2013 Barrett Jackson Auto Auction: Muscle Cars, Hot Rods and Memorabilia

Written and photos by Jake Conlee

Considering the last few days have been a very tense time in our country, I decided to wait before releasing this article. I know that a lot of you are concerned with what is happening currently, but hopefully you can sit back and enjoy what I witnessed in our great city over the weekend. This is the continuation of my Barrett Jackson Auto Auction and Show at Mandalay Bay Event Center. Never have I seen more autos and memorabilia that I wanted to own in the same place. And given the correct economic conditions, it is a very real proposition.

The 2013 Barrett Jackson Auto Auction was highlighted by the beautiful weather that we experienced in the Las Vegas Valley, and I feel it contributed to the record sales that BJLV2013 reported at the end of the weekend. Topping the weekend sales were The Charity Cars that I mentioned in the previous article, and some super rare vehicles that have survived as low mileage, Concours D’Elegance quality examples of Automotive Artwork. The top seller this year in Las Vegas was that beautiful Lincoln Mark II whose proceeds went to benefit the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, and at 700,000 it was nothing to sneeze at. But do consider, that Scottsdale is traditionally Barrett Jackson’s Showcase and historically the show of shows. -Last year, the final living example of George Barris’ Batmobile from the 60s sold at auction for 4.6M.

For Las Vegas, this show is a wonderful opportunity for residents to experience and explore first hand, what the automotive culture, collection, restoration and innovation has evolved into. For the 20 dollar admission, you gain all access to the show and expo floor; which, I may add, is so jam packed with cars and exhibitors, that it spills out into the surrounding parking lots and driveways. There was a GM sponsored ride and drive event, which pits you directly in the action of screaming Corvettes on a closed high speed circuit and the ability to test drive some of GM’s newest vehicles. The expo floor and exhibitor hall is a great opportunity to meet and speak with the owners and handlers of every car. If you time it right, you may sit and speak about the history of each car, and what it means to be here.

For a car to be consigned at Barrett Jackson is a special honor that is usually reserved for the very best of what the collectors and enthusiasts have to offer. There are some other auction companies which may host higher sale prices, but no other auction house in the US has the scope and magnitude of Barrett Jackson. They promote participation on all levels and encourage an engaging experience which can only be had here.

Last year, I was just a couch potato that watched the coverage on television, wishing that I had taken the time to go down and participate. I thought that possibly it may not be worth the effort. I was incredibly wrong; if I could take all of you with me, I definitely would have. In the grand scope of what Las Vegas has to offer throughout the year, I encourage you to go and experience it yourself. It is very family friendly, but if I have one bit of advice: wear comfortable shoes. With over 700 cars for sale, memorabilia and all of the exhibitors, there is a lot of walking to do. And I recommend going on Thursday or Friday morning of the show, as you will see some really surprisingly good deals.

I hope that you enjoy the images (click here) and find it in yourself to come out next year and experience it for yourself; because for me, it was a show I will never forget.

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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