The global economic slowdown seems an unlikely backdrop for a £29m bonanza, but that's exactly what happened at the recent Mandalay Bay (Las Vegas) sale for Barrett-Jackson, where over 500 cars were auctioned off.
Stars of the show were a 1949 MG TC that was Carroll Shelby’s first road race car, Funkmaster Flex’s custom 2006 Ford Mustang GT, a 2003 Saleen S7 and a 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Custom. Over 50,000 people attended the automotive auction and lifestyle event, which was broadcast live in high-definition on SPEED TV.
Bidding was intense for the MG, reaching six figures within seconds of the opening offer. The 3,500 paid for the MG set a new world record. Shelby piloted the British speedster to a surprise victory in a road race in Norman, Okla., in 1952, a win that set the stage for his prolific career; 10% of the MG’s winning bid was donated to one of Mr. Shelby’s charities. In 2008, Barrett-Jackson has raised over .7m for charities.
The inaugural Las Vegas event attracted more than 1200 bidders with over 50 percent being first timers. Automobilia sales were also strong, bringing in over 2,000 during the three day sale. More than 120 vendors and sponsors displayed a variety of items including aircraft, custom cars, racing gear, collectibles, jewelry and clothing. “We’re thrilled about the Barrett-Jackson relationship and the outcome of the Vegas event,” said Bill Hornbuckle, president of Mandalay Bay. “This is the beginning of a great strategic partnership focused on lifestyle experiences that only Mandalay Bay and Barrett-Jackson can offer in such a unique and special way. I’m very excited about the association of our brands and the synergies that it provides and look forward to building the Vegas Barrett-Jackson event into one of the largest collector car auctions in the world.” www.barrett-jackson.com