Economic Engines: Classic car auctions — Barrett-Jackson and Russo and Steele — draw visitors, pump money into Valley economy
If Steppenwolf was performing in the Valley this month, the band might want to tinker with the lyrics to “Born to be Wild.”
“Get your motor runnin,’ head out into Scottsdale, lookin’ for some auctions, and there are plenty coming our way.”
Two of the premiere classic car auctions in the United States call Scottsdale home in January.
The Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction takes place from January 16-22 at Westworld of Scottsdale; and car enthusiasts can also hit the Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auction from January 18-22 at its location near Scottsdale Road and Loop 101.
“The highlights to this year’s auction event would have to be the event site,” says Russo and Steele spokeswoman Stephanie Quinn. “The main structure will have all the auction elements that people have come to know and love, such as staging lanes of up to six lanes of automobiles awaiting their turn on the block, vendors with everything from automobile memorabilia to high fashion, and of course the auction in the round auction block.”
But the auctions aren’t just about showing off cool cars. It’s big business. Despite the sluggish economy in the 2011, Barrett-Jackson beat its 2010 sales figures, generating almost $70 million from the sales of about 1,200 vehicles. Russo and Steele had 2011 sales of more than $21 million.
The auctions are also a boost to the local economy and neighboring businesses as more than 300,000 people are expected to pour into Scottsdale to attend the two events.
Barrett-Jackson will feature 27 vehicles from the Jimmy Richardson Collection, representing a variety of autmobile categories from the past nine decades, but all have one common charasteristic: they are all fast.
“Jimmy Richardson, one of the leading classic automotive collectors in the world, is providing an opportunity to own a unique offering of vehicles from his personal collection,” says Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO, Barrett-Jackson. “Jimmy will consign all of these vehicles at no reserve which will be a major component that adds excitement.”
Russo and Steele will have some showcase cars as well.
“People can expect some of the finest European sports, American muscle, hot rods and custom automobiles at Russo and Steele,” Quinn says. “We are featuring more that 700 automobiles and have some spectacular automobiles such as the 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 CSX3127 Prototype that changed automotive history by paving the way for the production of all 427 street Cobras; and the ‘Noland Adams’ 1953 Chevrolet Corvette NCRS Duntov Award 99.8 (United States Postal Service) Stamp Car, making its debut on the auction floor for the first time ever.”
Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auction
When: January 18-22
Where: 18601 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction
When: January 16-22
Where: WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale