For whatever reason, many of us enjoy watching rich people buy cars for one week every year, at the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale.
For most people around the country, that experience is given to you through the boob tube, but the in-person experience is a bit more than watching two dudes fight over who gets to throw more money at the same Camaro you could've sworn has been auctioned off 10 times already.
So, after inhaling a couple hours of Barrett-Jackson yesterday, we're going to fill you in on some of the awesome stuff there that you won't see on TV, as well as some of the not-so-awesome stuff.
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For example, here's something awesome: You and a friend can drag race Mustangs -- inside a building. It's on a dyno, if you didn't figure that part, and they're not your Mustangs, so that's pretty cool. On the other hand, something not-awesome is the auction hall itself. Like going to an NFL game, unless you pony up the money for some good seats, you're not seeing as much as you'd see in HD on your television set. You don't get to look the smug rich fellow dead in the eye when he nods his head in approval to drop six figures on a purple Barracuda.
That said, here's our completely non-inclusive list of awesome and not-awesome from Barrett-Jackson:
- Awesome: BMW M3 recliner
- Not awesome: Cars that belong on used-car lot
- Awesome: Batmobile
- Not awesome: This
- Awesome: How unavoidable this car is
- Not awesome: George W. Bush's Ford F-150
Awesome: The thought that some dude finally gets to cash in on this thing, maybe because Clint Eastwood was a racist, old bastard in that one movie.
The new owner of this Gran Torino owes $40,700.00.
- Not awesome: This
Damn straight. Do your home thing while sitting in a reclining chair, inside something that looks like a BMW M3. iPod dock? Yessir. Headlights that work? Yessir. Spinning wheels? Yessir. Any more questions? The company that makes this, Phoenix-based Artomotive Designs, also makes other household stuff out of vehicle parts.
As we walked through tents filled with cars that had already been sold at the auction, we stumbled across this 1999 Mercedes-Benz SLK230. "What?" we asked ourselves. We checked the information to see if this was owned by Charles Barkley or something -- nope, just some person's SLK230, which was sold at Barrett-Jackson. We thought it to be strange that Barrett-Jackson is the place for a car that's worth perhaps $10,000 (we checked with Kelley Blue Book, which shows about $11,000 under the best possible conditions). The 193-horsepower bore sold for $7,700 on Wednesday.
This is the 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car that is also the original friggin' Batmobile -- 'nuff stad.
It's actually kind of awesome because this car was part of a vendor display, and not up for auction.
Think for a second: how many DeLorean DMC-12s have you seen in your lifetime? If you go to a fair number of car shows and auctions, you've no doubt seen quite a few -- like, a lot. It seems like they're everywhere. Then consider that the Los Angeles Times reported in 2007 that only about 6,500 still exist. There's one, pictured above, and here are seven on eBay at this very second. One of those eBay sellers says they keep "eight to twelve DeLoreans in stock at all times." It seems like the most not-rare rare car there is, which is probably due to time travel, or something.
To the former president's credit, he proved us wrong. For some reason we were expecting to find out that Bush was driving a V6 pickup truck, and were planning to call him a total
pussy RiNO. Bush wins, again, but we lost the point -- it's not that special.