Monday, January 21, 2008

1/16/07 Greatest Car Show on Earth

Today we went on a tag-a-long with other Quail Run winter residents to Scottsdale, Arizona. We didn't go to see the city, or monuments, or landmarks. We made the trip so that we could attend the 37th Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction. We met the others at 7:15 a.m. to make what should have been a little over an hour drive. We were given a map to follow and it was all good, except the map was for the wrong place. The map directed us to the Barrett-Jackson offices, not to the WestWorld complex where the auction was taking place. When we realized the mistake we loaded WestWorld into "Doris" our GPS system and made it there in no time.

Bob and I have watched this auction on TV for the past several years and now we were going to be there where all the action is!
We entered into the arena from the left in the picture above. That section and the next were where the vendors were situated. We were surprised at what was sold there. We thought it would all be auto related but we were very much wrong. Several jewelers had booths and it wasn't costume jewelry! Other booths held sleep number mattresses, clothing, lots of neon signs for sale, novelty picture frames, vintage gas pumps, furniture and even presidential desks! Trust me, there was no wasted space!

This 57 Chevy greeted us just inside the door. A beauty isn't she?
This next car, I forget the year but its OLD, was perfect in every way. The woman taking a picture from the rear of the car is Shelly. We met up with our friends Bobby and Shelly soon after we arrived.
Back to the vendors. There was one booth that sold autographed items. Guitars, baseball bats, drumsticks, pictures, shoes and a multitude of other things all nicely framed with BIG price tags. I took notice of this guitar.
And this was one of the least expensive ones.

We made our way outside to see what was going on there. We passed the staging area where the cars are lined up to go on stage.
This next picture shows the car above showing on the Jumbotron inside the auction area. It isn't sold when this picture was taken but you can see how much the bid is up to.
We toured some million dollar plus motorhomes and had our portrait drawn by a caricature artist. Bobby and I went through a HUGE houseboat that was parked in the parking lot. You could enter a contest to win a 4 day/3 night stay in the boat. I wanted to enter but Bobby reminded me that it would generate junk mail and when you pay for mail forwarding that is a no-no. This houseboat slept 12 in six bedrooms. It had everything you can imagine including a dishwasher and a hot tub on the upper deck. Did I think to take pictures? NO! Rental for this floating palace is only a mere $23,000 per day. Now don't all rush to make your reservations!

Cars and trucks (and some boats) that are going up for auction are set up for inspection for the bidders under these eight acres of tents.
We were surprised to find out the what people had to go through in order to be a bidder. If they registered before December 1st they had to pay $400.00 registration fee and if after 12/1 it went up to $500.00. They also had to provide a letter from their bank stating how much they were good for. That's not all, they to provide a recent color picture too! In addition if they had to send 10% of what they were able to bid. For instance, if someone had $100,000 to spend on cars then he/she had to send in a $10,000 deposit.

The winners of the auctions have 72 hours to get their vehicles paid for and off the premises.

It was now time to go back inside to get some lunch. Several vendors were serving food and you could get anything from pizza to hot dogs to BBQ to salads and the list goes on. Need I tell you it was expensive? Three dollars for a bottle of coke!!!!

Time to go into the auction. We were allowed to sit on the bleachers but not allowed to sit on the chairs inside the chained off area. That was for bidders and we definitely weren't bidding!

I've heard auctioneers before but none that spoke as fast as these guys! It was just amazing. Each vehicle took just a few minutes from the time they made it to the stage to the time it was bid on, sold and driven off the other end. They auction off 200 cars each day.

The highest price we saw while we were there was $100,000.00 for a 56 Chevy.

In addition to paying the bidder registration each winning bidder had to pay 8% of the sale price to Barrett Jackson. Each seller had to pay 7% so Barrett Jackson was bringing in a pretty penny to say the least! The 2007 auction in Scottsdale brought in over seven million dollars worth of vehicles sold.

What a day it was! We are so glad we went to see this auction.

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