December 1999

A Collector Car Oasis

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The American collector car auction year has just two seasons. One is the end-of-summer Monterey Historic extravaganza, with six months worth of activities crammed like a pkzipped computer file into 96 crazy hours. The trends we saw in Monterey boded well for the market, with high selling rates from all three companies there (Christie's, Brooks and RM Classic Cars).
Christie's, under the leadership of David Gooding, should be acknowledged for continuing to raise the bar at Monterey-each year, they lead in quality of consignments, thoroughness of catalog research and communication with potential bidders. RM and Brooks also continue to improve the quality of their presentations, to the benefit of buyers and sellers both, but it is Christie's that is setting the tone in Monterey.
The second season in the collector year arrives each January. In the Sonoran Desert on the outskirts of Scottsdale, Arizona, the Barrett-Jackson auction springs to life, its magnificent white tent acting as a beacon for car enthusiasts from all over the world. The combination of the spacious setting, the (usually) glorious weather, the more-than-800 cars and the 100,000-plus attendees makes this event unique.