For the serious car collector, only one pair of names gets the auction gavel banging: Barrett-Jackson. The premier collector car auction, Barrett-Jackson specializes in the hard-to-find, uber rare, authentic automobiles that provoke bidding and nostalgia. Returning to South Florida from April 4-6 for its eleventh installment, Barrett-Jackson is set for a banner year with an impressive stable of unbridled horsepower ready for the block.
Barrett-Jackson has earned its stripes as the “World’s Greatest Collector Car Auction,” catering to serious automobile afficionados with four premier stops on the auction docket: Scottsdale, Arizona; Reno Tahoe, Nevada; Las Vegas; and Palm Beach. In January, the Scottsdale auction set an attendance record and raked in more than $108 million in sales from 1,343 vehicles, including $4.62 million for the original 1966 Batmobile (a world record for a television/movie car).
Slated for the Palm Beach block are some of the rarest and sexiest whips to hit the pavement, each bringing something different to the auction floor: 400 automobiles, one Learjet, a tow-behind barbecue grill and smoker, and one jet-powered semi. A few highlights to cross the block are the 1960 Chevrolet Fuel Injected Corvette Convertible (lot No. 759); the super sexy 1969 Jaguar XKE Convertible (lot No. 756) in all original glory, including the mod Sable Brown paintjob; and a nod to the Greatest Generation with the 1946 Chrysler Town & Country Roadster (lot No.7003), a car that never actually made it to production—or was even built by Chrysler. Conducting extensive research, John Slusar and Lloyd Mayes built the vehicle—the only one ever created—using a Chrysler Windsor Sedan body.
For those into restorations or collectible accessories like hard-to-find curb feelers, original steering wheels or vintage gas pumps, Barrett-Jackson’s Automobilia Auction has become an event in its own right. Home to some of the rarest, most one-of-a-kind automotive collectibles on the market, this is where antique collectors can unload some of their goods as well as stock up on some new finds.
There is plenty more to gaze upon at this three-day horsepower-palooza—check the full listing here—but a few whips caught our eye:
1961 GMC Stepside 4x4 (lot No. 61)
This burly beast is a head turner not just for of its glossy black finish and red ostrich interior but also for its throaty 350cid V8 and Dukes of Hazard appeal.
1973 Volkswagen Thing Convertible (lot No. 58.1)
It may not have muscle car horsepower or super sleek lines, but this ride is probably the best beach car around—drop the top, throw a couple of boards in the back and hit the swell. Fully restored, this bad boy is much more reliable than it was in its heyday. The bright Hummer Yellow paintjob fits its persona perfectly.
1959 Harley-Davidson Hummer Motorcycle (lot No. 320)
No easy rider here—this is the Beat Generation’s freedom rider of choice. The Hummer, with its one-cylinder 125cc engine, was the legendary motorcycle manufacturer’s basic bike, largely sold without a battery or brake lights (these were simpler times, after all). It was perfect for riders on a budget or those just getting their feet wet in the world of two-wheeled freedom. Fully restored with a cherry finish, this one includes the brake light for the safety-conscious.
1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans AM 2 Door Coupe (lot No. 382)
When you think Firebird of a certain vintage, the easy money is on Smokey and the Bandit. The whip up for grabs that caught our eye is a '78 T-top Trans AM—one sweet ride. Aside from an updated paintjob, it is bumper-to-bumper original.
1969 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ-40 Hardtop (lot No. 663)
You’ll want to go on safari after scoping this bad boy. Fully restored to factory specs from the ground up, this FJ-40 is a fine representation of what a restoration job should look like. Although it’s a bit too young for the setting of Out of Africa, Robert Redford would likely steer this FJ through British East Africa in a more contemporary scenario.
- Events begin with a special preview day April 3 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the Barrett-Jackson Cruise In (open to all cars on the docket) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., capped with the opening night gala from 7-11 p.m. ($170 per couple, $85 for single ticket).
- Auctions run April 4-5 from 2-8 p.m. and conclude April 6 for the main events from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- The Automobilia Auction will run from April 4 from 10 a.m. to noon and April 5-6 from 9-10 a.m.
- Three-day passes cost $35 for adults, while one-day passes cost $13 for April 4 or 5 and $18 for April 6.
9067 Southern Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL 33411
*Photos courtesy of Barrett-Jackson