2018 Scottsdale Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction: Bring Your Checkbooks!

Odometer (Legend):  558,578

Odometer (NSX):  109,724

“Tyson, you’re going to have to dip into your savings to get this one!” pronounced my friend Kevin as we admired a 1969 Cadillac unlike anything we’d ever seen before.  The car was a running and driving jacuzzi.  You read that right; the “Carpool Deville” pictured below was one of many automobiles (1,729 in fact) up for grabs at this year’s 47th annual Barrett-Jackson collector car auction.  Speedo or bikini not included!

Barrett-Jackson brings automotive enthusiasts (usually, with large pocketbooks) together with rare & collectible vehicles.  It’s the perfect combination that attracts thousands of people like me to Scottsdale, Arizona every January to spectate.   This year, I attended with my friends Chris and Kevin, who are colleagues from the Acura Legend enthusiast community.  Kevin was pretty excited.


Each year, it seems the bar gets raised ever higher:   More cars, higher sale prices, and special guest appearances.  Little did I know going into Saturday’s auction that I would be in the same room as former U.S. President George W. Bush.  But that’s exactly what ended up happening.  Joining Mr. Bush on the stage was none other than Jay Leno himself.  And the Corvette they were promoting ended up being the auction’s third-highest sale for the week, with the $1.4 million pricetag going to charity.

The energy in the room was off the charts, with people standing up from their chairs, holding up their phones, and clapping / cheering each time the high bid went up another notch.  That’s the kind of crowd spirit that makes Barrett-Jackson such a fun annual tradition, even if means paying $16 for a baked potato for lunch.  The entertainment is far more than worth it.  Check out my video below for a small taste of what the scene was like, including George Bush’s remarks about the Corvette being a “damn good car.”

Perhaps our favorite car in the running this year –  since Chris had made us watch it on TV the evening prior – was a 1978 Ferrari 308 customized for the TV series Knight Rider by George Barris.  The styling certainly wasn’t for everyone, but the car’s provenance – a word I’m coming to learn is very important in the auto collector community – made it something special.  We watched it bring $85,000.

Another cool vehicle that we kicked the tires on was this 1990 Honda NSX, straight from Japan and looking pretty crisp in right-hand-drive configuration.  It had 49,000 miles on it and brought a $47,000 pricetag.  Notice – all of the cars get the final sales price written on the SOLD tag with a black Sharpie.

Below were the stats for Barrett’s overall results this year, courtesy of my friend Jonathan Klinger who is the Vice President of Public Relations at Hagerty Insurance.  Many thanks to him for keeping us in the loop via email on the daily happenings over at the auction block.  And thanks, too, to Hagerty’s CEO, McKeel Hagerty, for extending some heartfelt and kind words about the up-and-coming import collector car community when we ran into him right outside the auction area.  It was great to get to meet him.  Pictured here are McKeel, Chris, Jonathan, and myself.

Final Numbers for Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2018:

  • Overall Total: $116.7 million
  • 1,721/1,729 lots sold: 99% sell-through rate
  • Average Sale Price: $65,692
Overall Top 10 Sales (excludes charity cars):
  1. 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder – $1,430,000
  2. 1952 Ferrari 212 Europa – $1,100,000
  3. 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Cutaway Coupe – $1,100,000
  4. 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 – $770,000
  5. 1966 Shelby GT350 Prototype #001 – $605,000
  6. 2015 MTI Racing Boat – $548,900
  7. 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition – $495,000
  8. 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88 – $495,000
  9. 1958 Chevrolet Corvette Custom Convertible – $440,000
  10. 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge Ram Air IV Convertible – $440,000

Oh, and that hot tubbing 1969 Cadillac?  It sold for a value-priced $24,000, or about 6 times the cost of a traditional hot tub.  But for the sake of being able to say that your hot tub had a 472-cubic-inch V8 engine?  Priceless!

Thanks to the Barrett-Jackson team for the chance to attend such an awesome event.  Here is an 8-minute video that I captured of some of the highlights from my perspective, as well as a few additional photos.

Media Pass.  Here we go!

Life-sized Camaro “Hot Wheels” display.  Loved this!

Wide-eyed and soaking up the eye candy from the Salon Collection area.

I could go for a 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS!

This baked potato weighed more than an infant child.

Ran into a few friends, including Jack & Brad.

… And a buddy Tom from the NSX community.

I love these kinds of production number breakdowns.  I will be making something similar for my Legends the next time they’re on display.

Kevin went crazy each time we saw a split-window 1963 Corvette.  He needs one.

This 1930 Cord was front-wheel-drive.  Not something you saw very often during that era.

Food vendors galore!  Chris got a funnel cake.

Love the 1955-57 Chevy Bel Airs.

One of them had some appropriate looking props affixed to the passenger window.

Interior of the 1969 Cadillac hot tub.  The description sheet made it clear to mention, in large caps at the bottom, that the car cannot be registered or driven on public roads.  Bummer.

On our way out, we saw VIN 001 2019 Ford Mustang “Bullitt” Edition, a 50-year throwback to the original Bullitt that was driven by Steve McQueen.  It sold for $300,000.

Hope you enjoyed coming along to the auctions!  A few final sidebars today:

Looking for some midday entertainment to keep your mind off those meetings at the office?  My buddy Josh who you know from TSX Travels has launched a new channel about his latest toy.  The channel is called NSX Experiment.

My friend Cody’s extremely rare and well-kept 1993 Legend L sedan 5-speed hit Bring a Trailer today.  Take a peek and watch the action for the next 7 days at auction!  Good luck, Cody!

And finally, we have to congratulate my friend Eric in KY who found a good home for his red 1989 coupe a couple of days ago. He’s pictured here at left handing off the keys.  Congrats on the sale, Eric!  So many deals to be had.

Have a great week, all!

20 Responses to “2018 Scottsdale Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction: Bring Your Checkbooks!”

  1. Thanks Tyson for sharing the Auction, I so hate to let her go but good things coming in the future! Whomever gets her will be super happy I think. 🙂

    • You bet, Cody! Happy to spread the word, and I hope your sedan finds a good home. The auction is off to a really strong start already. It’s fun to read the comments – there is some definite appreciation going on in there. I’ll be watching closely.

  2. Holy cars! So what movie did you preview prior to attending BJ? That Ferrari…. I don’t recognize which show it belongs to. How is that Guest Room on Georgia Avenue? Be sure and make me a reservation for January 2019…

    • Your reservation is blocked off already for next January. The gold Ferrari was in an episode of Knight Rider in a chase scene. I cannot find it on YouTube for some reason.

  3. I keep thinking how much fun that jacuzzi Cadillac would have been in my college days. Talk about a party!

    • Seriously! It’s a party on wheels. If I had that thing, plus the stretch 1997 Lincoln Towncar limousine that my brother picked up years ago, I would have endless weekend entertainment for friends.

  4. Thanks for the coverage of the auctions, always cool to see what’s getting sold. Your additional details on the dollars and figures were pretty interesting too – I can’t believe that 99% of all cars were sold! That’s awesome! Didn’t realise Josh had launched a new channel for his NSX, the lazy buggar needs to update his blog, haha. Hope your week is going well.

    • Haha, I’ll forward your comment to Josh because I feel the same way. He needs to update us all. I’m pretty sure his TSX is well beyond 565,000 now and still climbing.

  5. Very cool post, and great coverage of the auction. LOVE the split-window ‘Vette. My uncle has a 65 convertible, but the 63 is one of my dream cars. Don’t remember that Ferrari in Knight Rider- you’ve given me an excuse to go back and watch the show again!!

    That NSX didn’t look like it was factory stock- did it have any mods besides the wheels?

  6. I made it to the blog! Maybe next year we can hit up Barrett-Jackson and a Cars & Coffee?

  7. I’d sure like to take a spin in a jacuzzi Caddy! Looks like another great Barrett-Jackson show. Love that Bullitt ‘Stang, but for 300k? Not sure about that. Haha! Happy Monday!

    • I know, people throw money around like it’s going out of style! Maybe someday I’ll be a high roller who can plunk down $300k for a set of wheels. Happy Monday to you as well!

  8. Everytime I see the outcome of a BJ Auction all I can think is “if I only knew then what I know now…”

    All those missed opportunities to have bought one of those future million $$$ cars way back when it was a fraction of today’s value.

    Still I think what surprises me most is how high those mid 70s through 80s malaise era cars are appreciating… definitely didn’t see that coming.

  9. Hahaha the jacuzzi Caddy sure gets around! I saw that here in our local cruise-in a few years ago. What a hoot!

    Speaking of getting around … Tyson I don’t know when you have time to sleep. I see that you eat on the road trips, who could miss the great food pics 🙂

    Better late than never … Pam

    • Too funny – I wonder where that Cadillac spa will end up next. Shame it can’t be registered or driven on public roads. Thanks for reading the blog, as always (even if it’s a little late!). I enjoy sharing my little news updates with the community. Hope you are doing very well, Pam! 🙂

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