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Home The Market Barrett-Jackson delays January flagship Arizona auction until March

Barrett-Jackson delays January flagship Arizona auction until March

Pandemic concerns prompt Scottsdale auction company to postpone 50th anniversary event

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Barrett-Jackson is postponing its 50th annual January auction, the company’s flagship event, until March because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Scottsdale, Arizona, company has announced.

After a day of rumor and following notices to its vendors regarding the date change, Barrett-Jackson made it official Thursday late afternoon that the sprawling event would not be held at WestWorld in Scottsdale from January 16-23, as previously planned, but instead will move to a later date rather than risk spreading infection during to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in Arizona, as in other places.

“While every indication showed that our bidders, consignors and sponsors were behind our efforts to hold our auction next month, we decided it would be prudent at this time to safeguard everyone’s health,” company chief executive Craig Jackson said in the announcement. “We determined that moving our event to March 2021 seemed like the right thing to do to avoid the coronavirus spike that is currently being predicted. We appreciate the support we have received from the City of Scottsdale and State of Arizona regarding this decision.”

Three regularly scheduled annual live auctions were canceled by Barrett-Jackson during 2020 because of coronavirus, in Uncasville, Connecticut; Palm Beach, Florida; and Las Vegas. Barrett-Jackson resumed live auctioneering in October with a special Fall Auction at WestWorld, held under strict pandemic restrictions.

“We were widely praised for the safety protocols we put in place for our recent Fall Auction, and we want to be able to provide customers and fans the same safe environment,” Jackson added.

Current ticket holders can have their tickets transferred to the new event dates, the announcement notes, with full refunds also available.

The auction postponement also pushes back the Barrett-Jackson Cup custom car competition until March.  The auction company recently announced the resumption of the competition after a five-year hiatus.

When the auction is scheduled for March, it will be around the time of Mecum Auctions’ annual sale scheduled for March 17-20 in Glendale, Arizona, west of Scottsdale.

Nearly every one of the eight collector car auctions that held sales during Arizona Auction Week in January 2020 has announced changes in plans for the coming January because of the pandemic.

Gooding & Company and Worldwide Auctioneers both said they will hold their January sales entirely online.  RM Sotheby’s has announced a change of venue from its usual location at the Arizona Biltmore Resort to the OTTO Car Club, a north Scottsdale collector car storage and event center, with a one-day sale and just 80 vehicles offered.

Russo and Steele, also based in Scottsdale, says on its website that its annual Scottsdale sale will be an “exclusive private event.”  Held January 23, the invitation-only auction will feature a private preview reception and a full-course dinner, followed by an 80-car auction, all at no reserve.  

MAG Auctions has announced that it is cancelling its Arizona Auction Week sale, while Leake has said it remains undecided about its plans.  Bonhams has released no new information, and still has the Scottsdale auction listed on its website for January 21 with no changes.

Bob Golfen
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.

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