The largest car auctions in the world had their start in the 1960s when two car buffs had a meeting. Here is a closer look the the history of Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auctions.
Barrett-Jackson – The Beginning
The start of Barrett-Jackson began in Scottsdale, Arizona. Tom Barrett was selling his 1937 Cadillac Town Car, and Russ Jackson was interested. From here, the two men formed a friendship that would lead to something tremendous. The two car enthusiasts joined together to benefit the community. They kicked off in 1967 with Fiesta de los Autos Elegantes. The event was a precursor to the first 1971 auction, which included classics from their private collections. Barrett offered his Mercedes 770 Phaeton, which captured international attention.
Mid-stream Car Madness
The collector car industry expanded significantly throughout the 1980s. Participation and prices were through the roof. The Barrett-Jackson partnership grew, and they became known as the “grandfathers of the collector car industry.” Russ Jackson died in 1993, and Tom Barrett retired in 1997. Russ’s son Craig then took over the reins and continued the legacy.
The Next Generation of Barrett-Jackson Auctions
Craig Jackson was a very successful leader and stayed on top of the industry with high-tech innovations. In 1997, Barrett-Jackson auctions began airing live on the Speed network, expanding the audience to millions of viewers. With computer advancements, Internet bidding was added. More muscle cars and hot rods went up for auction.
In 2003, East Coast collectors wanted a venue to enjoy. Barrett-Jackson went to Palm Beach, Florida and sold over $21 million in cars. To finish a “Triple Crown,” they added a Las Vegas event as well. The latest event, Hot August Night Auction, was also a big success in Nevada.
The Barrett-Jackson legacy seems secure and continues to grow. The auction company has a phenomenal social media presence with over 100,000 fans on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. What began as a family-run operation has taken on international dominance. Barrett-Jackson is sure to remain at the top of the industry and continue to bring desired and rare vehicles within reach.
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