Barrett-Jackson scales new heights with record-setting Scottsdale sale

The seven-day auction reached $141 million with more than 1,900 vehicles sold

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A 2017 Ford GT on the crowded auction stage | Barrett-Jackson photos

Led by the much-anticipated charity sale of the first-production 2020 mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette, Barrett-Jackson scored the highest-grossing collector car auction in its history during the 49th annual Scottsdale sale.

The total was more than $141 million (including auction fees), with $129.7 million from its largest-ever docket of more than 1,900 vehicles, $7.625 million raised through the sale of 9 charity cars, including the Corvette, and $3.7 million for the sale of more than 1,200 pieces of automobilia. 

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A 1960 Cadillac Eldorado convertible sold for $110,000

Everything was super-sized for Barrett-Jackson’s signature home-base 2020 auction that continues to dominate Arizona Auction Week, which also hit a record this year with eight collector car auctions taking place.   The unofficial cumulative total for those auctions was $244.1 million.

Barrett-Jackson offerings included 180 collector vehicles from a record 9 collections.  The most-ever registered bidders competed during a full 7 days of auctioneering.  The event had a sell-through rate of 99.9 percent for the overwhelmingly no-reserve auction, with just one vehicle failing to sell.

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A Modena that stood in for a Ferrari California in ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ sold for $396,000

The auction served as the start of Barrett-Jackson’s yearlong celebration of the “Road to 50,” which ramps up to the Scottsdale auction’s half-century in 2021.

“We kicked off our ‘Road to 50’ in Scottsdale with our foot planted on the accelerator,” company chief executive Craig Jackson said in a news release. “Our sponsors, consignors, bidders and guests made this week’s auction epic.”

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Among the special auction features this year was the Paul Walker collection of cars and other vehicles that were owned by the late Fast and Furious actor.  Topping these was his group of 1990s BMW M3 coupes, including five of the rare competition lightweights.  One of them, a 1995 M3 Lightweight, sold for $385,000, more than double the previous auction record.

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The record-selling 1995 BMW M3 Lightweight

The $3 million sale of the 2020 Corvette Stingray VIN 001 was one for the books, with General Motors chairman Mary Barra appearing on the auction stage to help sell the landmark car, which GM donated for the event.   The car was purchased by Rick Hendricks, the North Carolina mega car dealer and NASCAR team owner who is a regular buyer of Barrett-Jackson charity offerings. 

 “Reaction to the mid-engine Corvette was incredible,” Barra said. “It’s both humbling and exciting to harness that success and support the local community through the Detroit Children’s Fund.”

The $3 million Corvette C8 on the block

Barrett-Jackson’s second-highest Scottsdale result was also a charity sale and also a first-production model, a 2021 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series convertible that went for $2 million to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. 

All proceeds from Barrett-Jackson charity sales go directly to the chosen beneficiary.  The auction company has raised more than $126 million over the years for worthy causes.

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“This was absolutely the most phenomenal Scottsdale Auction in Barrett-Jackson’s history,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “But what really elevated this Scottsdale Auction to the next level was the wonderful generosity of the many consignors and bidders who opened their hearts to help us raise $7.625 million for charity. What an incredible feeling to know that the collector car community is having such a positive impact on the lives of people across the country who need our help.” 

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The 2020 John Force COPO Camaro sold for charity

Other charity sales included that of a 1968 Plymouth GTX custom by Chip Foose and owned by TV personality Chris Jacobs, which sold for $300,000 to benefit the C4 Foundation, and a custom 1981 Jeep CJ7 that was sold and re-donated on the block three times for a total of $425,000 raised to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“Special guest 13-year-old Make-A-Wish recipient Will Wade fulfilled his wish by accompanying Craig Jackson on the block and hammering in the final sale of the Jeep,” Barrett-Jackson noted.

Also selling for charity were a 1997 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Winston Cup NASCAR Race Car that sold for $250,000 to benefit the Arizona Animal Welfare League; a 2020 Chevrolet  COPO Camaro John Force Edition that sold for $600,000 to benefit DonorsChoose.org; a custom 1963 Volvo Amazon coupe that sold for $150,000 to benefit the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund; 1974 Ford Bronco Custom SUV that sold for $650,000 to benefit the Ryan Blaney Family Foundation; and a 1965 Superformance MKII custom Cobra replica that sold for $200,000, with an addition donation of $50,000, to benefit TGen Foundation. 

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A 1969 Chevrolet Camaro COPO Sport Coupe was highest-selling vintage car

Barrett-Jackson’s highest-selling non-charity cars were a pair of modern American exotics, 2017 Ford GTs, one selling for $1.485 million, the other for $1.182 million.  Three of the other cars on the auction’s top-10 seller list were low-mileage 2005-2006 Ford GTs, two of which sold for $440,000 and one for $451,000.

Just two vintage collector cars cracked the top-10, a 1969 Chevrolet COPO Camaro ZL1, which achieved $1.095 million, and a 1963 Aston Martin DB5 that went for $660,000.

To see the full list of Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale results, visit the auction website.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

1 COMMENT

  1. I’ve read several articles about the top sellers at Scottsdale but not one mention of the 1965 Lincoln Continental Convertible that sold for $330,000. I believe that this is a new record for any of the 1961 – 1967 Lincoln Convertibles with the exception of two Celebrity Kennedy vehicles.These Lincoln convertibles are one of the few cars that continue to escalate in value as they are loved by all age groups.

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