Micah Anderson, the Managing Editor of Off Road Xtreme™ at Power Automedia asked me “What is it like at the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction?” during a check-in call. I was on assignment at the world-famous auto auction for Power Automedia and had been at the event for a couple of days already. My initial reply was “How much time do you have?”
This year was the 50th Anniversary of Barrett-Jackson. It is the premier auction of automobiles including antique cars, classic cars, muscle cars, off-road vehicles, motorcycles, and more. The auction is held in Scottsdale, Arizona every year and attracts car aficionados, aftermarket vendors, sellers, spectators, and of course the media.
The Barrett-Jackson Auction
Barrett-Jackson, “The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions”, is the leader in collector car auctions and automotive lifestyle events. Russ Jackson and Tom Barrett organized the original auction back in 1971 and is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. Barrett-Jackson is run by Craig Jackson (son of Russ Jackson) and Steve Davis, who have nearly a century of combined experience in the automotive field.
My first exposure to Barrett-Jackson was watching the annual event on The History Channel. The event has been broadcasted live by The History Channel for several years and since then has become even more popular television choice for the general public as fans of these beautiful automobiles.
This year the complete Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction was filmed and broadcasted live by FYI and the History Channel for all the viewers that cannot make it to Scottsdale. Complete information about the cars for sale, the charity cars and the event as it progresses was all included.
Barrett-Jackson is hosted at the Westworld of Scottsdale Equestrian Center. The 300,000 sq. ft venue sits on 386 acres of pristine desert at the base of the McDowell Mountains. This venue hosts this auction, Off Road Expo, Arizona Bike Week, and is widely known to host several world -class equestrian events every year.
The Cars At Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction
This year’s collection of cars and other vehicles to be auctioned was over 1,800 vehicles over nine days. These vehicles range from early 1900s antiques, classic cars before the 1950s, show cars, luxury cars both old and new, sports cars of all kinds, a unique collection of super exotic hyper cars, muscle cars, Jeeps, trucks, and even a couple tractors.
The cars were spread across the buildings of WestWorld and several huge outdoor tents with cars parked underneath all of them. The cars to be auctioned all had tags on them with a Lot Number, Year, Make, Model, and other pertinent information. Several of the cars had huge placards in front of them with additional information about the car and modifications done to it. Several cars also had flyers or postcards with details that anyone could pick up.
One could spend hours looking at all of the cars and reading some of the information. I did exactly that. I walked throughout the buildings and outdoor tents and took photos of several of these beautiful vehicles every day I was at Barrett-Jackson.
The Off-Road Vehicles At Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction
My assignment is to look for Jeeps, trucks, and other off-road vehicles, but it is easy to get sidetracked by the muscle cars, Corvettes, and other great cars. Over the nine days I had plenty of time to look at the off-road vehicles as well as everything else.
There are antique trucks, 1970s Land Rovers, 1980s 4x4s, built-up Jeeps and pickups, and even a firetruck or two. Every building or tent had several off-road vehicles up for auction. At each of these tents you can get a closeup look at the motor, suspension, tires and other parts of the builds. There was quite a selection of vehicles for the off-road enthusiasts. Below, the classic Power Wagon flatbed and the Land Cruiser caught my eye!
The vendors are an integral part of the Barrett-Jackson experience. All of the major car manufacturers are here to show off their latest model offerings. Ford had the first spot as you entered the main building with all of their latest car and truck models here including some of the new Ford Electric Vehicles (EV).
As you continued to walk towards the auction arena, you would come across other car manufacturers as well. Chevrolet displayed their banner of “70 Years of Chevrolet Corvettes” with some of the latest models on display. The also had a new SUV dressed up as a vehicle equipped for overlanding with a Roof-Top Tent attached to the top. This bright red Tahoe got lots of attention by the attendees.
Chrysler was there with their new vehicles and the RAM TRX Off-Road Experience which Off Road Xtreme recently featured. Toyota had their cars and trucks here with a beautiful 2022 Tundra TRD Pro and Tundra Capstone on display. You might have heard about the crazy seven figures these trucks fetched at auction with all proceeds being donated to the Toyota U.S. Paralympic Fund.
All the other main auto manufacturers had their latest models here as well. Along with the car manufacturers there were numerous other vendors on display. Companies specializing in modifying sports cars, off-road upgrade and equipment manufacturers. Event Cirrus, an Airbus company that makes jets and helicopters had both here to see and get up close to.
There were many food and beverage vendors were here in a large food court area; beer and mixed drinks booths scattered throughout the premises; and anything remotely related to automobiles you could most likely find here.
They had two different locations for live music – one inside and one on an outside stage that played at different times throughout the event.
The History Channel has exclusive rights to film and photograph the actual auction block while the auction was ongoing. The cars are lined up in several staging lanes. It is a smooth, fast process for each car to either drive or be pushed up onto the auction block and the bidding begins.
As the bidding was going on, they would pause the bidding and would give details about the particular vehicle. Once they were done giving the additional information the bidding would continue until the gavel came down with a “Sold” exclamation.
I was so busy I did not spend much time watching the actual bidding but when I did it was incredibly interesting to see.
Barrett-Jackson has been doing this for fifty years and you can see firsthand that is a well-run auction with lots of different activities going all every day. The Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction is a must-see event for any automobile enthusiast!