HomeThe MarketChart provides entertaining perspective on what makes cars appealing at auction

Chart provides entertaining perspective on what makes cars appealing at auction



Did you know that 28 percent of the vehicles offered for auction in January at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale sale were red? Or that 19 percent were black? And if you add in the 16 percent that were blue, those three colors covered more than half the lots that crossed the block?

But get this: Among the cars that sold, those which brought the most money were painted black, followed by silver, yellow, blue, red, orange, white and green.

Or did you know that cars with darker-colored interiors sold for nearly $10,000 more on average than those with lighter-colored passenger compartments?

Or did you know that vehicles with manual transmissions brought more than $10,000 on average compared to those with automatics?

Says who? Says Spork Marketing, a data-driven Internet marketing company from Denver. Spork’s staff spent 30 hours analyzing the results of Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale sale and produced a colorful, informative and entertaining graphic display. The chart was produced on behalf of Spork’s client, H&H Classic Parts, a Bentonville, Ark., business that sells some 20,000 parts from more than 120 producers to people restoring or maintaining classic Chevrolet vehicles.


We hope it’s interesting and entertaining, and possibly gives them room for thought.”

— Spork spokesperson


[/pullquote]While knowing that every visit to a client’s website doesn’t result in a sale, a  Spork Marketing spokesperson explained that the goal in producing the Barrett-Jackson chart was to generate increased traffic for HHClassic.com. One hope is that the chart demonstrates, she said, that H&H “is invested in thought leadership and wants to have an impact on the industry.”

The chart, the spokesperson added, isn’t “all-encompassing, an end-all and be-all, but it is interesting and gives somebody collecting cars a view of what’s current for 2014 and maybe they can glean something from it.

“We hope it’s interesting and entertaining, and possibly gives them room for thought.”

For example, were you preparing a car to sell at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, you might have been wise to paint that car black or silver — or even yellow — and to make sure the interior was darker rather than lighter in shade. Oh, and as the chart notes, there was a 20-percent premium for vehicles with manual gearboxes.

To enhance the statistical significance of its research, Spork eliminated the top and bottom five percent of vehicles in line with standard statistical deviations. However, it could be that Plymouths sold for more on average than Dodges, Chevys, Fords or Pontiacs simply because the quality of the Plymouths in the Barrett-Jackson catalog was particularly strong.

Or maybe Barrett-Jackson bidders just really like Mopar products.

Or maybe Chevys really are worth nearly $10 grand more than Fords. Or maybe there simply were a lot of Fords for sale and that brought down the average price.

Whatever, the chart is interesting and informative, and we’re guessing it also is likely to spark some interesting conversations over the work bench and at cruise-ins. Perhaps even in the “Share your thoughts!” box below.


Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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