Barrett-Jackson's Collector Car Auctions are multi-day extravaganzas with everything from drift demos to fashion shows, but the main attraction is always what's rolling onto the block.
By Annabelle Frankl
Four auctions in four states, an insurance arm, huge charitable donations, and even a new NASCAR sponsorship: Life is pretty busy for Craig Jackson and the Barrett-Jackson company. Since 1971, and particularly after the past 15 years of aggressive growth and expansion, the company has seen sales in excess of $500m. And that's just since 2006, at one of them: the jewel in the crown, the Scottsdale, Arizona, auction.
Q&A / Craig Jackson
After 40 years in the business, 15 in a leadership role, what still excites you about what you do? I am still excited to this day when the gavel falls and I hear the cheers from the crowd because a beautiful car was just purchased. As a fellow collector car enthusiast, I can appreciate their excitement because I know that we just fulfilled someone's dream of owning a particular car, and the crowd knows it too.
\Do you have a large, personal car collection? If so, please name a few favorites, particularly if you got them at auction. I do have a personal collection that I am quite proud of and I drive each and every car as often as possible. I have a favorite in different categories: Favorite muscle car: Hemi Cuda Convertible; favorite sports car: 427 Cobra; favorite supercar: Bugatti Veyron.
Any favorite moment(s) from the many auctions you have attended and shepherded over the years? September last year at the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Auction stands out. Our president, Steve Davis, donated his personally owned 1964 Ford Fairlane Custom to be sold for charity, benefiting The Armed Forces Foundation. The car was bought by Ron Pratte for $700,000, who promptly donated the car back to be sold again for the same charity.
It then sold in Scottsdale for $1 million. I was very humbled and proud to be a part of this kind of philanthropic event.
Celebrating its 41st year in January, with sales of $92m, 270,000 attendees, and nearly 40 hours of live auction action on SPEED, its levels are once again approaching the heady days of 2007. Record-breaking sales on what's commonly referred to as "Shatterday Saturday" attracts lots of attention; the top-priced seller this year was a 1948 Tucker Torpedo, one of only 15 ever made, going for an unexpected $2.195m.
But not all sales are for profit. Charitable lots have been a feature since the beginning and include both old classics and, more recently, brand-new models that raise big bucks for good causes. In Scottsdale, a stunning 1964 Ford Fairlane – auctioned charitably for the second time in five months – fetched $1m for the Armed Forces Foundation, while a 2013 427 Corvette Convertible raised $700,000 for the AARP Drive for Hunger, just two of 22 lots that saw $5.9m raised. In addition to raising funds for both local and national causes, money goes toward the Barrett-Jackson Cancer Research Fund, established in 2010 in honor of Mr. Jackson's late father and brother, who respectively started and steered the company until their untimely deaths from colon cancer.
Upcoming Auctions April 5-7, 2012 10th Annual Palm Beach Auction; June 22-24, 2012 3rd Annual Orange County Auction; September 20-22, 2012 5th Annual Las Vegas Auction; January 2013 42nd Annual Scottsdale Auction
About Barrett-Jackson Est. 1971 with 1st Scottsdale, AZ auction. 1997 Craig Jackson becomes Chairman; first airing of live auction on SPEED. 2002 Launch of Palm Beach, FL auction. 2007 Endeavor Capital takes stake in company, ensuring future growth. 2007 Highest auction price reached to date with sale of Carroll Shelby's own 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake, sold for $5.5m. 2008 Launch of Las Vegas, NV auction. 2009 Barrett-Jackson Endorsed Collector Car Insurance announced. 2010 Launch of Orange County Auction.