What started as a simple meeting between two car buffs in the early 1960s has blossomed over some 48 years into the world’s most prestigious and anticipated collector car auctions and events.
It began in Scottsdale, Arizona – a Wild-West town that had yet to spread its wings and create its own identity. Russ Jackson and Tom Barrett were drawn together by a car advertised for sale. Mr. Barrett was selling his 1933 Cadillac V16 Town Car, and it appeared Mr. Jackson was interested. “Appeared” may be the operative word, as a deal was never struck. However, the beginning of a lifelong friendship and partnership was firmly cemented between these two car guys.
Barrett-Jackson’s monumental growth continued in 2008 when it added a Las Vegas event at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, giving auto enthusiasts around the globe the one-and-only “Triple Crown” of car collecting. The inaugural Las Vegas event was a smash hit, attracting an eclectic crop of 533 collector vehicles, over 50,000 attendees and nearly $30 million in total sales. In October 2009, Barrett-Jackson returned to Vegas with another impressive showing of $23 million in sales and 51,000 attendees. Jackson and his team offered about 400 cars at the second annual event, allowing those at the auction a chance to enjoy the distinctive offerings of Las Vegas during the evening hours.
Throughout the years, innovative changes have sparked growth at Barrett-Jackson and vaulted the family-run auction company onto a worldwide stage. As a result, a hobby once dominated by dealers and the ultra-wealthy is now enjoyed by families, first-time buyers and general enthusiasts. As the industry continues to evolve, Barrett-Jackson will remain at the forefront by offering the world’s most desirable vehicles and an experience that appeals to everyone.
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