Barrett-Jackson brings car buyers, builders to Scottsdale since 1971


Monserrat Apud de la Fuente

A prospective buyer inspects one of the collector cars for auction

Monserrat Apud de la Fuente, Reporter

The 49th annual, Barrett-Jackson collector car auction, took place at Westworld of Scottsdale, Jan. 11-19.

The company, which is headquartered in Scottsdale, has trademarked the slogan “World’s Greatest Collector Car Auction”.  In addition to the Scottsdale auction, they produce events each year in Las Vegas, Nev., Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. and Palm Beach, Fla.

The auction brings people from all over, to examine and bid on the unique and valuable cars that are seen in the venue and to possibly interact with some of the builders who created or restored them.

“I come for the cars.  I just like to stay current with the market and see what is out there trending and pricing,” said car enthusiast, Greg Stanton.  “I have 6 cars.  The wife says that’s enough, but I don’t know.”

For many car fanatics, Barrett-Jackson is more than just a show, it’s a lifestyle that has been passed down for generations.

“I was born in the trade,” said John Ames, representing his family business, J & M Enterprizes Inc.  “My dad was an auto body man, so I grew up into it and then my sons just took over my shop.  So three generations building Corvettes.”

“We build them from the ground up.  Normally it takes nine to 15 months depending on the build of the car for the customer,” Ames said.

The number of unique and desirable cars at the show is extensive and the builders behind these collector automobiles anticipate the show to see their hard work be enjoyed and hopefully well payed for when it’s auctioned.  Many of the vehicles are sold at “no reserve”, which is considered the purest form of auction by Barrett-Jackson.  It means the price of the car can start anywhere and will be sold for any given price even if it doesn’t satisfy the seller.

Amos Minter, of Amos & Justin Minter Thunderbirds 55-57, is a renowned U.S. car builder who has been coming to the event since 1973, two years after Barrett Jackson’s first auction.  The Minters specialize in 1955-1957, Ford, Thunderbirds and hold at least 30 world records for the highest selling price for cars of that particular type.

“It’s our passion,” Minter said.  “I was here [at Barrett-Jackson] when they had 120 cars and Mr. Tom Barrett was very instrumental to me in the early part, for when I was young.  For what I do, this is the ultimate auction of anywhere in the world.  At this time of the year, no one else compares to the Barrett-Jackson experience”