Collector car auction icon Rick Cole has joined Barrett-Jackson as an Automotive Specialist. The announcement was made on the auction block during Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach event this past weekend.
Barrett-Jackson said Los Angeles-based Cole will utilize his vast experience in the auction arena to help the company source consignments for collector cars. He will work 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,” commented Rick Cole. “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 automotive auctions in Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Palm Springs and even originated the first collector car auction during Monterey Classic Car Week. Well before million dollar cars were considered an achievable dream, Cole sold over a dozen vehicles for more than $1 million and in 1988, Cole auctioned a Ferrari 250P racing car for a then unheard of $2.8 million. All told, Cole sold more than 20,000 classic vehicles throughout his career.
Eventually, Cole sold his auction company in 1997 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.”