2016 Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction
By Roger Garbow
My wife thinks I’m insane—for various reasons—but particularly for how I can sit in front of the TV for hours watching car auctions. I’m mesmerized by motorized eye candy rolling across the stage while bidders get whipped into a frenzy as I fantasize over which of the cars I would bid on myself.
With a few small exceptions, Northeast auto enthusiasts who did not want to travel great distances had to rely on TV broadcasts to get their auction fill. But in June 2016, Barrett-Jackson decided to roll the dice and test the auction waters in our part of the country with an inaugural event at the Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort in Uncasville, CT.
B-J’s bet paid off big time. Last year’s event was successful beyond even CEO Craig Jackson’s wildest dreams with overall attendance of more than 90,000, setting a record for any event in the 20-year history of Mohegan Sun. According to Barrett-Jackson, it was also “a new attendance record for any three-day Barrett-Jackson event and resulted in an unprecedented ticket sellout within the event’s first couple of hours.”
Those folks who were smart enough—or lucky enough—to get tickets in advance, were treated to a smorgasbord of automotive delights. The vehicles up for grabs ranged from well-used daily drivers to collectible, six-figure showpieces.
If you’ve never been to a big-time auction—and Barrett-Jackson’s events are seriously big time—the vibe is intoxicating. The vehicles up for bid included a lot of American iron, but there really was something for everyone with some stunning Euro vehicles crossing the block. In addition to the auction vehicles, there was an extensive Automobilia auction including vintage gas pumps, signs, pedal cars and more.
There was plenty of action outside the arena as well. The Staging Lanes offered a great opportunity to view the cars being prepped for the stage. Walking through the parking garage, spectators could get a good look at cars waiting their turn in front of the bidders. Out in the parking lots, auto manufacturers offered “Ride-and-Drives” and “Thrill Rides” with pro drivers. And of course, there were vendors galore.
By the end of the weekend, more than 550 vehicles were sold, for a total of over $25 million. Based upon those results, and the overflow crowd, it’s a safe bet to think the Northeast auction will be a regular fixture on Barrett-Jackson’s calendar. Just make sure you get your tickets early for the 2017 event, scheduled for June 21-24.