The numbers are atypical, I absolutely agree there.

Preliminary results from Barrett-Jackson Online Only May sale showed 45 of 85 lots sold for $3,560,525, which is far from the normal Barrett-Jackson bottom line.

This was a far-from-normal sale, however.

I counted only four cars listed as no reserve. In recent years, that number might have been the total number of cars with reserve at one sale, such as the Northeast or Palm Beach auctions.

We’ll be better able to sort through the online auction numbers as other companies wrap up their sales in the coming weeks and months.

Watching the listings close over last Friday and Saturday, I didn’t see many lots with low or insulting bids. In fact, some of the crazy truck pricing of late has continued. Lot 208, a custom 1972 Chevy Cheyenne pickup, sold for $71,500, with the 10% buyer’s premium included.

One lot that really caught my attention was the 1996 Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR racer driven by the Intimidator himself, Dale Earnhardt.

From the catalog description: “An original No. 3 Chevrolet driven by Dale Earnhardt, from the personal collection of legendary NASCAR team owner Richard Childress. This marks the first time that Childress has parted with an original Earnhardt car from his collection… Highlighted by a win at Rockingham Speedway in 1996, Earnhardt did not finish worse than fourth with Chassis No. 22 in its first three on-track appearances.”

This charity lot sold for $425,000 and 100% of the hammer price went to benefit Feeding America and Samaritan’s Purse. As an added bonus, if the buyer goes to pick up the car, they’ll get a VIP tour of Richard Childress Racing in Welcome, NC, along with lunch, wine and photo ops. Sounds like a good deal to me.

My initial impression of Barrett-Jackson’s exclusively online sale is that sellers had reserves a little too high for the sheer level of uncertainty surrounding most everything right now. Remember that many prices have fallen flat or trended downwards in the last few years. As states begin phased re-openings, and we get closer to the return of in-person car auctions, we’ll see where this sale falls on the bell curve of online auctions.

We have a few more lined up to start in the next few weeks. RM Sotheby’s Driving into Summer sale starts Thursday, May 21. EG Auctions will run another online timed auction, with their June sale running June 5–14. On June 12 and 13, Worldwide Auctioneers returns to action for the first time since Scottsdale in January. Their Americana Festival and Auction will be packed with collector cars, airplanes, automobilia and militaria — over 1,500 lots are expected.

One sale we were expecting next month will move online. Leake’s Tulsa sale was previously rescheduled for the last weekend in June at the convention center.

“The health and safety of our customers and employees is our first priority,” said Gary Bennett, General Manager of the Leake Auction Division. “So, instead of an in-person auction, we our focusing all our efforts on our online sales options, including Marketplace-E, where sellers can select ‘Make Offer’ or ‘Buy Now’ options, allowing collectors and enthusiasts to sell and purchase vehicles at any time from the safety of their home or office. This model has already proven incredibly successful for many of our customers.”

In the meantime, stay safe and keep washing those hands.

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