Barrett Jackson, MAG Auctions, others, offer car collectors a variety of options during Scottsdale Auction Week


Monserrat Apud de la Fuente

Barrett-Jackson Auto Exhibit

Brandon Freedman, Reporter

For more than five decades, Valley car enthusiasts have anticipated their opportunity to browse the offerings and perhaps even purchase one of the many unique automobiles offered at the annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale car auction.

Barrett-Jackson is a Scottsdale-based company which touts themselves as “The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions”.

This year, the company which pioneered the “no reserve” form of bidding, will hold its Scottsdale event from Jan. 21-29 at Westworld.

In recent years, the popular collector car seller has branched out to also include events in Houston, Texas, Las Vegas, Nev. and Palm Beach, Fla. auctioning off more than 3,600 cars annually.

At Barrett-Jackson’s October auction in Houston, Texas, total sales were $31.4 million, the most in the company’s history.

Barrett-Jackson attendees have grown to expect the unexpected, and this year appears to be no different, as earlier last month, it was announced that a one of one replica of the Batmobile would be auctioned off at the Scottsdale event.

During the auction, many car enthusiasts bring their own unique vehicles to the event, turning the Westworld parking lot into an impromptu car show of its own.

The size and popularity of the Barrett-Jackson auction has prompted a number of smaller companies to join in the fray of what is commonly called “Scottsdale Auction Week”.

These include Worldwide Auctioneers (Jan. 25), RM Southeby’s (Jan.26), Bonhams (Jan.27) and MAG Auctions (Jan. 27-28).

Kassandra Troncosso a small car event coordinator in the greater Phoenix area, spoke to Northeast Valley News about the impact Barrett-Jackson has on the community.

In Troncosso’s opinion, the yearly car auction in Scottsdale is an overall positive for the car community, bringing everybody together.

“We see a lot of new people show up at our events when Barrett-Jackson is in town, and the regulars expect it and embrace it,” Troncosso said.

Mike Oberle is a partner with Emmett Rice at MAG Auctions.  Their Auction Week event is held at Ft. McDowell Casino near Fountain Hills.

During a recent phone interview, Oberle talked to NEVN about the effect that the Barrett-Jackson auction and other Auction Week events have on their sale.

“Barrett-Jackson has a following that’s unbelievable.  So they are not my competitor, I never even would want to try to be a competitor of Barrett-Jackson.  What they do and the venue they put on is unreal and nobody even compares to that,” Oberle said.  “People come in, they like to go to Barrett-Jackson, they come out to us to see what we have.  They’ll stick around–buy a car.  It brings in people that would not attend our auction if it wasn’t for Auction Week.  Because of Barrett-Jackson and the event itself (Auction Week), it draws in new customers, new bidders, new sellers, everything.”

When it comes to actual competitors among the smaller auction companies, this year’s field during Auction Week has gotten smaller, and Oberle feels it will be beneficial for their sale.

“Goodings’ not there, Russo and Steele’s not there, so the market’s actually kinda gotten a little smaller, so for us it’s better. There’s not going to be as many cars available, especially for my customer base…it’s going to help me tremendously,” Oberle said.