by Rick Tavel? 1-20-2013 All Rights Reserved
Like so many of you I spent my Friday and Saturday with Barrett-Jackson closely watching the best of over 1400 cars that were being auctioned during the week and trying to determine just how much better the collector car market has become since the 2008 economic crash. If Craig Jackson is correct, he predicted that this year’s auction will top their best ever auction which was held in 2007. This year set several records at the famed collector car auction. Sales topped $109 million during their 42nd annual Scottsdale auction. And sales were not just for Barrett-Jackson. It appears that the other major auction companies are also seeing increases in the twenty to fifty percent area. All indications are that the collector car market is better than ever and the official results due out over the next few days should confirm this. As ?Corvetters? (re: enthusiasts, collectors, lovers, fanatics) many of us were following the almost two hundred Corvettes being auctioned. From perfectly restored Corvettes to high quality customs brought strong prices throughout the auction. Among all the fine Corvettes there were three that seemed to garner the most attention: GM Chairman Dan Akerson’s 1958 Corvette, the number 12 L88 Owens-Corning Corvette racecar (the winningest Corvette race car of all time) and of course the new number 1 VIN Corvette C7.
In addition to the strong Corvette offerings, a real auto enthusiast couldn’t help drool over several of the consignments being auctioned; everything from the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing (previously owned by Clark Gable) which finally sold after failing to meet the reserve for $1,850,000, to a ?Plum Crazy? 1971 Hemi-cuda convertible which was one of only eleven built and sold for $1.32 million. Then there was former President George Bush’s personal pick-up truck which Jay Leno comically berated the audience into paying $300,000 to benefit the very worthy Fisher House Charity which benefits our Veterans. And as exciting as these cars were they all were eclipsed when George Barris’s original 1966 ?Batmobile? sold for the second highest price ever paid for a car at Barrett-Jackson,an astounding, jaw-dropping $4,620,000 stunning the audience and even some of the ?SpeedTV’s commentators.
One of the highlights of Friday evening was watching GM Chairman Dan Akerson’s beautiful 1958 Corvette sell for $270,000. Just prior to the bidding Akerson, via ?live feed? from the Detroit Auto Show told Bob Varsha of SpeedTV? that since becoming chairman of GM he hasn’t had to time to drive the perfectly restored turquoise C1 and decided the money raised from the sale would better benefit Detroit’s Habitat For Humanity. Akerson’s Corvette was just one of twenty six charity lots that crossed the block raising over five million dollars for charities of all types. The perfectly restored C1 was bought by Rick Hendrick current owner of the NASCAR team, Hendrick Motorsports and founder of the Hendrick Automotive Group.