Chad’s Blog: Barrett-Jackson Comes to Reno

Back in January, Barrett-Jackson announced a new sale coming in August. The Biggest Little City in the World was getting a big name, with television crews in tow, as the sponsored auction of the Hot August Nights week.

The auction giant arrived in Reno earlier this week taking over every square foot of the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, as well as the neighboring Atlantis Casino Resort Spa. It’s a tight fit putting an event such as Barrett-Jackson into a town already full of gearheads and their families. When parking at the convention center, make sure you don’t go down the wrong way or you’ll need a tow truck and two new front tires. Thanks, directional tire spikes.

At the event, before walking into the auction room, everybody gets to go through the vendor areas. It isn’t on the same scale as the Scottsdale sale, yet. But B-J again pulled such a variety of purveyors that you don’t even need to be interested in cars to enjoy your time here. Moose heads, bear sculptures, boots, belts and even life-size jiggling mannequins are just waiting to go home with someone. Beetlejuice, Willie Nelson, a cop, or what might be Yanni can join you at the dinner table, or hide in a closet to scare guests.

Ford and GM set up in their usual places at B-J events. Through the main entrance Ford brought their latest and greatest wares to compete with the buzz from GM’s newest Chevrolets. Both auto companies offer daily Ride ‘N Drives where professional race and performance drivers take a passenger in a lap outside the convention center.

And what would a new auction be without some buzz? Cross promotion is what put Hot Wheels and drag racing in the public conscience back in 1969. Mattel struck a deal with Don Prudhomme and Tom McEwen sponsoring the racers and producing the small toy cars that sold beyond expectations.

Those two restored dragsters sit loaded on the restored pickup haulers that carried them to and from glory over 40 years ago. This is the first time in 43 years that the haulers went beyond California’s borders, and part of their tour before being sold off in Scottsdale this upcoming January.

All that gets wrapped up in a bow with Hot August Nights, Barrett-Jackson, and Snake and Mongoose hosting the premiere tonight, August 9th, at Century Park Lane 16 in Reno.

This won’t be the last Barrett-Jackson brings their party to Hot August Nights. Look for full coverage of the auction in the next issue of ACC.