Exclusive: Barrett-Jackson replaces Spanky as lead auctioneer

Young champion auctioneer Joseph Mast will lead Barrett-Jackson bidding starting with the Reno sale | Barrett-Jackson
Champion auctioneer Joseph Mast will lead Barrett-Jackson bidding | Barrett-Jackson

Barrett-Jackson watchers will see a few key changes on the auction stage during the third annual Hot August Nights sale, which starts today at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada.

A new lead auctioneer has been identified by Barrett-Jackson. The award-winning Joseph Mast will head the team of auctioneers and bidder assistants starting with the Reno event.

Mast replaces long-time lead auctioneer Spanky Assiter, known for wearing spectacles on his forehead, who had been with the Scottsdale-based auction house since 1992. Also gone from the stage is Assister’s wife, Amy, a bidder assistant whose charismatic presence was popular among Barrett-Jackson regulars.

Barrett-Jackson recently severed ties with Assiter & Associates, auctioneers of Amarillo, Texas, reportedly over a contract dispute. But auction chairman Craig Jackson said in an interview with ClassicCars.com that a change in the most-public face of the auction was “inevitable.”

“I’m trying to move onward and upward and bring on fresh blood and energy,” Jackson said of his choice of the young Mast to lead the show. “He’s a hot shoe.”

Spanky Assiter did not immediately respond to a message asking for comment left at his office by Classic Car News. In 2007, Assiter was inducted into the National Auctioneers Association’s Hall of Fame, and in July, he was elected president of the organization.

Spanky Assiter was with Barrett-Jackson since the early 1990s | Assiter.com
Spanky Assiter was with Barrett-Jackson since the early 1990s | Assiter.com

Mast, an Ohio native, was the youngest winner of the prestigious International Auctioneers Championship in 2011, when he was 31. A member of Barrett-Jackson’s auctioneer team since 2008, Mast gained near-celebrity status recently when he appeared in a TV advertisement for Geico insurance demonstrating why an auctioneer would make a lousy grocery-store cashier.

The new lead auctioneer brings to Barrett-Jackson his own team, some of whom have been with the auction for a while.

“It’s a privilege for me and the team to be associated with Craig Jackson as part of a strong, global brand that advances the market in such a positive way,” Mast said in a Barrett-Jackson news release. “We look forward to the Hot August Nights Auction and will exceed the high standards that fans have come to expect from Barrett-Jackson.”

Mast graduated from the Missouri Auction School in 2001. His early auctioneer career focused on estate, personal property and real estate before he added auto auctions. For the past five years, Mast also has auctioned off thoroughbred racehorses in Kentucky. In addition to his auctioneer championship titles, Mast sits on the board of directors of the National Auctioneers Association.

“For more than seven years we’ve watched Joseph grow into a world-class auctioneer,” Jackson said in the  new release.  “Not only does he have a deep love of the collector car market, but he has connected with our bidders and consignors on a very personal level. His team, many of whom are already familiar faces at our events, offers a contagious energy and excitement that is synonymous with Barrett-Jackson. They are a perfect fit for the future of our company.”

The Reno auction takes place during the popular Hot August Nights hot rod, custom and classic car extravaganza in which thousands take to the streets for shows, contests and lots of cruising in the Reno, Sparks and Lake Tahoe area.

The three-day auction runs today through Saturday with live coverage broadcast on the Velocity and Discovery cable TV networks. For the TV schedule and other information, see the auction website.

25 thoughts on “Exclusive: Barrett-Jackson replaces Spanky as lead auctioneer”

  1. You can say whatever you want to Jackson, but I can bet you are not liking your bottom line at your last two auctions.
    You better hope Spanky does not decide he wants to auction Classic Cars again.
    You can’t fix stupid!!

  2. Mr. Jackson, watched this auction for years. Not very entertaining to watch this year. You should rethink your decision about Spanky and his associates.

  3. I just watched a car go up and down in the selling price three times
    It was as high as $120,000 and it ended up selling for $75,000
    Very unprofessional and borderline dishonest

  4. We miss the spankycrew and Amy .seems like they could work the bids up better. Want to come to the show some time and see the cars in person.old folks from Iowa. Sharon and lloyd

  5. IT SURE SAD TO WATCH BARRET JACKSON WITH OUT THE SPANKY CREW AS ALWAYS IT ABOUT MONEY WATCHING IT NOW IT IS LIKE WATCHING PAINT DRY IT WOULD BE GREAT IF SPANKY WOULD MAKE A END PLAY !!!!!!!!!!!

  6. So sorry that Spanky & Amy are no longer a part of Barrett Jackson ! Enjoyed listening to Spanky & how he got the crowd screaming ! It really isn’t the same. Best of luck to the new guy & to Spanky & Amy where ever they landed. Peace ~

  7. Craig,
    Please ask Spankey and Amy to come home. Make the show has outstanding as it was in the past. We sure miss the one and only best we have ever seen SPANK and AMY.

  8. He was a good auctioneer but thought he couldn’t be replaced. I like the new team fine and all of these guys run the bid up and down as I’ve been a bidder at these sales many times and with Spanky on the block

  9. Watched all of your TV coverage again this year. I have also been lucky enough to see your auction(s) in person a number of times. This year just was not as entertaining as it was in the past with Spanky and Amy. I also saw the pricing fluctuate up and down too many times this year as others have also commented. Hopefully Mr. Mast and associates gets it right in the future. It still is the prime collector car auction in the nation.

  10. As usual it’s all about the money for BJ. They can boast all they want about being a no reserve auction but as far as I’m concerned that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The pauses when bidding stops are far to long and are only emphasized when they comment ” this car is way under the money” both Craig and especially Steve are notorious for this not to mention the correction on who had the high bid is a blatant attempt at running up the price. Not your call boys drop the hammer!

  11. Someone at BJ better eat crow and get Spanky and crew back, Scotsdale 2016 was way off target from previous shows….BJ better look at selling cars and not their car polish

  12. I have watched BJ for a long time and you guys have mada a big mistake not keeping Spanky and Amy around

  13. I have been to the Palm Beach auction for years. Now that Spanky is gone it is just vanilla. I will not be there this year for the first time in years. Maybe he will show up on Mecum or another competitor.

  14. Palm Springs auction is a real snooze. Spanky and Amy you were the life of the auctions. Please find a home quickly so I can once again watch the Spanky and Amy show.

  15. Having gone to auctions (mostly horse and cattle) since I was a child (I’m now (63), and having many auctioneers as friends, I can tell you that the most valuable skill the auctioneer brings is his/her ability to “draw in the crowd, make bidders laugh, entertain them and keep the numbers correct, ” not his speed of tongue! Spanky and his crew have mastered that! They are the best I have ever seen. Customers bond with an auctioneer. Subconsciously, they trust HIM, not the company selling the articles. “HE” is the face of your auction while he is up there, not you. If you don’t believe that, you can re-read the comments on this page or better yet, go sit in a cattle auction (where you can be incognito) and talk to the bidders and ask them (most of whom are not wealthy) if they like, trust, and feel loyalty to the auctioneer as much or more than the venue at which they are purchasing. Jerry B.

  16. I’m watching the new east coast right now, I don’t have to say anything, I agree with all above. Look at the charity money in these past auctions, bet it’s down? Thank you, been to Scottsdale twice.

  17. Amy and Spanky added a touch of class to the auction, they are missed..If I were going to make changes I’d get Davis to ditch the shades and have that long haired guy get a haircut…they are probably great guys but lack the upscale image that Craig wants..

  18. Are you out of your mind Craig Jackson ?
    Spanky and Amy ARE Barrett-Jackson.
    Without them zzzzz
    Whatever it takes. GET THEM BACK !

  19. 99% OF THE BARRETT JACKSON ARE POOR. BETTER REPLACE THEM WITH SOME GOOD LIVESTOCK AUCTIONEERS. SPANKY WAS ABOVE AVERAGE LIVESTOCK AUCTIONEER. ITS PATHETIC THE FIRST SEVERAL DAYS OF BJ TO HAVE TO LISTEN TO SOME BELOW AVERAGE AUCTIONEERS. NO SPARK. LIVEN IT UP , PLEASE. LOOK AT LIVESTOCK MARKETING , DV AUCTION,, OR LIVE CATTLE AND HEAR SOME GOOD AUCTIONEERS.

  20. Personally I come and watch the auction for the cars not the auctioneers. Really makes no difference to me.

  21. After his year as President of the Auctioneers, Spanky plans on starting his own nationwide circuit of classic/collector car sales, so you better make your retirement $$ this year.

Share your comments