Barrett-Jackson, WestWorld, Scottsdale, January 14-22, 2017
Any Barrett-Jackson auction is a spectacle, but none of them are as spectacular as WestWorld in January.
This is where it started over four decades ago and where the Barrett-Jackson ‘event’ format first took shape. The size, scope and diversity is breathtaking and no one who loves cars should let an opportunity to visit slip by. It runs for eight days and, honestly, it takes two of them just to walk through and take the measure of the auction cars, exhibitors, entertainment, vendors and the crowds, many of whom don’t have a clue what they’re looking at in the preview areas and lineup.
That sounds a little condescending, but drawn to Barrett-Jackson by the hype and the television, the ignorance of many of the day-trippers is one of Barrett-Jackson’s strengths: it draws new people into the stream of car collecting, imparts a sense of the hobby’s allure and builds anticipation for more involvement.
Attendance seemed to be off from last year, not helped by chilly, wet weather that may have kept on-site spectators back in the motel watching on television while gorging on Long Wong’s Wings instead of braving the elements for their entire time in Scottsdale.
Even in my 26th year at WestWorld I wasn’t immune and nearly came home with a telescoping flag pole (with solar powered light.) Consumption is the underlying concept; what’s a few hundred dollars at an event where millions are in play?
This year saw the largest consignment ever at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale. Although the average and median transactions were lower than the last few years the sale exceeded $100 million, at $101.5 million, 0.9% below last year.
As usual, some results were low, some were high and most were just right as even in the high pressure, TV cameras in bidders faces, environment of the Barrett-Jackson auction block bidders by and large made intelligent decisions about values.
Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale is an event not to be missed and its makeup and success is a strong indicator of the health and prospects of the collector car hobby. All indications from WestWorld 2017 are good with healthy but not exuberant prices and plenty of money being spread around.
Here are the numbers:
On-site observations were contributed by Andrew Newton, Greg Ingold, Tim Weadock and Reggie Horning; as always the Editor is responsible for the final context and comments.
Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2017 – Auction Report