Hidden Las Vegas: The 6th (!) Annual Barrett Jackson Road Rally

Written and photos by Jake Conlee

The sixth (!) annual Barrett Jackson Road Rally is another Las Vegas Gem that happens right under our noses, and it is not only FREE, but very cool. It is also the beginning of a huge weekend here in town. Since it’s inception at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in 2008, the Barrett Jackson Auto Auction and Exhibition swoops into town; bringing with it, millions and millions of dollars in automotive hardware. All years, makes, models of vehicles for all tastes and for all fans and budgets are in attendance.

20130925_140729_resized-604x453You are likely to see the first half of Thursday’s docket go for a few thousand a pop, whereas Friday night and Saturday, we are likely to see a few auto auctions in the six (or seven) figures. But before all of that begins, there is a parade of cars; from the Las Vegas Convention Center, down the Las Vegas Strip, to the Mandalay Bay. It is a very cool thing to bear witness to: over a hundred cars, flanked by much of the Las Vegas MotoMetro force, I had never seen so many police Harleys in one place. I remember sitting at home last year, and seeing the afternoon news report, and literally a 20 second blurb about the parade itself. I wondered, “Why don’t we ever hear about things like this?” It seems as if you don’t have a finger directly on the pulse, that much of what comes to Las Vegas will just pass us by.

The Barrett Jackson Annual Road Rally down the Las Vegas Strip always starts in the same place, at the same time. On the Wednesday before the auction, in the mid afternoon, over a hundred cars of all makes and models line up in the former parking lot of The Old Landmark Hotel. The police convoy is usually first to arrive, and when we arrived on this day, they were in the middle of what appeared to be their safety briefing. The parking lot and queue was already wrapped around in a massive line of Horsepower and Steel. Studebakers, Mustangs, Vipers, Novas, El Caminos and Camaros lined up as far as the eye could see. Even Tom “Mongoose” McEwen and Don “The Snake” Prudhomme had their eponymous “Hot Wheels” Funny Car and Tow Rigs as the Centerpiece of this moving art display. Most of the vehicles are owned and driven by the locals, as many of the vehicles on the dockets (for sale at auction) were brought in by transport companies, and their respective owners will be coming into town over the next couple of days. Coverage of the event will continue, but I feel this is a good place to get things started.

www.barrett-jackson.com/lasvegas/schedule/

Jake ConleeJake Conlee is a California native that has been blessed with the gift of restlessness. With an undying fervor and passion for what he does not yet know, life is a constant adventure. Truly fearless in implementation of wandering down less trafficked roads, this has led to many ordinary days turning into a treasure hunt. Emblazoned on his arm, the self photographed sign of this incredible City of Sin. He loves this city so much, a mural of Las Vegas is currently under development on his arms. If you need to know about anything in Las Vegas, if he doesn’t know the answer, he will find out for you. He loves Las Vegas, the good, the bad, but mostly the nostalgic. He’s also a sucker for a good hunk of meat. He is, most of all, a father of two girls, 12-year-old “Vern” and 18-month-old “Chuck”

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