The 2010 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction was anything but routine for the attendees and organizers. Rainy weather blanketed the Phoenix area from Monday until Friday afternoon. Ferocious winds Thursday night caused an evacuation of the outlying tents. The roofs of the tents over the Vendor Pavilion and the Feature Cars Showcase were seen moving up and down in great heaves while the sounds of straining metal rang out. The Westworld tents proved their strength and weathered the storm with almost zero damage. Quick thinking by the Barrett-Jackson organizers was used to bring tractor trailer trucks to surround the tents and act as wind buffers. Their plan worked and the show went on as scheduled. The nearby Russo and Steel auction did not fare so well. The high winds Thursday night brought down their main tent. Tent support poles were sent crashing down on the cars gathered underneath while the tent fabric whipped across Loop 101. Friday morning the area was busy with workers trying to bring order back to the auction. Damage estimates are ranging in the $1.5 million dollar range.
Overall the Barrett-Jackson auction was no less spectacular than previous years. Attendance was good and the atmosphere was upbeat. This was a buyer's year with many bargains to be had. Of particular note was the sliding in value of "pro touring" cars. One particularly well done Firebird went for only $66k, a price which barely covered the parts used in the car. The money was on the bidder's floor but the high bidding wars just didn't happen this year. Classic Corvettes with exceptional pedigrees sold at close to expected prices while other lesser cars went for bargain pricing. A large number of classic trucks were present at the auction, as were a number of later model future classics. One surprise was the number of 70s American luxo-barges. These largely ignored and often destroyed cars are beginning to capture the eye of some collectors.
One stunning bargain came in the sale of the Blastolene 1952 Watson Roadster Custom "Tank Car." Made famous by its' twin owned by Jay Leno the Watson Roadster was brought to the block by its' builder Randy Grubbs. Interest in the car was high as it was mobbed in the staging lanes but the price at the gavel drop was only $280,500.
Even with the lower prices on the auction block attendees still enjoyed the event which is a Barrett-Jackson auction. Both Ford and Chevrolet were present offering test drive of their newest vehicles. The surprise of the bunch was the Taurus SHO, which when launched with two feet (to spool up the turbos) returns a grin on the driver from ear to ear. A multitude of food vendors offered up everything from pit barbecue to fried soba noodles. vendors were also on hand to help car collectors round out their homes and garages with all the latest decor.
Even without the big money sales of past years the 2010 Scottsdale event was a success. The crew at Barrett-Jackson can't rest though, the Palm Beach auction is only two months away.
Check out our other coverage of the Scottsdale Event:
Top 10 High Bids
Top 10 Corvettes