AZ is Auction Zeal
Scottsdale AZ, Jan 24 2017 - Arizona is known by five C's of economics - cattle, copper, citrus, cotton, and climate. They should make it 6 - we vote for adding cars to the list. While the continent's old car summer peaks in Monterey California, winter is owned by Arizona. For most places and people, holiday seasoning and weather is a cutting factor in dead of winter automotive sales. Driven by dryish desert weather, thousands of countrymen find a warm haven in the southwest - and find thousands of cars waiting for them in the sun. Well, under big circus tents in the sun. Well, under tents in the grey skies and rain this year. This is largely better than the windstorms, tornadoes, freezing rain, snowstorms, fire and brimstone seen everywhere else. Even those of us from California don't mind the little rain - given the former drought flooding at home. The state natives figured this was the coldest weather ever.
The same locals thought the traffic was heavy, but perhaps they haven't driven any where else recently to compare. Considering the massive swell of cars and fans, the city absorbs Car Week without a hiccup. Barrett-Jackson consumes the most attention, oxygen, space and sales lots but there is still enough air in town to fan the flames of numerous other big names in the automotive auction world. Gooding & Co, RM-Sotheby's, Russo and Steele, and Bonhams all have niche focused events that are preferred shopping by many. It's interesting to see how different each of the auction presentation facilities are.
Where Barret-Jackson builds for big show volume of largely American made vehicles, Bonhams features a small homey stable of mostly foreign vintage. Where Russo and Steele uses the efficiency and security of a hotel garage to line up the auto lots, Gooding brings their traditional four section tent format to put their feature cars under brilliant natural light display. For high value cars, we vote for high value lighting so buyers and weenie photographers can see things in best light. It shows up in the pictures.
Display characteristics aside, these auction specialists put up big numbers. Thousands of cars, hundreds of millions of dollars, record values for makes, and high ratings for television. There is a lot of money invested in special cars, and a lot of folks know how to make it work in this place at this time. It doesn't hurt that you can take a warm vacation at the same time.
Related: Class Distinction Arizona Style
Pictured below: 1934 Cadillac 3700 V12 Fleetwood Coupe sold $330,000 at Barrett-Jackson (scene at Scottsdale Fashion Square); 1931 Mercedes-Benz 370 S Mannheim Sport Cabriolet sold $330,000 at RM Sotheby's; 1956 Jimmy Knight Offenhauser Roadster Midget Racer sold $61,600 at Gooding and Company; and 1977 Honda Civic CVCC sold at Bonhams; and 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Yenko Clone sold $41,800 at Russo and Steele
by Randy Berg