NWAS Abroad: Barrett-Jackson 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

This year marked the 42nd annual “world’s greatest collector car auction,” and it may have been one of the most exciting years for Barret-Jackson to date. With attendance numbers reaching off the charts and total vehicle sales netting over $100 million, it’s pretty easy to see that Barret-Jackson is indeed worthy of the “world’s greatest” moniker. So, if you’ve never experienced B-J AZ in person, let us bring you up to speed on everything you’re missing out on!

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

Barrett Jackson 2013 It all starts with credentials. Whether you’re just a spectator, part of the press, or there to bid cars up into 6 figure territory, you’re going to need a ticket, a pass, a laminate, and/or potentially a briefcase full of unmarked, non-consecutive twenties. Point being, it ain’t cheap, but it is well worth it. If you’re lucky, you might be able to snake your way in with some high rollers via a comped bidders pass, but be prepared to score as many gratis beverages as the liver can consume & have a difficult time holding your camera steady.

Upon entering the first of many display tents, you’ll be greeted with the sights and sounds one might find at a national auto show. Makers, customizes, and resellers alike line the halls with their most famed vehicles & prized possessions. There are seemingly endless rows of merchandise, memorabilia, and collectables available for purchase as well, and if you’re feeling like a big spender it’s the perfect spot to stock up on supplies outfit your man-cave with. On the first day of wandering, we spotted a subtly striped SRT Viper, a crazy mustang build outside the DuPont booth, and even (what we assume is) the same Lexus LFA that Tony Hawk gaped over last year!

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

One pass through the grounds of West World and you’ll quickly realize that Barrett-Jackson show goers are all about having the best time they can, especially if that means staying well-fed & as dehydratingly hydrated as possible. You’re free to bring in water & snacks, but chances are you’ll want to bite the bullet and just get sick on fair food. Turkey legs, mountainous plates of french fries, and even “golden pizza” is available just outside the main tents of Barrett, ready for consumption. The drinks aren’t exactly cheap, but neither are the cars, so the math adds up.

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

When we say the cars aren’t cheap, we mean it. While Barrett does offer quite the spectrum of automobiles for just about every range of buyer out there, the numbers we saw cross the blocks this year were higher than anything witnessed in years past. Not only were there endless sums of just about every model year of Corvette imaginable, but there was just about every type of American classic around. It’s the place to be if you’re into survivor Mustangs, Hemi barn finds, rust bucket trucks & rods with natural or aftermarket patinas alike, resto-mods of the tasteful and not so tasteful variety.

Oh, and the Batmobile.

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

There’s a lot of funky stuff at Barret, too. Tuners & shops have projects on display, and the customization can get pretty wild. Big shows always have big personalty, and you can see a lot of personal charm in how & what people get around in. Custom golf carts¬† & scooters can be spotted cruising around the grounds, and some are even available to rent if your feet get too tired.

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

Something about this year just felt a bit more high profile, though. Maybe it was the fact that GM was going to be auctioning off “the first” 2014 Corvette Stingray, or just being in the presence of the original Batmobile that had everyone on alert for any big money opportunities, but the money was out and people were excited to purchase, which is always exciting!

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

The rush doesn’t just stop with the crowd & the cars, either. Being on stage with million dollar listings is a pretty incredible feeling. The energy in the room will make the hair on your arms stand up as prospective buyers get in bidding wars and numbers start to push upwards of 6 figures. But, even with a bidder guest pass, it’s hard to spend more than a couple minutes in the crowded staging areas or up on the blocks without feeling a little overwhelmed. Everyone wants to be as close to the cars as possible, and it becomes a bit of a photographer mosh pit. Flashbulbs blasting, lights cranked, and with every camera in the house staring straight back down your lens, it can be difficult to even muster a “hi mom!” while waving to SPEED Channel, let alone do anything but wipe the drool from the corner of your mouth with the cocktail napkin from your Jack & Coke and try not to spill on Clark Gable’s 300SL.

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

Positioning was perfect for catching the exact moment that the 1949 Delahaye Type 175 sold, and the new owner showed a look that seemed to be a mix of pure joy, fear, and sheer wonderment as the hammer fell on a $1,210,000 price tag.

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

We got a good look at one of two custom Rolls-Royce Boat tail speedsters on the show floor, and tried to catch them crossing the blocks together, but given their prime time slot during the evening the crowds were a bit overwhelming. Even though he had a clear view, it seemed like one of the stagehands was having an equally hard time keeping his eyes on the Rolls.

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

Really, the best place to get a look at any of the vehicles is either after they’ve already found a new home, or just as they’re reaching the final staging area. Camping out in one of the lanes and trying to look official holding a camera is usually a pretty sound tactic for any automotive event, and if your timing is right, you’ll catch a lot of action before anything gets sold. On top of that, the staging zone is also where most of the TV cameras & personalities hang out, so if you want see a bit of humanity or get behind the scenes of SPEED channel, that’s the spot to do it. While waiting for the Batmobile to reach the pits, a credential-less, unofficial rendition of the caped crusaders were hanging out & catching photo ops with anyone interested. Perhaps next year the trick will be to just go full cosplay, try to get in free, and post up with whatever famed movie-hero car is on the docket.

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

It was a bit of a stretch to even get a decent cellphone shot of the heavy hitters as the pulled into pit lane on Saturday, as the crowds swarmed almost instantaneously. Even finding enough shoulder space to stick a camera up in the air with one arm was difficult without smacking bodies with someone else; just take in the two crowd shots below for a couple seconds, and you’ll get a feeling for the madness.

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

Besides the smorgasbord of American metal, there is also quite the collection of more prestigious, vintage coaches, a handful of legitimate race cars, and plenty of silly odds & ends in between. If you don’t see it in Monterey for Car Week, chances are you’ll see it at Barrett-Jackson!

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013NorthWest Auto Salon Barret Jackson Arizona 2013

While we didn’t get to spend as much time getting show coverage as we would have liked, the Barrett-Jackson experience never ceases to delight. With a bit more planning, maybe next year we’ll catch a week off, get press passes, and maybe even come with a plan to pick up a new toy or two.

For more information about admission, registration, vehicle sales, all the listings & everything in between, visit www.barrettjackson.com!

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