As the 37th Annual Barrett-Jackson Auction rolled to a close Sunday night, there was nearly a $20 million dollars decline from the previous years. In 2007, the Barrett-Jackson Auction sold 1271 vehicles for nearly $112 million dollars. The estimated totals for the 2008 auction were 1163 vehicles selling for $88 million dropping the average price per vehicle down nearly $13,000. Although the sales were down, million dollars cars were stilling rolling across the auction block at Barrett-Jackson.
The sales for the top six cars at Barrett-Jackson in 2008 were down $5 million from the previous year. The top selling car of 2008 was a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Rondine, a one off concept car that sold for $1.6 million. A 1926 Duesenberg J and a 2009 Chevrolet Corvette were the only other vehicles that hit the million dollar mark. Carroll Shelby’s personal 1969 Shelby GT500 came in forth at $675,000. At $625,000 was a 1967 Shelby Cobra 427 and to round off the top six was a 1963 Ford Thunderbird at $600,000.
Even with the decline in sales Barrett-Jackson was still impressed with the records the 2008 auction shattered. According to their press release, attendance was up nearly 30,000 people and website hits were over 100 million this year. This star-studded event had celebrities buying, selling, and donating to charity. The charitable contribution totals at Barrett-Jackson were over $5 million, through vehicles and other donations.
A 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR, and a 2008 Dodge Challenger, donated by the manufacturers raised nearly $2 million for various charities. NASCAR driver Tony Stewart bought his 3-time win 2007 Chevrolet Monte Carlo from his Home Depot team owner Joe Gibbs to sell at Barrett-Jackson. Tony Stewart threw in a ring, helmet, and driver’s suit to push bids up to $300,000. All proceeds went to the Darrell Gwynn Foundation that researches ways to prevent and cure spinal cord injuries.
Among other celebrities in attendance at Barrett-Jackson were John Schneider, Richard Childress, and Patrick Dempsey. John Schneider sold his General Lee, after singing Good ole Boys to the crowd, for $450,000. Richard Childress sold the first of fifty ’69 RCR Series3 Camaro’s. Not only was this the first car to come out of production in the series, but it is the only one that will carry “the Intimidator” name, the serial number “3”, and be powered by the engine that Dale Earnhardt used in the 2000 Daytona 500. Patrick Dempsey was promoting the 2005 Ford Mustang racecar that he drove.
Although the final numbers may have been lower than previous years, the Barrett-Jackson Auction was a great success for the charities that benefitted from the generous donations.