Even if you aren’t bidding, Barrett-Jackson is an automotive wonderland
By Steve Turner
As amazing as it might sound, your author had never attended one of Barrett-Jackson’s auction spectaculars. In all my years on the automotive scene, I have documented the sales of significant Fords at these sales—particularly those sold by the Blue Oval for charity—but never made one in person. This year the fates were with me as the West Palm Beach, Florida, auction was to take place on the weekend I was heading down to Miami, Florida, for a Caribbean cruise—April 17-19.
So, before I jumped on a big boat and actually unplugged myself from the Internet for a couple days, I took the opportunity to swing by on Friday to see what the experience was all about. It turns out that while the auction is the headlining act, the the full experience is a fusion of local car show, international auto show, and state fair all rolled into one.
Entering the main building at the South Florida Fairgrounds, we instantly entered a full on auto show with massive displays from all the Big Three automakers. Ford, in particular, had an impressive display dominated by its mainstream products and highlighted by a full complement of Ford Performance vehicles.
Next door to the manufacturer displays was the arena that hosts the auction you see on television, and it draws huge crowds no matter what is for sale.
Once you exit the building, the event is alive with a midway full of manufacturer displays accented by numerous stands peddling food and drink. If you registered inside, you could walk to the back of the fairgrounds and participate in numerous manufacturer ride-and-drive experiences. Ford had some of the crew from Miller Motorports Park’s Ford Performance Racing School on hand to take eager fans on laps in 2015 Mustangs.
On our way back to check out the ride and drives, we were able to see many of the cars waiting in the wings for the auction. It made for a great car show, and there were plenty of cool Fords, from GT500s to an old-school European Focus RS. You just didn’t know what you might see on the next aisle, which makes it fun.
In short, now that we’ve been to Barrett-Jackson auction, we want to go back. If you haven’t been, we highly recommend that you check it out if there’s one in your area. The next auction rolls into Reno, Nevada, from August 6-8, 2015.
Till next time, check out some of the highlights from the West Palm Beach event…