January 23, 2003
Record prices paid for American muscle cars at Barrett-Jackson auction
Scottsdale, Arizona – The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company once again defied the economic uncertainties by experiencing another record-breaking year. An unrivaled selection of Carroll Shelby Cobras and GTs, American classics and muscle cars, pedigree European sports cars and show winning Hot Rods were sold on the auction podium at the 32nd annual edition of the auction last weekend.
According to Barrett-Jackson President Craig Jackson, this year’s sale clearly demonstrated the classic car market is a ripe alternative to the volatile stock market. “We are seeing a continuing trend that our bidders prefer to drive away in an investment rather than relying on traditional means of diversifying their stock portfolio,” said Jackson.
Throughout the four-day auction, crowds exceeding 165,000 people watched as prices paid on the auction podium skyrocketed and bidders vied for an unparalleled selection of collector cars. “This year’s auction saw top prices paid in nearly all categories of cars,” commented Jackson. “We also exceeded a number of previously established world record prices for certain car models,” continued Jackson.
Record prices were achieved for a number of cars including: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS396 Convertible at $97,200; a 1958 Edsel Bermuda Woody Wagon at $31,000; a 1970 Plymouth Superbird 426 Hemi Coupe at $145,800; a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427/435 Coupe at $124,200; a 1970 Dodge Coronet R/T 426 Hemi Hardtop at $183,280 and a 1970 Mercury Cougar XR7 Convertible at $48,600.
Of the nearly 800 cars, an impressive 90 percent of the lots were sold, pushing total sales volume over $27 million and surpassing previous Barrett-Jackson records.
Among the attendees who were either bidding or selling cars at this year’s auction were actors Don Johnson and Tim Allen; Arizona Cardinal Jake Plummer and Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson; and rock music’s Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, and Mark Anthony of Van Halen. American automotive icon Carroll Shelby saw two of his new creations sell with frenzied bidding, including the 1967 Shelby GT500E “Eleanor” that sold for a record $194,400.
The highlight of the auction occurred when Don Johnson drove his 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda Convertible from “Nash Bridges” onto the auction block with friend and series co-star Cheech Marin. The actors encouraged lively bidding activity that resulted in a record sale of $148,500.
Johnson’s 1989 Ferrari Testarossa, a gift from Ferrari during Johnson’s involvement in the “Miami Vice” series, sold for $88,560.
The top price paid on the auction block went to the 1967 Ford GT40 Mark I at $347,760, followed by $318,600 paid for a 1967 Ford GT40 Mark III. Other top sales included a 1932 Auburn Cabriolet Coupe at $180,360 and a 1950 Bentley Mk VI Graber Drophead Coupe for $162,000. Hot Rod sales continued to be strong and were led by the 1933 Ford Ardun Roadster which sold for $156,600.
This year’s auction kicked off with the Opening Night Gala and 80th birthday celebration for Carroll Shelby. Recognizing his contribution to the automotive world, Shelby was joined by legendary drivers Dan Gurney, Bob Bondurant, Parnelli Jones, Arie Luyendyk, Augie Pabst, Bobby Unser and Bobby Rahal. Shelby received a commemorative trophy specially commissioned by Edsel B. Ford II and a birthday greetings letter from fellow Texan, President George W. Bush.
A listing of the sales prices can be found at www.barrett-jackson.com/auctionresults/byevent.asp, and images of the cars sold at the Scottsdale auction can be found on the Barrett-Jackson Web site at www.barrett-jackson.com. The auction is televised live each year on the Speed Channel television network. The Friday auction rebroadcasts on Wednesday, January 22, 12-5pm ET, and the Saturday auction on Thursday, January 23, 12-5pm ET. Two one-hour recap shows will be aired in March. For information on dates and times visit www.speedtv.com.
The inaugural Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction in Palm Beach, Florida is scheduled for April 11th – 13th at the South Florida Expo Center. The 33rd Annual Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction is scheduled for January 22-25, 2004.