(Note: We’ll being a 10-day Countdown to Palm Beach series on the blog tomorrow.)
Classic and collector car auction dockets aren’t just thrown together. Instead, they are carefully crafted to maximize the appeal of the vehicles to the desires of a specific group of potential bidders.
“Everything does well at Scottsdale,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and chief executive of the auction company that bears his family name.
One reason for Scottsdale’s success is that people come from around the country and from around the world each January to buy cars from one end of the classic car spectrum to the other.
But other sales tend to be more regional events. For example, Jackson said buyers at Barrett-Jackson’s annual sale in Las Vegas tend to like cars with glitz and flash.
Barrett-Jackson’s sale in Reno-Lake Tahoe, held in conjunction with the huge Hot August Nights hot-rod gathering, tend to have a natural interest in hot rods but, Jackson said, there’s an element of “preaching to the choir,” which already has its own hot rods. Thus, the popular cars on the docket tend to be bone-stock cars, he said, unmolested classics ready for cruising, and “affordable hot rods,” which are custom cars that hot rod experts could upgrade into stunning show cars.
And then there’s Palm Beach, Florida, where Barrett-Jackson stages its 13th annual classic and collector car auction April 17-19 at the South Florida Fairgrounds.
Think South Florida. Think exotic, from the environment to the shopping to Miami’s South Beach.
“Modern exotics always have done very well there,” Jackson said.
Thus the docket for the 13th annual Palm Beach auction features cars such as:
- A 2006 Ford GT with only 19 miles on its odometer,
- A 2012 Ferrari 458 Spider being sold by mega car dealer and NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick,
- A 2009 Spyker C8 Laviolette, one of only four in Burnt Almond Orange with black-and-orange quilted interior stitching and with less than 500 miles on its odo,
- A 2,200-mile anniversary edition (one of 650 built) 1989 Lamborghini Countach.
“We have a great array of modern and vintage sports cars,” Jackson said.
But, he added, it’s not only modern and vintage sports cars that do well at Palm Beach.
There are at least three other groups of cars that have been in high demand with Palm Beach bidders. Those include Chevrolet Corvettes, and Jackson noted that people who have bought Corvettes at Scottsdale have turned around and sold them for more money at Palm Beach.
Corvettes on the Palm Beach docket include a 1963 split-window coupe, a 1961 convertible, an unrestored 1960 fuelie convertible with less than 30,000 miles, a 2009 car customized with styling touches from the ’63 model year, an unrestored ’62 fuelie with 29,000 miles, customized ’57 and ’64 ‘Vettes, a ’65 restored at Richard Petty’s Garage, an unrestored ’64 roadster from the Hartley Collection, a restored ’59 convertible, another Hartley car — an unrestored ’63 convertible — and the list goes on.
Another category that does well in south Florida is resto-mods, and the docket includes a bunch of them, ranging from a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air hardtop and 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS with a Katech LS7 engine and Paul Andrews interior to a Shelby 427-powered 1967 Ford Mustang fastback and a 1948 Packard Super 8 convertible equipped with a big-block Chevy V8 and Jaguar independent rear suspension.
And there’s at least one other category of cars that Jackson said have proven popular with Palm Beach buyers: Austin Healeys.
“They sell for more in Palm Beach than in Scottsdale,” Jackson said.