One auction day down, five to go at the 2016 Barrett Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale.
Tuesday is always entry-level day. It’s not the ultra rare or desirable stuff that will bring bucks on Friday or Saturday. For less than $20,000 you could buy a lot of interesting cars. How about a 1992 Rolls Royce Silver Spirit II sedan for $13,750? Or a 1939 custom Chevy pickup truck selling for $18,700.
But there were three cars that surprised me.
The first is actually two cars from the same maker. A 1979 Volkswagen Super Beetle Convertible and a 1956 Beetle Convertible. The 1956 did huge money, selling for $47,300. It’s a desirable year, and drop-tops always add value. Still, it wasn’t that long ago that Beetles were relatively inexpensive. Even more amazing was the 1979 that sold for $34,100. Traditionally, collectible Beetles were 1967 or earlier. Sure, it was a convertible and it was cute. But $34k was big money. I’m sure we’re going to see plenty of Super Beetles hitting the market very soon.
The next surprise was a 1966 Mustang convertible. It sold for $67,200. The consignor said they had $65,000 in receipts so obviously it was beautifully restored. Still, this wasn’t a GT and it was the first day when folks often hold back. 66 Mustangs aren’t rare, but obviously when they’re done right, people will spend big money.
The final surprise was a car I had never seen at a Barrett Jackson auction. It was a 1994 Toyota Supra Turbo Lift Back. It sold for a solid $31,350. For a lot of kids who grew up in the 90s, this was a muscle car. It will be interesting to see if the Supras and the 300ZXs start showing up and pulling decent prices.
It’s always important to remember that the collector car hobby is always evolving. When I first started attending Barrett Jackson auctions it was pre-war classics that led the way. Model Ts, Model As and their brethren were the norm. Now they’re simply extras. Will the cars from the 40s and 50s begin to fade as their fans age? Does that mean the Japanese tuner cars are not far on the horizon?
As long as the love affair with cars continues, I’m good with whatever crosses the block.