Of the many collector car auctions taking place during Arizona Auction Week 2020, the longest continually running — as well as the biggest — is Barrett-Jackson. With more than 1,500 cars on offer it, has the largest inventory of any of the sales.
In my opinion, Barrett-Jackson is a classic car Disneyland with an auction because there are so many activities to participate in as well as buying a car.
For example, you can take hot laps with a pro driver in a number of cars, from Fords and Chevys to the new Toyota Supra. You can eat just about any food that you can think of, and you can buy everything from zany bronze animal statues to massage chars, Rolex watches, quality automotive paintings by noted artists, and even BBQ grills.
Somehow, with all of these distractions going on, it is still the cars that are center stage and the element that bring the tens of thousands of people to the big top at WestWorld of Scottsdale.
I went through every car at the auction venue and picked the 6 cars that I most liked. No none of them are the most expensive cars on the grounds, but I thought that all were quite interesting.
1995 BMW E36 M3 Lightweight
This car is part of the Paul Walker collection and a car that is proof positive that the late actor was a serious enthusiast and car collector. One of 125 or so M3 Lightweight models, the car weighs in at 200 pounds less than the standard version. These M3s have become serious collector cars and this one of the many offered from the Walker collection, with 15,000 original miles, was my favorite.
1973 Ford Bronco
This blue Bronco custom, a truck that I like a lot, was in the tents outside and may well end up being one of the best deals on one of these up-and-coming classics at the auction. Not stock in a lot of ways, it is still powered by a Ford 302 V8 with a moderate life and would be a great truck for the Copperstate Overland Rally.
1969 Shelby GT500 convertible
Yes, I know, this is not a Shelby-built GT500 and that Ford built it on the assembly line, but I honestly prefer these final body style Shelby cars to the 1967 and ’68 cars, and only prefer the ’65 and ’66 Shelby Mustangs better. These cars are among some of the best deals for a GT500 with the Shelby nameplate.
1982 Datsun pickup
And now for something completely different, here is the cleanest ‘80s Datsun pickup I have seen since they were new. A great choice to drive to the ClassicCars.com Future Collectors Car Show, I hope that one of our younger readers gets it.
1959 Austin Healey Sprite race car
And how we get to what is honestly my favorite car of the entire Barrett-Jackson auction. So it’s a Sprite race car, who cares right? Well, this specific car is one of the Shelby driving school cars. It is documented with original hand-signed letters from Carroll Shelby and Peter Brock and also comes with numerous period pictures and other documents, all included in the sale. A British vintage race car with Shelby provenance, this ticks all the boxes for me.
1968 AMC AMX
To me the AMX, especially the early rear seat-delete cars such as this one, are the Shelby cars of the American Motors world. These cars are the sleeper of the entire pony car genre and represent a great deal. At a car show you will see scores of Mustangs and Camaros, but likely have the only AMX there.