Wheels N' Deals: Good Buys at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2020

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
wheels n deals good buys at barrett jackson scottsdale 2020

Making the pilgrimage to the big top building at Westworld in Scottsdale to experience the insanity that is Barrett-Jackson’s flagship is a trip that should be undertaken by every red-blooded gearhead. Equal parts car show, party, and sale, the annual desert soirée is gloriously mad in all the right ways.

Of course, there are plenty of people who carp that vehicles at Barrett-Jackson fetch too much money and, indeed, some of them do. Witness the 1995 BMW M3 Lightweight that traded for an eye-watering $385,000 simply because Paul Walker’s name was on the ownership.

However, many of those same people are simply making noise on the internet and have no plans (or means) to, y’know, actually buy something. They’ll also bemoan the so-called Bring-a-Trailer premium instead of simply appreciating the weird and wonderful cars that appear.

Here’s the simple fact: there are deals to be had. While on the ground in Scottsdale, we sought out a few we figured would be of interest to you, the reader. And to prove a point, of course.

1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 – $39,600

We’ll kick off with a honkin’ bit of GM muscle for exactly the price of a Kia Stinger GT. Yes, the latter has modern safety kit and a good deal more comfort but, with Chevelle SS prices trading in the stratosphere not that long ago, this 396 with a four-speed manual represents the decline in value of this type of car now that “the kids” are in the hobby and spending $80k on a Supra.

2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Custom Coupe – $36,300

This is a great example of a great car either being overlooked by those in the room or it simply being in front of the wrong crowd at the wrong time. Perhaps a celebrity was creating a scandal at the back of the auction tent and everyone was looking the other way. Whatever the reason, this is the first 2015 Scat Pack released to the public and was a Chrysler partnership car for that year’s SEMA. Its one-off body kit has landed this thing on magazine covers and in various auto show booths. A comment left on your author’s Instagram indicates it was valued much higher.

1967 Cadillac Eldorado Custom Coupe “El Conquistador” – $35,200

The sheer amount of work that went into the creation of this custom Cadillac is proof positive that one rarely recoups their money when hot-rodding a car. The gold Gene Winfield is difficult to appreciate until seen in person, while the amount of badge and trim shaving must have been extremely time consuming. If you’re looking for a rock star connection with your custom Caddy, this thing was once owned by Travis Barker of Blink 182.

2019 Mclaren Senna – $946,000

“Matt’s delusional again,” we hear you sneer into your box of stale popcorn. But bear with me. With an original asking price somewhere in the neighborhood of $1m bucks, this Senna with delivery miles is just one of the 500 produced by Woking, with only about 120 of those earmarked for the States. Considering the snazzy duPont Registry has a number of them on offer well in excess of $1m, this hammer price starts to look like a bit of a bargain. This is VIN 212 and, if you’re wondering, VIN 005 sold in Scottsdale last year for $1.45m.

2001 Homemade Custom Roadster – $7,700

Are ya feeling lucky, punk? This vehicle, with a gas tank mounted by your ear and a Buick V6 under the hood, is literally registered as “Homemade” in the Make & Model box of its listing. Fit and finish was decidedly, um, agricultural but it would definitely evoke the envy of any British Leyland owner. With the look of a 1927 Roadster, you’ll at least depart this earthly world in a bit of style.

1979 Dodge Lil’ Red Express – $16,500

You lot know I’m a sucker for trucks, so when one is endowed with quad headlights and twin stacks, you best believe I’m unholstering my Nikon. This was a good example of a cool vintage truck that was in great shape — but not that good that you wouldn’t want to get the thing dirty. Powered by a familiar 5.9-liter V8 and three-speed automatic, it should also be simple enough to fix with a hammer.

2009 Kirkham 427 KMS/SC Aluminum Roadster – $165,000

Here is an excellent example of a basic cars sales tenet that polarizing color can make or break a deal. This car was part of a Cobra quartet on display — finished in shiny bronze, silver, aluminum, and copper — from the same collection. The moneyed were whispering that the unique finishes on these cars would be hard to care for … and they’re probably right. This seemed to scare away more than a couple of potential bidders. A real Shelby Cobra CSX 7000, from the same collection and also finished in terrifying-to-maintain polished aluminum, fetched $236,500. Keep in mind that other gen-u-wine CSXs, admittedly of different vintages, have commanded seven figures in the past.

[photos: Matthew Guy / Barrett-Jackson]

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  • Fahrvergnugen NA Miata goes topless as long as roads are dry and heater is running, windscreen in place.
  • Fred Private equity is only concerned with making money. Not in content. The only way to deal with it, is to choose your sites wisely. Even that doesn't work out. Just look at AM/FM radio for a failing business model that is dominated by a few large corporations.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Lots of dynamics here:[list][*]people are creatures of habit, they will stick with one or two web sites, one or two magazines, etc; and will only look at something different if recommended by others[/*][*]Generation Y & Z is not "car crazy" like Baby Boomers. We saw a car as freedom and still do. Today, most youth text or face call, and are focused on their cell phone. Some don't even leave the house with virtual learning[/*][*]New car/truck introductions are passé; COVID knocked a hole in car shows; spectacular vehicle introductions are history.[/*][*]I was in the market for a replacement vehicle, but got scared off by the current used and new prices. I'll wait another 12 to 18 months. By that time, the car I was interested in will be obsolete or no longer available. Therefore, no reason to research till the market calms down. [/*][*]the number of auto related web sites has ballooned in the last 10 to 15 years. However, there are a diminishing number of taps on their servers as the Baby Boomers and Gen X fall off the radar scope. [/*][/list]Based on the above, the whole auto publishing industry (magazine, web sites, catalogs, brochures, etc) is taking a hit. The loss of editors and writers is apparent in all of publishing. This is structural, no way around it.
  • Dukeisduke I still think the name Bzzzzzzzzzzt! would have been better.
  • Dukeisduke I subscribed to both Road & Track and Car and Driver for over 25 years, but it's been close to 20 years since I dropped both. I tried their digital versions with their reader software (can't remember the name now), but it wasn't the same. I let it lapse after a year.From what I've seen of R&T's print version, it's turned into more of a lifestyle thing like The Robb Report. I haven't seen an issue of C/D in a while.I enjoyed both magazines a lot when I was subscribing. R&T for the road tests (especially the April Fools road tests), used car reviews, historical articles, and columns like Peter Egan's Side Glances and Dennis Simanitis's Technical Correspondence. And C/D for the road tests and pithy commentary, and columns like Gordon Baxter's, and Jean Shepherd's (that goes way back to the early '70s).