Barrett-Jackson, The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions™, announced that it has contracted collector car legend Rick Cole to serve as an Automotive Specialist. The announcement was made live on SPEED from the auction block during Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach event this past weekend.
Best known as the hobby’s “Auctioneer to the Stars”, Los Angeles-based Cole will utilize his vast experience in the auction arena to help Barrett-Jackson source consignments for collector cars and add his 35+ years of expertise and knowledge to find some of most highly-collectible automobiles and automobile collections. Cole will work hand in hand with Gary Bennett, Vice President of Consignments.
This won’t be Cole’s first encounter with Barrett-Jackson. In fact, he began his relationship with the auction company at the age of 16, when he befriended Tom Barrett and Russ Jackson.
“Russ and I would shovel gravel together to help keep dust off all the cars stored on a dirt lot,” Cole recalls fondly. “The Jacksons have always been like family to me, but beyond family, came respect for each other’s auction business. As my company grew successfully, Barrett-Jackson did as well; we’ve seen each other through a lot.”
Cole’s long history with collector car auctions started in 1978 when he established Rick Cole Auctions. He held hundreds of successful annual auto auctions in Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Palm Springs and even originated the first collector car auction during the famed Monterey auto week, selling more than 20,000 high-end and highly-sought after classic vehicles throughout his career.
In fact, long before million dollar cars were considered an achievable dream, Cole sold over a dozen vehicles for more than $1 million apiece and in 1988, Cole auctioned a Ferrari 250P racing car for a then unheard of $2.8 million.
Cole has also helped buy personal vehicles for celebrities such as Steve McQueen, Frank Sinatra, Robin Williams, Johnny Carson and Sylvester Stallone to name a few. He’s also sold numerous television and movie cars such as a James Bond DB-5 “007” Aston Martin from the movie “Goldfinger”, a Batmobile for creator George Barris, the 1937 Buick convertible featured in the final scene “Casablanca” and the cream-colored 1953 Roadmaster from “Rainman” to name a few.
Eventually, Cole sold his auction company to RM Auctions, a company that to this day still carries on the tradition of his famous Monterey Sports Car Auction.
“We couldn’t be more honored to have Rick join the Barrett-Jackson team,” said Craig Jackson, Chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “Rick comes with a truly unique set of qualifications – those, combined with his decades of experience, will help to ensure that Barrett-Jackson will always provide buyers with the finest vehicles on the market. I’ve been associated with Rick for many years and not only is he a good friend, but he personifies what Barrett-Jackson is about: honesty, integrity and a commitment to the business; we welcome him to the team.”