Barrett-Jackson, Orange County Fairgrounds, Costa Mesa, California, June 22-24, 2012
Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor
In its 41st anniversary year Barrett-Jackson appeared for the third time at its newest venue, the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California.
This is, among all four Barrett-Jackson locations, the best site for B-J’s collector car event production. It’s big. It’s amenable to a fair midway presentation along the highline chair lift and ideal for station after station of vendor, sponsor and exhibitor booths, trailers and tents. Nothing is very far from anything else.
There are numerous permanent buildings for safe, secure display of auction cars backed up by acres of asphalt for overflow preview tents.
The OC Fairgrounds staff on the gate, parking lots and around the site is experienced, efficient and helpful.
I missed 2011, attendance pre-empted by family matters, and the new layout for 2011 and 12 with a pair of Scottsdale tents for the auction and vendor displays freed up room for better pre-auction display of the cars and a more cohesive on-site layout.
Barrett-Jackson carefully structures the cars it consigns to its four auctions and OC reflected the Southern California car culture. A full third of the lots offered were self-described as customs or street rods. They’re admired on Southern California roads and freeways and in the cruise-ins that happen all over the region every day of the week and B-J gave its Southern California bidders many chances to satisfy their urges to own something that resonates in the region.
With a median value of under $25K it’s also a venue with many rides accessible to the thousands who follow Barrett-Jackson live on SPEED TV.
How successful is B-J at presenting its “collector car event” format? They now have all three US major manufacturers, Ford, GM and Chrysler (featuring the new SRT brand), as exhibitors plus Toyota – which for some totally inexplicable reason presented a display of the Prius Hybrid family to the horsepower-obsessed crowd at B-J OC.
Barrett-Jackson Orange County, even more than usual, was permeated by legions of day-tripping tire kickers, but also a high proportion – maybe even higher than in Scottsdale – of knowledgeable, informed, serious folks who knew what they were looking at, and what they were looking for.
They could not have been impressed by a number of cars that were presented with sketchy, and often completely lacking, information and documentation, but such documentation shortcomings were largely – but not completely – reflected in bidders’ unwillingness to chase shaky cars to exalted prices. Bidders knew what they were seeing and acted responsibly on that knowledge.
For the most part.
Here are the numbers:
*There were a passing few cars offered with reserve that did not sell. They were not reported by B-J and have not been included in these results.