Within a single year, Arizona Auction Week went from being one of the most high-flying collector car extravaganzas in the nation to being pretty much called off because of the pandemic.
In January 2020, before Covid began sweeping into the US, the weeklong stretch of auctions expanded from seven to eight, the most for any such series of events, including those of Monterey Car Week, the granddaddy of them all.
But once January 2021 rolled around, and there was no relief in sight from Covid (Monterey Car Week was canceled completely five months earlier), the eight auction companies competing in Arizona either postponed, canceled, went online or scaled back.
For 2022, with Covid still an issue but mitigated by vaccinations and widespread adherence to safety precautions, much of Arizona Auction Week will be back in action, although with some caveats and a few pieces missing.
The main missing piece will be Russo and Steele, a Scottsdale-based company that launched its January auction in 2001, but which will not have a sale during this year’s Arizona week for the first time, according to Drew Alcazar, who co-owns the business with his wife, Josephine.
“Josephine and I decided to take January off,” Alcazar told ClassicCars.com. “We just decided to sit this one out.
“It was a hard decision to make, but I think it’s the right one.”
Alcazar said he expects to move forward after January with Russo and Steele, which also holds auctions in Monterey, California, and Amelia Island, Florida.
Also absent this year will be Leake, which held one Arizona auction in 2020 but has not announced a return for 2022.
Here’s the rundown with the remaining six auctions:
Barrett-Jackson is back with a full-on auction and lifestyle event at WestWorld in Scottsdale, with about 1,900 collector vehicles scheduled to cross the block, and as usual, offered overwhelmingly without reserves. The event, which begins January 22 and continues through January 30, is known to attract 200,000 spectators over the span of nine days, as well as several thousand bidders.
Among the featured events is Barrett-Jackson’s 50th anniversary celebration, having been delayed one year – the legendary collector car auction began in Scottsdale in 1971, and has been held every year since. Marking the deep connection with the affluent city abutting Phoenix, the mayor of Scottsdale, Daniel D. Ortega, has once again declared January as Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction Month.
“When my father Russ and his business partner, Tom Barrett, set out to raise money for the Scottsdale library with a local car show, they had no idea the impact they would have on the collector hobby over the next five decades,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and chief executive of the auction company.
Also returning is the Barrett-Jackson Cup competition of custom cars and trucks, with 50 builders competing for cash prizes and the honor of being named Ultimate Best in Show or winning the People’s Choice Award.
For more information and the list of auction vehicles, visit the Barrett-Jackson website.
RM Sotheby’s, which has held mostly high-end collector car auctions in Phoenix for more than 20 years, will conduct a one-day sale on January 27 at its usual venue of the Arizona Biltmore Resort, with the preview held January 26. In the past, the Canadian company’s auctions have spanned two days at the Biltmore.
For more information and the list of auction vehicles, visit the RM Sotheby’s website.
Gooding & Company switches to a hybrid live/online auction, and at a new location, with bidding to be held on Gooding’s Geared Online platform instead of onsite.
All of the auction vehicles will be displayed at Scottsdale Hangar One, 15220 N. 78th Way, Scottsdale, where they can be inspected by registered bidders only from January 26-28. Bidding will commence online from January 24-28.
For more information and the list of auction vehicles, visit the Gooding website.
Bonhams will conduct its usual live auction for the 11th year at the Kierland Commons Resort in Scottsdale on January 27, with a full slate of offerings. For more information and the list of auction vehicles, visit the Bonhams website.
Worldwide returns to the Singh Meadows site in Tempe on the border of south Scottsdale for a live onsite auction January 26, with preview days scheduled from January 24.
For more information and the list of auction vehicles, visit the Worldwide website.
MAG (Motorsports Auction Group) has scheduled its live sale for January 28-30 at We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort in Fort McDowell, the Native American community just northeast of Scottsdale. MAG bought out Silver auctions a few years back and continues the buyer-friendly sales at Fort McDowell.
For more information and the list of auction vehicles, visit the MAG website.
While most of the auction companies have not emphasized Covid restrictions, attendees are advised to wear masks and observe social distancing.