SCOTTSDALE - The Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event announced today that it has decided to extend its options to continue holding the world's biggest classic car auction in Scottsdale through the year 2013. However, city officials say that it will take a much larger commitment before they are willing to commit to building a permanent building to house the auction.
Auction owner Craig Jackson tacked another year onto a rolling five-year agreement with Scottsdale, although the pact does not commit him to hold the auction any particular year.
"It looks like they intend to be here the next five years," Scottsdale City Manager Jan Dolan told the Arizona Republic on Thursday. "There is no immediate threat that they will leave."
The city has received criticism in the past for not working harder to secure a multidecade agreement with the auction company
Mayor Mary Manross stated that she is working with Jackson, the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Tourist Development Commission to keep the auction here indefinitely.
According to Barrett-Jackson owner Craig Jackson, no new talks have taken place and the agreement is the same one signed every year.
As the 37th Annual Barrett-Jackson Auction rolled to a close last month, there was reportedly a nearly a $20 million dollars decline from the previous years. In 2007, the Barrett-Jackson Auction sold 1271 vehicles for nearly $112 million dollars. The estimated totals for the 2008 auction were 1163 vehicles selling for $88 million dropping the average price per vehicle down nearly $13,000.
Although the sales were down, there was clearly no lack of million dollars cars rolling across the auction block at the Barrett Jackson sale.
The top selling car of 2008 was a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Rondine, a one off concept car that sold for $1.6 million. A 1926 Duesenberg J and a 2009 Chevrolet Corvette were the only other vehicles that hit the million dollar mark. Carroll Shelby's personal 1969 Shelby GT500 came in forth at $675,000. At $625,000 was a 1967 Shelby Cobra 427 and to round off the top six was a 1963 Ford Thunderbird at $600,000.
Even with the decline in sales Barrett-Jackson was still impressed with the records the 2008 auction shattered. According to their press release, attendance was up nearly 30,000 people and website hits were over 100 million this year.
However infrastructure costs remain high for the auction, which must supply heaters and generators for the temporary tent.
Dolan told the Arizona Republic that the city needs a longer-term agreement before building an $87-million permanent building.