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Saturday night's all right at Barrett-Jackson auction

Sat, 21 Jan 2012

Auction company Barrett-Jackson has a long-standing tradition of selling cars with no reserve--meaning the car is sold to the highest bidder regardless of price--but a change in that policy saw several million-dollar sales Saturday night at the annual extravaganza in Scottsdale, Ariz.

While most of the cars crossing the Barrett-Jackson auction block continue to be sold at no reserve, the auction giant offered up several classics with a reserve and the results were impressive.

The top five sellers all eclipsed the magical million-dollar figure with the auction broadcast live on Speed TV.

Topping the chart was a 1948 Tucker Torpedo, one of just 51 Tuckers ever built (47 still exist), that sold for $2,915,000, including the 10 percent buyers premium. Because of the rarity, Tuckers rarely come to auction, with many of the surviving examples residing in museums.

A 1947 Bentley Mark VI with Coachworks by Franay sold for $2.75 million, with a 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL selling for $2.2 million.

A 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow also sold for $2.2 million while a 1954 DeSoto Adventurer II sold for $1.43 million.

In an exclusive interview with Barrett-Jackson CEO Craig Jackson, he said that while the recession may not be over, this year's auction results show there is money being spent on the car hobby. Attendance at the show Friday topped 38,000 people, up 22 percent from last year. Attendance through Friday eclipsed 200,000 people. Saturday attendance figures were not yet available. Jackson also said sponsorships were up from last year as well as all the merchandise booths at the show were sold out.

“Every measurement that we use is up from last year, and it could be our best year, ever,” Jackson said.

By Roger Hart