Extensive live coverage of Barrett-Jackson automotive auctions has seen them become the "reality TV" program of choice for the car collector crowd over the past decade, which has seen thousands of vehicles sold for often jaw-dropping prices, including the 10 examples from its three major auctions this year presented in our Globe Auto Classic Gallery.
The auction was born of the chance meeting in the 1960s between car collectors Tom Barrett and Russ Jackson in Scottsdale Arizona. Barrett was selling a V-16 Cadillac Town car, Jackson was interested, but no sale ensued. What did was a friendship and a partnership that saw first a car show, flamboyantly dubbed the Fiesta Del Los Auto Elegance, created by the pair and their first auction in 1971. Barrett sold a Mercedes-Benz 770 Phaeton for a then astonishing $153,000, garnered national headlines and setting the tone for the future.
The company now runs three auctions annually, in Scottsdale, Palm Beach Florida and Los Vegas, Nevada and next year will add another in Orange County California.
And it's a big buck business. In the 12 months leading up to this past summer its auctions were attended by 300,000 people, who bid for or watched 2,126 vehicles sold for $112-million.
But one that still has room for the little guy to still play. While some vehicles have changed hands between the ultra-wealthy for half a million dollars this year, somebody drove away from one auction in a 1976 Cadillac that sold for just $2,200.
The cars presented here are a sampling of this year's top sellers.
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