Your guide to the 2019 Arizona auction week
Arizona Auction Week is the catch-all term for the slew of automobile auctions that take place early in the year all around Phoenix and Scottsdale. You’re probably familiar with the big one, Barrett-Jackson, and its live TV coverage on Velocity network. Every other major auction house has a sale as well, though, to capitalize on the density of interested buyers (with the exception of Mecum, which has its giant Kissimmee, Florida sale a few days earlier).
This year the auctions take place from January 12-20, and you can find a car for every budget. What you can’t do, however, is be everywhere at once. The auctions are all miles apart. So if you do visit Arizona auction week, it pays to look at lots ahead of time and plan out where you want to be and when.
Of course, you can follow the action from every auction on the Hagerty Insider App for iOS. Use it browse the lots ahead of time, look up previous sales, or just play along at home. Download the Hagerty Insider from the Apple App Store today.
Before we delve into the details of each specific auction, a few tips. Expect and plan for delays. Arriving and leaving the auctions will take longer than you expect. Also, don’t expect to get good photographs: cars are usually surrounded by people and lighting conditions are unfriendly to cameras. Lastly, consider bringing earplugs. No, really. Places like Barrett-Jackson and Russo & Steele have the volume cranked way up.
Barrett-Jackson is the biggest sale during auction week, with more than 1500 lots scheduled over seven days. Almost all of the sales are without reserve, so savvy buyers can swipe up the occasional deals that slip through.
This auction is huge. Don’t plan on just dropping by, schedule a lot of time to take it all in. Parking is off-site and with shuttles; it’ll be at least 30 minutes from when you arrive until you see an auction lot. Go earlier in the week or on the last Sunday if you want to avoid crowds, as Friday and Saturday are packed to the rafters.
Location: Westworld of Scottsdale, 16601 North Pima Road, Scottsdale, AZ
Dates: Saturday, January 12 – Sunday, January 20
Ticket prices: All-week pass, $195; single-day, $25 – $80. Military, student, and senior discounts available.
The rest of Arizona Auction week kicks off on Wednesday evening with Worldwide’s sale of more than 70 vehicles. This year features five Auburns from the Tom Gaughen collection, all without reserve. The rest of the docket spans all eras and price levels.
Location: 6460 E McDowell Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85257
Date: Wendesday, January 16, 5:00 PM. (Preview on January 14 and 15 from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM)
Ticket prices: $40-$100
Bonhams has big-ticket items like a 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series I Spider and a Bugatti Chiron. In mere six-figure territory are cars like this split-window ’63 Corvette fuelie, and then there are cars even regular working stiff can afford like a 1959 Nash Metropolitan. The catalog covers a wide range of cars, including a malaise-era 1976 Cadillac Eldorado convertible and modern up-and-comers like the BMW Z3 Coupe and Nissan Skyline GT-R, so the results will offer some indication of the overall market’s appetite for variety.
Location: The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, 6902 East Greenway Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85254
Date: Thursday, January 17, 11:00 AM (Preview on January 15 and 16 from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and January 17 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM)
Ticket prices: $30-$100
If you’ve never been to a Russo & Steele auction, put it on your list. The entertainment level is high and the tight, arena-like setting lets you feel like part of the action (just don’t let yourself get run over by a car moving off the block). Everything under the sun is covered among the vehicles listed for sale, with hot rods and modified American muscle plus plenty of modern exotics.
Location: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N Pima Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Dates: Thursday, January 17 – Saturday, January 19, 12:00 AM to 10:00 PM; Sunday, January 20, 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Preview on January 16 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and auction days from 9:00 AM)
Ticket prices: $20-$30 per day
RM Sotheby’s auction is unique in that the auction itself is limited to registered bidders and consignors. However, the preview hours are open to the public, which means plenty of eye candy for free. This year there are several million-dollar Ferraris and million-dollar BMWs, and million-dollar Mercedes-Benzes, and… you get the idea. But how about two Vector prototypes, a Tucker 48, and two Ford RS200s. There is something for everyone in the collector car world, especially for those looking to buy.
Location: Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, 2400 East Missouri Avenue, Phoenix, AZ, 85016
Dates: Thursday, January 17 – Friday, January 18, 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM (Preview on January 16 from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM and January 17 and 18 from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM)
Ticket price: $200 (bidder registration fee to auction, includes guest)
Gooding’s offering this year is chock full of fine European machinery, with a few American cars sprinkled in for good measure plus wildcards like a 1963 Amphicar, a 1951 Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle, and Ferrari 275 GTB prototype rally car. If the cars don’t get you excited (they should), then the playful banter from auctioneer Charlie Ross will at least give you plenty of laughs.
Location: Scottsdale Fashion Square, 4700 N Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Dates: Friday, January 18 – Saturday, January 19, 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Preview on January 16 and 17 from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and auction days from 9:00 AM)
Ticket prices: $40-$100