Kicking Off Event Season: Car auction is the place to see and be seen

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Barrett-Jackson, The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions, hosts its annual flagship auction at WestWorld of Scottsdale each January, serving as the gateway to the Valley’s event season.

This year — like years past — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Craig Jackson expects another incredible event with an enviable No Reserve collector car docket and a host of activities for auctiongoers of all ages. The event kicks off Saturday, January 21, and runs through Sunday, January 29.

Included in this year’s auction is a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, one of only 644 sold new in the United States. One of the last and most popular analog supercars, the vehicle has fewer than 3,400 miles and, while it was originally finished in black, this Carrera GT now has a concours-quality paint finished in a bespoke PPG red.

A limited-edition 2020 Ford GT Carbon Series is another featured vehicle selling with No Reserve. Finished in frozen white, its carbon blue graphics package features a blue center stripe down the middle of the exposed single carbon-fiber stripe. Other options include exposed carbon-fiber sideview mirror caps and the standard Carbon Series weight-saving titanium exhaust system. Essentially still in the wrapper, this supercar has only 32 miles on the odometer and comes with the window sticker, factory production photos and battery charger.

Also headed to the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction block is a 1966 Shelby Group II Mustang built for Ken Miles to race in the Sports Car Club of America Trans-American Sedan Championship. However, Miles died in a crash while testing a car at Riverside International Raceway on August 17, 1966, and never got behind the wheel of this Mustang. Its first owner was driver John McComb, who competed extensively in SCCA events. McComb sold the car in 1967, but it continued to be raced into the early 1970s.

Another highlight is a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, No. 61 of 69 built in 1969. It is powered by an all-aluminum 427/430hp V8 engine mated to a M21 four-speed manual transmission and a 4.10 posi-traction rear end. This Camaro is optioned with D80 spoiler equipment and an AM radio. It comes with a Jerry MacNeish Certificate of Authenticity and is from the Northside Customs Collection.

Jackson says the 50th anniversary celebration of Barrett-Jackson in 2022 was its most successful auction in the company’s history, surpassing $203 million in sales while also raising more than $8.8 million for charity.

As is the case with all Barrett-Jackson events, many celebrities attended as well.

“Last year, Joey Logano came with several other NASCAR drivers,” he says. “He ended up being the NASCAR Cup Series champion (at Phoenix Raceway).”

The auction also welcomed Grammy Award-winning artist Pitbull as he sold his 2022 Karma GS-6 EV “Mr. 305 Edition” to support The SLAM Foundation and Selfless Love. Other celebrities in attendance included Bret Michaels, Tim Allen and Renée Zellweger, as well as professional athletes such as DeAndre Hopkins, Richie Incognito, Bubba Watson and Jacoby Ellsbury.

New vision

This year was one of change for Barrett-Jackson. In August, IMG, an Endeavor company, acquired a majority stake in it.

The global leader in events, IMG owns, operates and commercially represents the likes of Frieze art fairs, the Madrid and Miami Open tennis tournaments, Formula Drift, and New York Fashion Week: The Shows.

“Pairing Barrett-Jackson with the unique power of the Endeavor network is an unparalleled opportunity for our company, immediately opening doors to amplify and accelerate the growth of Barrett-Jackson as a global lifestyle brand,” Jackson says.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have this perfect partner as we look to optimize our fan experience and create new touchpoints for car enthusiasts around our live events and media offerings.”

Jackson and his team are working on elevating the auction experience and promise there are plenty of activities at the events beyond the block.

“It’s a lifestyle event, and we add experiences all the time — live music, fire pits, cigar lounge, the food and beverage offerings. It all lends itself to this experience that is Barrett-Jackson.”

Several family-friendly activities include STEM Fest on Saturday, January 21, as part of Barrett-Jackson’s Family Day, when children 12 and under receive free admission. Hot Laps and Thrill Rides with Toyota, Dodge, Ford and Chevrolet as well as exhilarating off-road experiences with RAM and Toyota will be available throughout the event.

As part of STEM Fest, winners of Barrett-Jackson’s community STEM Program, Gearing Towards the Future, will showcase their projects along with companies and organizations focused on STEM initiatives. The winners will also receive their awards during the event.

Introduced in September, Gearing Towards the Future was created with SciTech Institute to develop future automotive engineers and technicians.

“Barrett-Jackson is passionate about its long history of creating family-friendly automotive lifestyle events that encourage multiple generations to come together and enjoy a shared interest with one another,” Jackson says.

“This new STEM program provides an even greater opportunity to engage with the youth here in Arizona through an exciting educational platform that will help support the future community of automotive enthusiasts.”

Gearing Towards the Future’s project submissions will close on January 3. There are four open competitions for Arizona students interested in participating in this year’s contests: a 10th and 11th grade-only competition focused on the design and build of an electrical component for any vehicle for the future of transportation; a seventh and eighth grade-only competition focused on developing a plan that outlines how to implement electric vehicle charging infrastructure that could be implemented across the country; a fourth and fifth grade-only competition focused on presenting the design and layout of a future vehicle; and a competition open for all grades, pre-K through 12, with the focus on presenting a plan for future transportation options in a community setting of any size.

Barrett-Jackson is invested in Gen X, too. The Future Collector Car Show (FCCS) returns Sunday, January 22, with a new location: the Polo Field at WestWorld of Scottsdale. The concours-style event will celebrate the cars we love today and the collectibles of tomorrow.

During the show, which was formerly held at High Street, spectators will enjoy a variety of vehicles ranging from the 1980s to today, from highly modified custom builds to original and perfectly preserved rides, effectively creating an experience where generations of vehicle owners can find common ground in their love of future collectibles.

Prior to the show at WestWorld on January 22, concours-level judges will hand-select the top cars for each category from the applications submitted. All enthusiasts’ cars can participate — the FCCS team is looking for quality vehicles, highly modified enthusiast builds, rare or low-production-number cars, and unique or uncommon vehicles. Every vehicle entered in the show qualifies for the coveted Best of Show trophy, with other award categories that include a People’s Choice award selected by spectators on-site and various Best in Class awards.

Participation to display a vehicle at FCCS is by application only. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, January 2. Visit for more information.

“The FCCS is all about cars from the ’80s and up, and it’s really taking the collectors and enthusiasts who dream about those cars and showcasing them,” Jackson says.

“It’s a true judging of that era of cars. We really want the generation that grew up with these cars — millennials, Gen-Xers — to enjoy this entire genre of cars. We’ll have European sports cars and Japanese cars; cars the younger generation of automotive enthusiasts grew up loving.”

Jackson says there’s truly something for everyone.

“Barrett-Jackson is a place to see and be seen,” he says. “It is a lot of fun. It’s something unique. It is the only major event like it in the world. People come from around the world to enjoy it. Locals should take advantage of it as well. There’s so much happening here in Arizona in early 2023, and it all starts with Barrett-Jackson.”

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