March 30, 2023

Scottsdale, Arizona: Under the tents, under the lights, on stage, front and center; the world’s most desirable automobiles trade hands. January is classic car auction season in Arizona, with several companies hosting premier events raising enthusiasm and millions of dollars.

Collector cars are commanding record-high prices these days—some well into the millions. Some owners buy them as investments, with good returns as they acquire them, then sell popular vehicles. Others are car guys; still, others just want to drive something cool. These large events have something for everybody.

Here is a roster of January Arizona auctions:

Barrett-Jackson: Jan. 12-20; Scottsdale, AZ
International Classic Auctions: Jan. 12 -13; Gilbert, AZ
Russo & Steele: Jan. 16-20; Scottsdale, AZ
RM Vintage Motor Cars: Jan. 17-18; Phoenix, AZ
Silver Auctions: Jan. 18-21; Fort McDowell, AZ
Kruse: Jan. 24-27; Phoenix, AZ

Indiana-based Kruse International is the volume leader, hosting 30 annual national events, involving 13,000 vehicles yearly. Their Labor Day event in Auburn is the largest collector car auction/show in the country, featuring 5,000 vehicles for sale.

Scottsdale’s Barrett-Jackson holds the marquis event in January, attracting more than 1,250 vehicles, and 250,000 attendees. Barrett-Jackson claims to produce The World’s Greatest Collector Car Events, and they don’t disappoint.

Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale event is much more than a car auction. While other companies concentrate on niche markets, B-J also auctions memorabilia, boats, motorcycles, helicopters; anything that gets a man’s blood pumping. They attract vehicles like the Monkeymobile from the 60’s television show; and curiosities such as Robosaurus, a dino-shaped, fire-breathing, car-crunching robot.

The event features facilities for automobile vendors; live entertainment; and a super-lounge called the Lifestyle Pavilion, offering massages and exotic cigars. Two fashion shows will be held this year, and Family Value Day (Jan. 13th) will offer free admission to servicemen and women, police officers, and firefighters.

Barrett-Jackson’s event is filled with charitable efforts, but it’s also a great source of money. Sales last year topped $112 million, with the highest prices paid for one-of-a-kind concept cars, prototypes, and ultra-rare, ultra-exotic cars like Carroll Shelby’s personal 1969 convertible; or a 1933 Duesenberg Dual Cowl Phaeton; or the flying car and 40 others from the Monster Garage television series.

Forty hours of the auction will be broadcast live on Speed Network. A commemorative magazine the Barrett-Jackson Experience will hit newsstands later in the year. B-J’s Scottsdale auction is one of the most venerated car events in the country.

Barrett-Jackson also holds events in Palm Beach, Florida; and recently announced a new event to be held October 16-18, 2008, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fast cars, high-rollers, and Sin City—hey, it might catch on!

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