TORONTO, Ontario — Although the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction is known for being the place to go if you’re looking to expand your automobile collection, they have also done a lot of charity work through the years, with millions raised at each of their auctions.
The most recent auction which took place in Scottsdale, Arizona raised a record $9.6 million for 13 different charities. Among the cars to go across the block were Jeff Gordon’s own 2006 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, raising $600,00 for the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation. One of David Ragan’s Front Row Motorsports racecars from last season also went across the block, earning $300,000 for the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
“We started as a charity car show before we became an auction in the late 60s,” Barrett-Jackson CEO and Chairman Craig Jackson told POPULAR SPEED. “We started actually in 1967, but it didn’t evolve into an auction until the early 70s. So that’s been part of Barrett-Jackson, history-wise. It was Ford and us that worked together to sell the first vin number one in 2006, the first GT500, and it’s something we’ve taken from there.”
Through the years, other manufactures have used the Barrett-Jackson platform to auction off the first car from the assembly line for charity, including three of those for the auction in Scottsdale in January. Those three cars – the 2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition, 2020 Toyota Supra, and 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, raised a total $5.7 million.
“We don’t take a commission, we don’t charge a buy fee,” Jackson added. “You write the cheque right to the charity.”
Looking back through the years, Jackson says the two moments in which stand out to him would be selling the Futurline for $4 million, as well as the first charity sale with the GT500 in having Carroll Shelby, Mark Fields, and Edsel Ford each in attendance.
Jackson was in Canada last month at the Canadian International Auto Show, showcasing some cars from his own personal collection, as well as collectors across Ontario.
“I brought diversity,” Jackson commented. “I brought my Javelin, which I love racing. It was my brother’s racecar. It’s a piece of history. I really like that car, and probably will never sell it. I brought the Boyd Coddington car because I knew – I chose this before the auction – that the customs and restro-mods were going to do phonemically well so I wanted a car here that really explained roots of that, and this car was built years ago before the whole thing took one. And I brought my Stage 1 and my corvette because they’re sort of icons of the American muscle car and sportscar era.”
It’s no secret that Craig Jackson is a car enthusiast himself, and has made numerous purchases himself. One of his most recent is the first supercharged Shelby GT500 ever built – Little Red – which he is currently restoring.
“I try not to tell people what cars that I am looking for so I can find them,” he commented. “I was asked that question a year ago and I really can’t say anything as I’m close to finding it. But yeah, there’s some other cars that I want to find that have been lost forever. If they still exist, I want to find them.”
For any car enthusiast, one of their four auctions each year is a must-attend due to simply the array of cars that you will be able to see up close.
“Bring comfortable shoes, come early, and enjoy the party,” Jackson shared. “I tell people that are consignors to get there early and stay there with their car, and talk to people about it. I have people who have told me in the past, ‘What time is car running? Good, I’ll be there an hour before’. No no, you can’t do that. You can’t leave your car as an orphan all week. You need to be there talking to people about your car and answering questions.
“If you’re a bidder, get there early and ask the consignors questions, and ask us questions. That’s what we’re there.
“If you’re coming as a spectator, take in the whole week, especially Scottsdale. It’s 74 acres, 1.1 million square feet, the world’s largest temporary structure on the planet according to Guinness (World Records). So it’s almost eight tenths of a mile from the front entrance to the end of the tent. So it takes you awhile to go through all of the exhibit displays, and then all the cars. You can’t just come to Barrett-Jackson for a day. I have a lot of people that write me afterwards and say, ‘Yeah, you were right. I only saw a snippet and I want to come back and see that.’
“So enjoy the party, and enjoy the whole atmosphere of Barrett-Jackson. Don’t rush yourself.”
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