As soon as the L88 was pushed off the stage the stage lights flashed and a video introducing what thousands of enthusiasts had been waiting for, the new C7 began to play. Following a recent trend Barrett-Jackson? was offering GM’s brand new generation Corvette, the number one production VIN of the first production new Corvette C7 to benefit the College of Creative Studies in Detroit. In an earlier interview, Akerson pointed out that one of the important attributes of the new Corvette was that it symbolized the ?new GM?. It was the first new car started after the ?bankruptcy? and only two parts on the car were carried over from the prior Corvette. Revolutionary weight-saving engineering concepts were incorporated throughout the design. The Torch Red car was surrounded by admirers and following GM’s global vice president of design Ed Welburn’s introduction the bidding jumped quickly in hundred thousand dollar increments until it reached the final selling price of $1.1 million. The high bidder, you guessed it, Rick Hendrick, will be able to choose colors and options for the number one car and Welburn threw in the added incentive of allowing him to pick the new C7 up at the Corvette design center in Detroit. This important Corvette will become a part of what Craig Jackson referred to as, ?the greatest Corvette collection in the world?.
So the auction season In Scottsdale is history. It has turned out to be the strongest in history. As enthusiasts we got to see some great cars, especially some exciting Corvettes. Steve Davis, President of Barrett-Jackson, asked the question that so many collectors and enthusiasts were asking themselves, ?I can’t wait to see how we top it in 2014.?
If there was a downside to the auction, unfortunately, it was the fact that the very best Corvettes crossing the block would now become sequestered in Rick Hendrick’s ?private? collection which is not open to the public. A huge disappointment for any Corvette collector, who appreciates exceptional cars.
All too often when the subject of Rick Hendrick acquiring another Corvette is discussed in the forums, it is often followed by negative comments. At first I wasn’t sure why unless it was jealousy over being able to afford so many quality cars, or disapproval over the tax advantages Hendrick can accrue from the purchases or just a genuine overall dislike of the man. From all indications, by almost any measure Hendrick is a successful and respected business man who has managed to build his business into a $5 billion automobile based dynasty that encompasses not only dealerships but also a successful NASCAR team.