4 takeaways from Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale sale

Barrett-Jackson/Brian Bossert

Auction frenzy came to Arizona two months late this year as Barrett-Jackson signature sale, postponed due to the pandemic, kicked off at the vast WestWorld facility. It was an important test for the venerable auction company, which thrives on the spectacle (and the gate fees) of its live sales and has been slower than many competitors to shift business online. This new date also just happened to fall a week after Mecum’s annual auction in nearby Glendale, making for one of the larger assemblages of classic cars we’ve seen in the last twelve months. Here’s what we learned:

The big show was a bit smaller

The number of consignments at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale was down this year, just as it’s been at other live sales that have taken place in 2021, such as Mecum Glendale and Kissimmee. Cars were more spaced out than they are during more normal times in WestWorld. This translated to lower sales volume, overall—$99.9M versus $137.1M in January 2020.

1970 Plymouth Superbird side profile crosses stage

Buyers remain very active

Despite and perhaps because supply was limited relative to prior years, demand was strong. The buying spree that started in Glendale continued, with generous—at times wild—bidding. Average and median sale prices both jumped by a third, to more than $95,000. That’s excluding vehicles sold for charity which were, as always, a hallmark for Barrett-Jackson. Among them were 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing VIN 001 ($265,000), 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 VIN 001 ($500,000), 2021 Ford Bronco VIN 001 ($1,075,000), and 2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition VIN 001 ($2,500,000).

Barrett-Jackson/Brian Bossert

Vintage trucks and SUVs are getting even hotter

Frankly, we thought we were done being surprised by vintage Ford Broncos. Median #2 values for the 1966–77 models are up 97 percent since 2016 and have settled over the past couple of years, but the prices in Scottsdale were higher still. Among the classic Broncos crossing the block, the average price was $111,678. Remember, the median #1 (Concours, or best-in-the-world) value for 1966-77 Broncos is $82,000. Nearly half of the Broncos in Scottsdale sold for six figures and just 15 percent of them sold for under $50,000. Sixty percent of them were modified or customized to some degree. Speaking of customs, restomods also brought strong money in general, including a freshly built 1959 Corvette custom that comedian Kevin Hart purchased for a staggering $825,000.

1959 Chevrolet Corvette Custom Convertible
Barrett-Jackson/Brian Bossert

There’s still something for everyone

For all the headline-making big sales, the real appeal of the Barrett-Jackson event, as ever, is its attainability and variety. More than 1000 cars crossed the block at no reserve. Median sale price was $55,000, and plenty of neat stuff sold for much less, including a 1969 Chevrolet Impala SS for $29,700, a restored 1974 MGB for $16,500. And that 1993 Mitsubishi Minica you’ve always wanted? Barrett had one of those, too. Collector car auctions at times seem to exist in a rarified bubble, but the Scottsdale sale provides evidence that demand for classics of all shapes, sizes, and prices has weathered the storm of the last year.

For detailed write ups of cars that sold at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale, Mecum Glendale, and other recent auctions, head over to Hagerty Insider.

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