Tuesday, 15 January 2013 11:15

It's Arizona Auction Time

Written by 
Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2012 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2012 Tony Piff


There are hundreds of classic car auctions in the U.S. every year, but to those of us who keep a close eye on classic car values, several week-long events stand out from the rest. Arizona auction week, with six sales pushing close to 3,000 cars, is one of the largest events of the year, and that makes it a great barometer of how the market is doing.

Last year's Arizona auctions sold a grand total of $184m in classic cars and trucks. That was a record total, besting the previous high total of $167m from 2007. So what will 2013 bring for the annual Barrett-Jackson, Russo and Steele, RMGooding, Bonhams, and Silver Auctions in the Valley of the Sun? 

Once the dust settled in Monterey this past August, $258m in cars were sold, compared to the $198m made in 2011. That's a huge boost, but the cars were also the best of the best in top-market collectibles — remember, that's where RM sold the $11m GT40. We won't be seeing the same $60m increase here. Why? Because Arizona is a different market. These sales see a lot more American muscle, classics, and customs by volume than the auctions in Monterey. As a result, average prices tend to be lower here.

But the trends of growth do trickle down the market, and that means the momentum set in Monterey will likely push through Arizona. So once all is said and done, I think we'll see is a total closer to $200m, or possibly more, out of this year's sales. But hey, anything can happen in the auction world. We'll all just have to wait and see.

ACC's crew will be on-site all week. Stop by our booth at Gooding, or come to the Corvette Seminar at Barrett-Jackson on Thursday morning. We're always eager to talk cars, and we value your feedback.

What do you think this year's total will be in Arizona? Leave your predictions in the comments below.

Jim Pickering

Jim Pickering is the Editor of American Car Collector magazine and has been the Managing Editor of Sports Car Market magazine since 2006. As proficient with Snap-On tools as he is with a keyboard, Jim began his career as a professional mechanic while still in college at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, where he earned a B.A. in Creative Writing. He can often be found at Portland International Raceway at the Late-Night Drags, behind the wheel of his 12-second big-block powered 1966 Chevrolet Caprice. He is also currently restoring a 1972 Chevrolet K10 Cheyenne Super longbed in his spare time.