Arizona Auto Auction Week – Judging the Future Classics

Arizona Auto Auction Week – Judging the Future Classics

Future Classics - Sport and SpeciatlyMy friend Andy Reid was asked to be the chief judge for a new car show here in Arizona to compliment the already crazy week of activities. The show was titled “Future Classics” and the main sponsor was www.classiccars.com, where Andy is their East Coast editor. In a moment of desperation he asked me to help judge the European cars coming there.

The show was held at High Street near the Desert Ridge Mall and was a wild success with more than 150 cars in attendance. Hip hop and dance music was blaring and I got to see a wide assortment of cars, from 930 Turbos to a one-of-three optioned Mitsubishi Starion, (pretty ratty, but pure gold in the owner’s eyes!)

Both “diamonds in the rough” and beautiful custom builds shared the street. After the AZ Concours d’Elegance it was certainly different, but no less fun! The quality and craftsmanship of the work on these cars exceeded many I saw on Sunday and the attention to detail was amazing! You can see the some of the cars on their Facebook page, Future Classic Car Show.

future-classics-1The Best of Show went to John Garza’s perfect resto-mod done on a first generation Toyota Celica (top photo) with a four cam engine swap. If TRD built a Celica, this would be it! So cool! Also of note was an unmolested Saab 900S with less that 40K miles. The Chicago based husband and wife team of Arnie and Lena Press each won with their Dinan Stage 3 BMW M3 Coupe and Acura NSX. Both were absolutely beautiful cars.

I don’t often get to spend time with the “modern” stuff! Hope I get asked again next year.


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Arizona Auto Auction Week – Let’s Get Started!

Arizona Auto Auction Week – Let’s Get Started!

Let’s get this week going!! Arizona Concours d’Elegance today at the lovely Biltmore. What a great backdrop for the fine cars shown. I’ll be posting more pictures this week as I check out the auctions, beautiful weather, and car values. Stay tuned!


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Arizona Auto Auction Action – More Than Just Barrett Jackson

Arizona Auto Auction Action – More Than Just Barrett Jackson

Back in 2014 I made my first trek west to Arizona Auction Week here in Scottsdale. It was so successful, and I had so much fun, that it is now an automatic repeating event on my January calendar.

Aside from the fact that the weather in Illinois is typically miserable and I have family and friends here I love seeing, this event is a great way to kick off the new year for the classic and collector car hobbyists and professionals alike.

Still often referred to as the Scottsdale “Barrett Jackson” auction, (mostly due to the TV presence) it has grown into something much bigger. In addition to the huge Barrett Jackson show, there a number of smaller, yet no less serious auctions happening, each with their own flavor. Russo Steele, RM, Bonham’s, Gooding’s, to name some that I enjoy attending.

In 2012 I was starting to worry that Mark Baker’s marvelous 100R was going to fall into disrepair due to lack of use. Around mid-year, on a whim, I asked Kathy if she might be interested in trying to sell the car at auction, maybe in Monterey. We felt the ability to see the car would help increase interest, as print ads hadn’t been very fruitful. The only house with space was Russo Steele and they accepted the consignment. We set a reserve in the $90,000 range and sent it to California.

Bidding only went to $ 84,000 so it was decided to simply take it back home. 2013 brought another round of fruitless sales attempts. Kathy Baker and I agreed that if the 100R was sent to Scottsdale, I would come out and marshal it through the process, as well as enjoy some much welcomed family time.

Bonham's Auction - Sport and Specialty's Austin Healey 100R

Bonham’s listing renamed Mark’s car to a 100BN1 Competition and  went into great detail about the car and its history.

Bonham’s accepted the car and it was placed as the last lot of the day. My first auction experience taught me some really valuable lessons, besides patience.

  • First: Don’t try to sell a unique European sports car at a generally American muscle car oriented house. Bonham’s was a far better choice for this car specifically. In my opinion, Russo Steele is a reputable high-end auction house, just far better suited to represent cool American iron.
  • Second: Don’t simply send a car out and hope it is presented well before it hits the stage. You don’t have to camp out, but occasional visits and just answering questions of interested folks can help.

The car hammered at $124,500, with premium, it passed hands at $136,400. For a non-factory Le Mans 100M, that was an excellent price for an excellent car. I must also admit that the bidding to that number was absolutely intoxicating! Once it passes the previous $85K mark I was pretty happy. When it hit $100,000, I was pacing like an expectant father. When it hammered at $124,500 you would have thought the Cubs won the World Series I was so giddy! Fun? Oh yea!

I will post more this week from Scottsdale. I want to share some thoughts on current sports car values and the impending “bubble”. Stay tuned……


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