SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA (April 15, 2009) – The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company recorded more than $20 million in total sales and delivered its trademark excitement during the 7th Annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Collector Car Auction April 9-11, 2009. The all No Reserve auction featured an eclectic docket, including the “Project American Heroes” 1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS custom that fetched $500,000 to benefit the Armed Forces Foundation and a classic 1934 Auburn 1250 Salon Cabriolet that brought $253,000, as well as a group of vehicles from the General Motors Heritage fleet. Barrett-Jackson welcomed more than 55,000 attendees to the event and experienced a 20 percent increase in walk-up ticket buyers at the gate during the three-day auction at the Americraft Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds.
“Barrett-Jackson proved the resiliency of the car collecting hobby with one of the most exhilarating events in our history at Palm Beach,” said Craig Jackson, Chairman/CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “We built on the momentum generated in Las Vegas and Scottsdale with strong sales across the board, including more than $1.5 million raised for charity. And even though we shortened the event to three-days due to the Easter holiday weekend, more than 55,000 enthusiasts came to be part of the action. We also had tremendous web activity during our event with a 300 percent increase in page views and an increase of approximately 6 million hits.”
One of the highlights of the 2009 Palm Beach auction was the emotional sale of the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS custom. Dubbed “Project American Heroes II,” the muscle car brought $500,000 on Friday following a bidding battle underneath a giant American Flag above the auction block. All proceeds from the sale of the Camaro were donated to the Armed Forces Foundation, which provides financial support to service members and their families. First Lt. Mark Little, who was helped by the Foundation, explained the importance of the organization to the Barrett-Jackson crowd prior to the sale.
“Each Barrett-Jackson auction has its defining moment, and the ‘Project American Heroes’ sale was the hallmark of the 2009 Palm Beach event,” noted Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “The energy in the building was unlike anything we’ve ever experienced at Barrett-Jackson. Soldiers like First Lt. Mark Little are true American heroes and we’re proud to assist with their recovery.”
Other cars sold for charity included a pair of Ford Mustang concepts that fetched $175,000 each for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the first retail Ford Shelby GT500 that sold for $150,000 to benefit the Carroll Shelby Children’s Foundation and the 2006 Monte Carlo racecar driven by Jimmie Johnson for $200,000.
“We’re proud to report that we have raised more than $20 million for charities since 2006,” added Jackson. “It’s a reflection of the passion of our customers and their charitable nature.”
Another top seller was the 1934 Auburn 1250 Salon Cabriolet driven by James Cagney in the 1933 film, “The Mayor of Hell.” The award-winning, Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club-certified classic went for $253,000.
Barrett-Jackson continued to cultivate the hobby by attracting an impressive number of new bidders to the Palm Beach auction. Of the nearly 1,100 registered bidders, approximately 35 percent were first timers who were responsible for more than 30 percent of auction block purchases. Barrett-Jackson’s healthy offering of entry-level to mid-range vehicles was essential to the influx of newcomers.
“The collector car hobby is growing and Barrett-Jackson is the catalyst,” added Davis. “While we continue to offer top-tier cars for seasoned collectors, our diverse docket attracts enthusiasts from across all ages and experience levels. Plus, the automotive lifestyle aspect continues to bring in thousands of people.”
The auction will be most be remembered for the drama surrounding the 115 vehicles sold by General Motors. Though the organization has been managing their fleet over the past 6 years by selling duplicate cars and less historically significant vehicles, Barrett-Jackson was informed by GM late Thursday that issues surrounding some of the cars meant that a high percentage of the vehicles would not be sold during the auction. After a marathon session by the legal teams from GM and Barrett-Jackson, the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration and its Acting Administrator, Ron Medford, communicated to Barrett-Jackson Friday afternoon that previous issues concerning the sale of vehicles by GM were resolved and all sales could go forward.
“GM and Barrett-Jackson are pleased that the auction of GM vehicles went forward as planned,” explained Jackson. “We’re grateful to NHTSA for their decision to allow the sale of these vehicles at the auction to proceed. The result was that people had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy historic cars directly from GM for their private collections.”
The top 10 cars sold in Palm Beach include:
* 1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS custom “Project American Heroes” – $500,000 (Lot #369.1)
* 1934 Auburn 1250 Salon Cabriolet – $253,000 (Lot #669.1)
* 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR “Jimmie Johnson #48” – $200,000 (Lot #672)
* 2004 Ford Mustang GT convertible concept – $175,000 (Lot #655)
* 2004 Ford Mustang GT coupe concept – $175,000 (Lot #655.1)
* 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 convertible – $173,250 (Lot #668)
* 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 coupe – $150,000 (Lot #665)
* 1959 Chevrolet Corvette custom convertible – $148,500 (Lot #652.1)
* 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS5 convertible – $148,500 (Lot #653.1)
* 1967 Shelby GT500 fastback – $143,000 (Lot #667)