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1950 Cadillac sedan at Barrett-Jackson (Scottsdale)

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Yup Lot # 737. I keep the database up to date for Hi-Bid.com and there were 1210 cars sold at BJ this year. While the coupe WAS really nice, it seems the guys who NEEDED one weren't there. OR maybe they were saving their $36300 (with BJ's cut) for something else. There's always plenty of competition for bidder's dollars.A 65 Mustang coupe with AC (lot # 46.1) only went for $6700 and the owner was the guy from Ford who Named the Mustang! So, as with EBay and all auctions, they run hot and cold and it just depends who's in the room and wants it more. Jeff in CT

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You never know what really goes on in any auction. I have always been very hesitant to but from them because of the stories that you here.

Here is somthing that I picked up from another auto message board.

Barrett-Jackson's Westworld Tent Turns Out to be a House of Cards

January 27th, 2007 by fourwheeldrift

As a collector car journalist, I have been watching the Barrett-Jackson

auction for years. For the last five or so years, it has been very apparent

that the Scottsdale auction is at best a bastion of greed.and at worse,

all-out fraud.

I've discussed B-J with collectors, dealers and enthusiasts, many of whom

would be considered "insiders," meaning they've bought and sold cars at B-J

and other auctions, or are well-known in the collector car hobby. For some

reason, it is this year that people are all finally grumbling and passing

rumors in unison.

The bottom line is that Craig Jackson and the B-J company have really

screwed themselves this year. According to a disgruntled seller, their

contracts specifically promise every car three minutes on the stand. Due to

ego and greed, they expanded the Scottsdale '07 auction to the point they

could not provide this, plus they had the audacity to do it on live


A well-known former judge in the Ford Thunderbird circles was one of the

sellers who had his car short-timed. He has already filed a law suit

against B-J, and this is already being discussed as translating into

class-action status.

According to this judge and other sources, it appears Barrett-Jackson was

operating a bit on the same level as an evangelical healing show. They had

assistants milling around asking what specific sellers thought their cars

would bring. Armed with this information at the control desk, if a lot

passed the value at which a seller indicated he'd be happy, the car would

be rushed off and the gavel would fall - even if bidding was still very

much alive.

Because the event was televised on live television via the Speed TV

network, the plaintiff(s) now have video/audio proof that buyers were

signaling increased bids before the three-minute marks, but were denied by

a too-fast last call and hammer.

While this all might cause Barrett-Jackson to have to pay money to sellers

in the form of a judgment or settlement, it is something else that might

land Craig Jackson in jail.

It is no secret that Barrett-Jackson owns many cars that are run through

the auction - it was something I suspected many, many years ago. This was

proven when they started maintaining a showroom of cars in Arizona. This is

not illegal, but stay with me.

I've always suspected that the cars owned by Craig Jackson and the B-J

company were often driven up by shill bidders working for the company.

Essentially, the strategy works in the sense that ever since the auction

focus moved from classics like Packards and Duesenbergs to muscle cars, B-J

has been able to shill, say a Hemi Cuda or mid-year Corvette 427 they own,

which causes the value of the 10 other identical cars to increase. They

wind up "buying" their own car back, but the others go on to regular

buyers, who now are paying higher because of the perception the market has

moved up.

This suspicion has been validated by at least one auction attendee this

year that says he witnessed cars sold at auction headed in trailers back to

B-J's warehouse. The lawsuit allegedly points out that these cars also

spent significantly more time on the block than others.

If this isn't all interesting enough, during this year's auction, fellow

collector car journalist, Keith Martin of Sports Car Market, was booted

from the Westworld premises and his media credentials revoked for voicing

loud, specific concern regarding the event while sitting in the media room.

Barrett-Jackson accused Keith Martin of "holding court" and attempting to

send VIPs and journalists to the competing RM and Russo and Steele auction

events. Among the alleged opinions included that the cars at B-J were of

inferior quality (and had quality misrepresented,) as well as that the

bidders were significantly over-bidding cars, which shouldn't come as a

surprise to anyone who has witnessed people paying six figures for cars

they could have bought for under $50,000 any other day of the year!!!

This is somewhat of an interesting twist. Keith Martin's publication has

marketed the B-J events and has helped fuel its popularity. Keith is

definitely one of the great "insiders" of the hobby, and has been a friend

to Craig Jackson. In past years, Keith nor his publication have been

critical of the goings-on and rumors, while other collector car journalists

screamed that something stunk.

It makes sense, since Sports Car Market really only tracks the value of

vehicles and other items sold at auction, rather than via private sales

(which really has skewed SCM's values for years!) So without kissing-censored to

B-J, Keith would have missed insider info on the largest events covered by

his mag. So we can only guess that Keith and Craig had a falling out of

some type.

I applaud Keith for turning the corner on his view of B-J, but I'm with

others I've talked to about this: I hate to say this about a colleague, but

I felt his behavior was a bit unprofessional. As journalists, it is our

responsibility to write what we think, but going to the show for years,

then promoting RM and Russo+Steele while at Westworld is somewhat

unprofessional. I agree that Keith, a true hobbyist who started out by

writing an Alfa Romeo newsletter, was for a long time too much a part of

the "circus" about which he finally rejected, and that SCM has to a

significant degree helped to fuel misinformation and a house of cards

regarding specific auction prices and bidding behavior. Keith, by all

accounts, is a really good guy - an enthusiast, who maybe just needed to

take a step back and a big breath and reacquaint himself with those outside

of the very insulated collector car "in crowd" - and spend time with some

car people who are not trying to exploit the collectors. There are plenty

of guys who have dug themselves too deep into this little crowd, and are no

longer fun to deal with, because they've put personal greed well ahead of

the cars and the collectors. Keith will rebound - he has a great internal

staff of really fantastic people, who hopefully will help him return to his


That being said. While I've never met him, the buzz among those in the

hobby - both collectors and journalists, is that Craig Jackson is quite

arrogant, so don't expect many to come to his rescue. He inherited his

father's company, and has fueled B-J's growth with a combination of

intelligence, drive, ego, and greed. While there is nothing wrong with that

combination, when it results in unethical and possibly illegal activities,

that's inexcusable.

Like many surrounding the hobby, I will be watching the events unfold. Will

the Westworld tents come down like a house of cards, or will everything

just go away with an exchange of a little money? It's happened before, like

the 2006 event's Futurliner debacle when investor Ron Pratt allegedly

negotiated a $3.0M price (after B-J staff admitted to mistaking the high

bid), but the reported sale was for $4.0M.

It's hard to predict the outcome. None of us have all the facts. Craig

Jackson has become a very powerful man, and his company has pumped billions

of dollars into the Arizona economy over the years. He's allowed his say,

and the appropriate judge/jury might very well decide he personally has

done nothing wrong.

This all being said, there's no doubt that Barrett-Jackson "jumped the

shark" this year. Unlike when Fonzi did it, Craig Jackson drove his

allegedly shill-bid Hemicudas over the tank and down a ramp that could lead

to six years in a minimum security prison-issued orange jumpsuit. If that's

the case, maybe he can get Sports Car Market in the slammer to keep-up on

Russo and Steele, RM and Kruse auction results.

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