Barrett-Jackson Celebrates 50 Years at 2022 Scottsdale Auction

After hosting the first Fiesta de los Autos Elegantes at the Safari Resort in Scottsdale in 1967, the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company was formed in late 1971 ahead of the company’s first auction in January the following year. This year, the event celebrates its golden anniversary, and Highline Autos recalls come glittering moments.

Approximately 350,000 car lovers will visit WestWorld of Scottsdale, January 22–30, to celebrate a half century of automotive magic. Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2022 will feature a spectacular docket of hypercars, American muscle, exotics, resto-mods, vintage classics; all are expected to be offered at No Reserve.

Returning is the Barrett-Jackson Cup presented by eBay Motors, with 50 custom builders competing for multiple awards. Other events will include an automobilia auction; superlative collections; the latest vehicles from automakers; symposiums on a variety of automotive-related topics; and hundreds of exhibits and displays.


“We’re hosting the world’s most exciting automotive lifestyle event to celebrate 50 years of ‘The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions,’” says Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Scottsdale-based Barrett-Jackson. Scottsdale-based Barrett-Jackson also holds annual auctions in Palm Beach, Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Houston, Texas.

Among the hypercars is an extremely rare 887-horse 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder, one of only 918 hybrids produced worldwide and two recent Ford GT 40s: a 2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition celebrating the 1966 Le Mans-winning GT40 Mark II race car co-driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon and a 2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition, which honors the remarkable four consecutive overall victories by Ford at Le Mans in the 1960s.

Classic Americana includes a 1956 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible built by award-winning Joe Peck Customs in Van Nuys, California; 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake, one of only three continuation Super Snakes authorized by Shelby; 1962 Shelby Cobra CSX 2032, the “Lance Reventlow Cobra”; 1967 Corvette Convertible Resto-Mod completed in October 2021 by Jeff Hayes Customs; 1967 Ford Mustang Eleanor Tribute Edition, with 828 horsepower, owned by seven-time Major League Baseball All Star and three-time World Series champion Buster Posey; and a 1970 429-ci Super Cobra Jet V-8-powered Ford Torino.


Leading the European classics is a 1955 300SL Gullwing in strawberry red metallic paint, one of 855 made that year; Mercedes-Benz only built 1,400 between 1954 and 1957. The steel body shell incorporates an aluminum hood, doors, trunk lid, rocker panels, firewall and floor pans.

This Gullwing was delivered to its original owner in Havana. Cuba, on June 16, 1955. Santiago (“Chaquito”) Gonzales, a professional driver, raced it. At the 1957 Havana Gran Prix National Race, the car won and then again in record time at the IV Classic Havana Rally. The second owner imported it to the United States in 1961.

The car still has its original matching-numbers M198 3.0-liter SOHC inline-6 engine with Bosch mechanical direct fuel injection and dry sump lubrication; a 4-speed manual transmission accompanies this. In the 1990s, the third owner performed a full restoration, and the fourth owner did a second engine rebuild in 2003. The classic has 59,265 miles and will be offered at No Reserve.

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“We’re going to kick off 2022 with one of our greatest events to date, filled with prized collectible vehicles that are destined to be remembered,” says Steve Davis, Barrett-Jackson president. “I can’t think of a better way to speed into our next 50 years than with an amazing celebration this January.”

A Half-Century Legacy

“When my father Russ and his business partner, Tom Barrett, set out to raise money for the Scottsdale library with a local car show, they had no idea the impact they would have on the collector hobby over the next five decades,” says Jackson. “We’re proud of our heritage and the role we’ve played in the collector car hobby over the last half-century and we can’t wait to continue this legacy in 2022, beginning with our flagship Scottsdale Auction.”


“Leo Gephart, my father and Tom Barrett worked together to develop the blueprint for the collector-car auction as we know it today,” recalled Jackson upon Gephart’s passing in 2015. “I grew up with Leo. He was an innovator and a visionary whose legacy will remain for years to come.” [Barrett-Jackson 50th-Anniversay Book]

Well-known auctioneers, the Kruse family, were asked to help coordinate the event, which 3,000 attended. Russ’s wife, Nellie, added her accounting skills, having honed them at GM’s Fisher Body in native Michigan. Brian Jackson, 26, was deeply involved and Craig, then a teenager, coordinated parking and organizing the drivers who moved the auction cars to their spots.

For the most part, the docket included prewar classics, especially high-profile 1930s cars. The two families placed personal cars — 50 from Barrett and 25 from the Jacksons. The headliners from Barrett’s collection were two Mercedes-Benz 770 Phaetons that had served as Third Reich staff cars, which attracted coverage by CBS News and anchorman Roger Mudd. One of these set a world record at $153,000. In all, the auction exceeded $600,000.


For the next five Barrett-Jacksons, the auction continued at the Safari lot; the Al Beadle-designed resort was razed in 1999. In 1977, the Barrett-Jackson auction was held at the larger Phoenix Municipal Stadium, departing Scottsdale for a few years. The second year of that venue change, 800 cars were sold totaling $4 million.

“Of course, it [the early auctions] was nothing like Barrett-Jackson is today, but at the same time it was unique in its own way back at that time, as unique as it is today in the sense that it was exciting,” recalls Steve Davis, who attended his first Barrett-Jackson auction in the 1970s. “It was unique in the diversity of cars being brought together.”

The great Scottsdale mayor, Herb Drinkwater, helped return Barrett-Jackson to Scottsdale, where the 356-acre Horseman’s Park had opened in 1982. In 1989, the first Barrett-Jackson Auction was held at the site, now WestWorld of Scottsdale; approximately 50,000 people attended, and sales totaled almost $30 million. Drinkwater declared this “Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction Week” –– a tradition every Scottsdale mayor since has continued.


In 2016, the city revealed that Barrett-Jackson produced $167.8 million of economic impact and that the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company created 1,437 direct and indirect jobs for the Valley of the Sun.

Jackson says: “We are honored to have consistently received the Scottsdale mayor’s recognition for our contribution to the community and honored to bring the national and international spotlight on Scottsdale year after year for another exciting Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction Week at WestWorld.”

Top Dollars for Top-Tier Cars


Big money isn’t the only component of the Barrett-Jackson experience; it’s just part of the glitter in addition to the classic cars, celebrities and crowds. The auction’s first $1-million car went to Andy Granatelli, CEO of STP and owner of Mario Andretti’s 1969 Indy 500-winning race car. In 1988, he purchased a 1932 Duesenberg Model J for $1.075 million. And, the following year, in Scottsdale, a 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Roadster sold for $1.7 million.

In January 2005, for the 34th Annual Scottsdale Auction, one of the post-war GM “dream cars,” a 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 Concept, brought $3.3 million.

A bidding war inspired the crowd and the television audience, and when the gavel fell, a new auction record was established, and the only car remaining of the original four became the highest-selling car ever at Barrett-Jackson at that time. “The F-88 was the shot heard round the world when it came to putting concept cars on the map, realizing the history they represent,” recalls Davis.

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GM’s great designer, Harley Earl, worked with Corvette masterminds Bill Mitchell, Ken Pickering and Zora Arkus-Duntov to create the Oldsmobile classic, “the XP-20 project.”

“The Olds F-88 became one of the most historically significant vehicles of its era,” explains Jackson. “Many automotive historians consider the F-88 to be one of the greatest expressions of automotive design to ever come from North America.”

Two years later, Carroll Shelby’s shimmering blue 1966 Shelby Cobra, “Super Snake,” sold for $5.5 million, the highest priced car to that point at Barrett-Jackson –– “the Cobra to end all Cobras,” the great driver and automotive entrepreneur called it. No doubt: That personal car, CSX3015, has an 800-horse twin-supercharged 427-ci V-8 and can whip through 0–60 in 3.2 seconds, Shelby said. It remains the most-searched-for car on the Barrett-Jackson website. Shelby died in May 2012.


During the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction, the Super Snake found a new garage when it sold as part of the renowned Ron Pratte Collection, with a final price of $5.115 million. And, at the March 2021 Scottsdale Auction as part of a private collection, it brought $5.5 million once again.

“It’s one-of-a-kind; this is the only one like it,” Shelby told the Barrett-Jackson crowd in 2007. “I got stopped doing 190 miles an hour in Nevada in it. And I did kill a buzzard with it one time. Nasty, nasty.”

Charitable Giving is Always a Driver at Barrett-Jackson


Charity initiatives have been on the Barrett-Jackson podium since the inaugural 1972 event. During the 45th-anniversary event in 2016, for example, the GRAMMY-award-winning Zac Brown Band performed at the opening-night Gala Event. Sponsored by Acura, the surprise appearance preceded the sale of a highly anticipated 2017 Acura NSX VIN 001 later in the week for $1.2 million.

All of the proceeds benefitted the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and Camp Southern Ground, lead singer Zac Brown’s favorite cause. The camp helps children with developmental disabilities, underserved children and children from military families for week-long, inclusive residential camps as well as post-9/11 veterans at no cost with multiple programs designed to assist with workforce and wellness transitioning and those with PTSD and combat stress.

Two years later, at the 2018 Scottsdale event, 10 vehicles were on the charity block. Former President George W. Bush, Jay Leno and Chad McQueen, actor Steve’s son, assisted on stage. Over the years, other high-profile guests have included Edsel Ford II, Roger Penske and Steven Tyler, who have donated time, vehicles and celebrity to help Barrett-Jackson help those in need.


When a 2017 Ford GT brought $2.55 million, the company’s charity total topped $100 million in funds for worthy causes. That figure has since increased to more than $135 million.

The former president helped sell VIN 001 of the 2018 Chevrolet Carbon 65 Edition Corvette, one of just 650 produced, donated by the automaker to benefit the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Military Service Initiative.

Appearing on the podium, the former president said, “I love our military and I decided to spend the rest of my life helping vets.” Of the car, he added, “It’s a damn good car! Bid high; it’s a good cause!” And, when the winning bid of $1.4 million came in from John Staluppi, a noted car collector, philanthropist and longtime friend of Barrett-Jackson, the auctioneer said, “Mr. President, sell that car!” And the presidential gavel went down: a ’Vette for our vets.


That 2018 event also marked the company’s first-ever yearlong charitable campaign for the American Heart Association, “Driven Hearts,” led by Barrett-Jackson vice president of Brand Strategy, Carolyn Jackson. The $350,000 sale of the Jacksons’ 1988 35th Anniversary Corvette contributed to that effort.

Craig noted: “This has been an incredible decades-long journey for our company, driven by our tremendous bidders, consignors, sponsors, celebrities and the entire collector-car community, whose hearts are only matched by their generosity and outpouring of support.”

Collections & Cars


Offered at the 2015 Scottsdale Auction, the Ron Pratte Collection might have been the most significant ever to that time. Making it particularly special was that the Arizona resident had acquired most of the 140-plus collector cars, trucks and motorcycles and more than 1,500 pieces of automobilia at Barrett-Jackson auctions. The collection sold for $40.44-plus million.

Cared for and shown for years at Pratte’s neon-lighted hangar in Chandler, Arizona, the stellar garage included the 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama Concept Car, which sold for $3.3 million, and the one-off 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake, owned by Carroll Shelby, $5.1 million.

The charity vehicle, the remarkable 1950 General Motors Futurliner Parade of Progress Tour Bus, raised $4 million with an additional $650,000 pledged, for a total of $4.65 million –– still the largest sum raised by one charity vehicle at Barrett-Jackson.

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And, in 2020, 21 cars, trucks and custom motorcycles once owned by actor Paul Walker came to Scottsdale. He portrayed Brian O’Conner in the six The Fast and The Furious films. Walker died in a car accident in 2013.

Centerpiece of the collection were a quintet of 1995 BMW M3 Lightweights; Scottsdale 2020 represented the most M3 Lightweights ever sold at one auction. The top seller was a 1995 at $385,000, a world record for the model.

“We were deeply proud to help continue Paul Walker’s legacy and offer his esteemed collection at our flagship Scottsdale event,” said Jackson. “It is our hope that these cars brought the same joy to their new homes that they brought Paul.”

Significant cars have always excited crowds and bidders.

In 2013, the original 1966 Batmobile was sold, with great customizer George Barris helping to make his famous creation the second highest-selling vehicle ever at a Barrett-Jackson auction –– after Carroll Shelby’s personal 1966 Cobra Super Snake. The Batmobile, which appeared in the 1960s television series, would sell for $4.62 million and set a new world record for the highest price ever achieved by a TV/movie car.

“The 1966 Batmobile is one of the most famous Hollywood cars in history, and it has become a true icon that has been carried from generation to generation of Batmobiles to follow,” Jackson said.

Three years on, at the 2016 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction, a 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am used to promote the 1977 film Smokey and The Bandit sold for a world-record $550,000. Helping out on the auction block was the star, Burt Reynolds, 80.

Before his death in September 2018, Reynolds and his team prepared three remaining cars, all signed by him, to take to the 2018 Las Vegas Auction, which the actor and car lover had planned to attend.

Many Ways to the Magic

In 1995, when Craig Jackson assumed leadership at Barrett-Jackson, Roger Werner and Bob Scanlon started an auto-centric television channel, Speedvision. Jackson asked if the men would be interested in covering the auction, and in 1996 same-day tape-delayed highlights of the Scottsdale event were broadcast on the new network. Live coverage of the Scottsdale Auction began the next year.

Speedvision evolved into SPEED and became Fox Sports1. In 2015, coverage of the auction expanded with the automotive-centric Velocity and Discovery Channel, providing more than 100 hours of both national and international live coverage.

In 2020, FYI and HISTORY –– part of the A+E family of networks –– selected Barrett-Jackson to join their programming lineup.

“I’ve always been passionate about sharing the excitement of our auctions with enthusiasts,” said Jackson. “Our agreement with A+E Networks is a wonderful next step in the evolution of our vision to give them not only a front-row seat to our four exciting auctions throughout the year but also a more in-depth look into what makes the collector car hobby so very special.”

Join Barrett-Jackson’s online conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube #BarrettJackson. For more information about Barrett-Jackson, tickets for the Scottsdale auction or to consign a vehicle and register to bid, visit or call 480.421.6694. To register for the Barrett-Jackson Cup presented by eBay Motors, please see