 percent of the proceeds from the auction of this amazing vehicle will go to the Armed Forces Foundation.

 

THREE: One of the greatest concept cars in American history, the Bonneville Special, will cross the block.

Pontiac Bonneville SpecialLong before the Internet and mass media, the GM Motorama traveled from city to city to spread the word about the latest General Motors innovation: the jet-themed 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama Concept Car (Lot #2500, above). At the time, no GM car had ever carried the Bonneville name. This is one of only two ever made, and is certainly a contender for the best-remembered Motorama car.

 

FOUR: Not one, but three L88 Corvettes will be under one roof and for sale at the same time. 

Sunray DX L88 CorvetteLot #5035 (above) – 1968 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible L88 Race Car. Built and raced by Don Yenko with co-drivers Peter Revson and Pedro Rodriguez, this special car has received the coveted NCRS American Heritage Award representing Corvette legacy. It’s a blue-chip collectible that can be vintage-raced.

James Garner AIR L88 CorvetteLot #5048 (above) – 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible L88 Race Car. The 22nd factory-production L88 ever built, the second built in the 1968 model year, and one of the first-ever L88s with “cabin heaters.” A Pole Winner, GT class, in the 1968 Daytona 24 Hours, it was campaigned by AIR, with late actor James Garner as its team principal.

L88 CorvetteLot #5049 (above) – 1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88. This very rare L88 street car is one of 116 and had a body-off restoration by Nabor Bros. of Houston, Texas, and was then Bloomington Certified in 1990.

 

FIVE: Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale is one of only two places in the world where you can get a glimpse of the new Shelby GT350R.

Shelby GT350RLot #3008 (Above) Fresh from the model’s unveiling at the Detroit International Auto Show, bidders will vie for VIN #001 of the new Ford Shelby GT350R Coupe, with all proceeds going to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. You could view the GT350R in Detroit. You can own it here at Barrett-Jackson.

 

SIX: One of only three Franay-bodied short wheelbase Talbot-Lago T-26 Grand Sports will be crossing the auction block.

Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport FranayThis 1949 Talbot-Lago T-26 Grand Sport Coupe Franay (Lot #5087, above) is also one of only eight built on the same short chassis used on their Grand Prix cars. It’s a one-off design and is the only T-26 Franay to be fitted with a sunroof. The fitted luggage is an exquisite feature from a bygone era.

 

SEVEN: The Ferrari F40 owned by Mr. October, Reggie Jackson, and built by Gas Monkey Garage is sure to generate some excitement.

1991 Ferrari F40 Gas Monkey GarageThis 1991 Ferrari F40 (Lot #5071, above) was built and upgraded by the “Fast ’N Loud” crew as well as Ferrari experts, and great attention was taken to make the chassis equal or better than a stock F40, and the HRE wheels are one-of-a-kind forgings. It’s a Hot Rod.

 

EIGHT: In very short supply worldwide, Barrett-Jackson offers a rare opportunity to own a 2014 BMW I8 Hybrid.

BMW I8Bidders will have an opportunity to own one of the most sought-after and hard-to-get cars of 2014, the BMW I8 Supercar (Lot #1315, above). Only a few hundred were built for the U.S. market; this is one of less than 500 built.

 

NINE: Three Ford GTs, including an ultra-rare Heritage Edition and Serial #003, the lowest-production number 2005 vehicle, will cross the block. These cars continue to appreciate with no end in sight. They are also great cars to drive and own.

Ford GT Heritage EditionLot #5072.1 (Above) – 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition, one of only 343 in the Heritage/Gulf paint scheme.

Ford GT Serial 003 Lot #2508, Above – 2005 Ford GT Serial #003, the lowest production number offered to the public and the ultimate American sports car.

Ford GT with stripe deleteLot #5066, Above – a 2005 Ford GT with a rare stripe delete and showing less than 3,500 miles on the odometer.

 

TEN: Two stars of the silver screen will have starring roles on the block.

5058This 1965 Plymouth Barracuda Custom “Fireball 500” (Lot #5058, above) is the only one in existence. It was built by Kustom King George Harris, also known for the Batmobile, and was the “car star” of the 1966 movie “Fireball 500” starring Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello and Fabian. The sale comes with photographs signed by George Barris as well as the stars of the film.

1955 Chevy Two Lane BlacktopThis 1955 Chevrolet Custom “Two-Lane Blacktop” (Lot #7003, above) is the original movie car driven by James Taylor and Beach Boy Dennis Wilson in the 1971 cult classic road movie “Two-Lane Blacktop.” The car’s original builder, Richard Ruth, will be on hand to celebrate the iconic car’s sale.

 

ELEVEN: The first-ever Corvette race car is sure to generate some excitement.

First Corvette Race CarThis 1953 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster Race Car (Lot #5054, above) is the oldest-known Corvette race car, a Daytona Beach “NASCAR Unit” created by Chevrolet Engineering for Bill France, to be run in the 1956 Daytona Speed Week.

 

TWELVE: The legendary 1968 Lotus turbine-powered Indy race car will roar onto the block.

Lotus Jet Turbine Powered Indy Race CarA marvel of automotive engineering, this iconic STP-sponsored #70 Lotus 56-3 Indy Race Car from 1968 (Lot #5069, above) houses one of the first turbine engines ever used in an Indy car. Racing legend Graham Hill found himself behind the wheel of this beast in 1968 after winning the Indy 500 in 1966, and he set a new track record with it: an average speed of 171.208 mph over four laps in qualifying.

 

THIRTEEN: A custom De Tomaso Pantera built by the Ringbrothers is likely to fetch the highest sale price for the Italian-built make and model. Of particular interest is that the car is a full-on custom, not a restored original.

Ringbrothers PanteraThis 1972 De Tomaso Pantera Custom (Lot #5072, above) combines Italian styling with American horsepower in a package full of modern features, including an LS3 pumping out a healthy 600hp through a ZF 5-speed gearbox. Cars like this Pantera epitomize modern day coach-building.

 

FOURTEEN: The president of Duesenberg’s personal company car will cross the block and it has a supercharger.

DuesenbergThis was Lucius B. Manning’s company car, one of the perks of being Duesenberg president. This grand 1935 Duesenberg SJ Dual-Cowl Phaeton (Lot #5078, above) was designed from the outset to be the world’s finest car, and debuted at the New York Auto Salon on December 1, 1928, where its launch dominated newspaper headlines and halted trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

 

FIFTEEN: A car built for a U.S. president will motor across the block.

Hoover CadillacThis 1929 Cadillac Fleetwood Transformable Town Cabriolet (Lot #5080, above) was a special build overseen for the president of Cadillac Motor Cars, Lawrence P. Fisher, who presented it to U.S. President Herbert Hoover and his wife as a gift.

 

SIXTEEN: A car valued for its ownership and unusual customization will be up for auction.

Howard Hughes Buick RoadmasterHoward Hughes’ historic 1953 Buick Roadmaster (Lot #2503, above) has only 5,339 original miles and was found in Hollywood, California, stored on blocks.  It was customized to accommodate Mr. Hughes’ idiosyncrasies, including a complex germ filtration system. One of the richest men in history, Billionaire Howard Hughes drove a Buick.

 

SEVENTEEN: The first car Carroll Shelby ever raced.

MG TC Carrol ShelbyThis 1949 MG TC Roadster (Lot #2510, above) is an incredibly significant automobile. Carroll Shelby’s entire automotive and racing career started right here behind the steering wheel of this car. Having never driven in an automobile race before, Carroll Shelby hopped into this little MG and crossed the finish line first using sheer will, beating much faster cars.

 

EIGHTEEN: As if traveling forward through time, ultra-low-mile classic cars are in high demand.

1989 Ferrari TestarossaA selection of ultra-low-mile collector cars will cross the block today, including a 1988 Ferrari Testarossa (Lot #5092, above) with only 280 miles and a 1969 Corvette L89 (Lot #5050) with only 352 miles. Because the Corvette has never been titled, the high bidder will technically be the original owner.

 

NINETEEN.:“America’s Most Beautiful Street Rod” 2014 winner will motor across the block.

1936 Dodge CustomA 1936 Dodge Brothers Touring Sedan (Lot #5006, above), this is The Goodguys Rod and Custom Association’s 2014 “Americas Most Beautiful Street Rod” winner. The seemingly flawless beauty is powered by a late-model HEMI and has a show quality paint job.

 

TWENTY: At least five ultra-low production, late-model Shelby automobiles will be up for auction.

Shelby GT500 KR with glass roofComing out of the Pratte Collection, the offering includes Serial #000 GT500 KR (Lot #2526, above), the only 2008 example equipped with a glass roof, and a 2013 Ford Shelby GT500, Serial #001 (Lot #2527), with a supercharged 5.8L DOHC V8 making an extraordinary 882 horsepower.

 

TWENTY-ONE.:A one-of-a kind offering will be up for auction: Bunkie Knudsen’s personal Corvette Styling Car.

Bunkie Knudson CorvetteAs general manager for Chevrolet, Bunkie Knudson had the clout to order a one-of-a-kind show car for his own personal use.  This flashy 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Styling Car (Lot #5051.1, above) was penned by design legend Larry Shinoda, who later worked for Ford. Valuable features include fuel injection and many one-off design cues, including the steering wheel.

 

TWENTY-TWO: One jet-turbine powered car is not enough for the Barrett-Jackson docket.

1978 Corvette Jet Turbine CarThe second turbine car, a 1978 Chevrolet Corvette Jet Turbine-Powered Custom (Lot #5070, above) is one you can drive on the street. It does 0-60 in 3.2 seconds. The engine revs to 37,500 rpm. Make sure you’re cleared for take-off before dropping the hammer on this baby. The consignors have been rolling the car outside of the main tent and lighting off the turbine just for fun.

 

TWENTY-THREE: The tradition of starting the Salon Collection Sale with a 300 SL Gullwing continues.

300SL GullwingEach year, Barrett-Jackson kicks off the Salon Collection sale with a Gullwing. This year, we have a beautiful matching numbers example, a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing (Lot #5075, above), which spent a significant portion of its life in Central America. It features rare Rudge wheels and fitted luggage.

 

TWENTY-FOUR: Two cars from the Pininfarina Museum will cross the block.

Pininfarina XThe first Pininfarina automobile is an extremely rare 1952 Alfa Romeo 1900 C Sprint (Lot #5042) with Pininfarina coachwork. The second is a design study spearheaded by Batista “Pinin” Farina himself. The unusual 1960 Pininfarina “X” car (Lot #5043) has four wheels, but they are arranged in an unusual diamond layout with one wheel at the front, another at the rear and wheels at either side. The X is a running and driving car that you can enjoy with your friends. It is truly a one of a kind collectible.

 

TWENTY-FIVE: Carroll Shelby’s personal, one and only Super Snake 427 Cobra will rock the house.

Cobra Super SnakeThe only one of its kind, Carroll Shelby built this over-the-top 1966 427 Cobra (Lot #2509, above) to blow off steam and generate attention for the Shelby brand. With two superchargers and 800hp, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own the ultimate 427 Cobra roadster. Owned and driven by Carroll Shelby himself.

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