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Record Sales at the 9th Annual Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Collector Car Auction

The 9th annual Las Vegas Barrett-Jackson Collector Car auction was this past weekend, and once again sales records were broke. Held at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Convention Center, the event began Thursday, October 13th and finished that following Saturday night. Sales totaled over $32.5 million with $950,000 if it raised for charity. According to Barrett-Jackson officials this year’s event was the most successful auction of theirs ever for a non-Scottsdale, AZ event (Barrett-Jackson’s location for their marquee auction).  Past years auctions had the auction block and staging area in a totally separate building of all the cars on display and waiting to cross the block. This made for a very long walk for most attendees, and created some confusion as well. Much to the delight of everyone who attended this year, the layout was all new with everything being under one roof, a very welcome change!

The midway displayed automobilia by various vendors and automotive based companies some of which included displays by Ford Motor Company, Chevrolet, Dodge, Shelby American Inc., and Indian Motorcycles. The auction had just about something for everyone; be it automobilia auctioned off every morning, collector cars of every imaginable variety, and celebrity sightings. Richard Rawlings and Dennis Collins of TV’s Fast N’ Load AKA Gas Monkey Garage were two such celebrities I saw first-hand.

Barrett-Jackson auctions are notable for featuring sales benefiting charity. One sale of note was a 2016 Indian Chief Jack Daniel’s 150th Anniversary Edition #001 of 150 special limited production motorcycles built to celebrate the anniversary. 100% of the $150,000 sale price went to the charity Operation Ride Home which helps active duty US military personal with expenses visiting family. Another was a 2017 Shelby GTE, the first production GTE serial #:  CSM 17GTE0002. As with the Indian, 100% of the $150,000 sale price went to Grant a Gift Autism Foundation, a local charity which helps families with autistic children.  An additional $100,000 was donated along with the sale price also. Unique to this car, not offered on production GTE cars, is a custom charcoal carbon-fiber stripe package and powder-coated Kenne Bell Supercharger to match the car. Standard GTE features include Ford Performance cat-back exhaust, Ford Performance handling pack, Ford Performance Wheels with Shelby Special performance tires. Exterior features include Shelby GTE hood and vents, Shelby upper and lower grilles, Shelby rocker panels, rear spoiler and Shelby GTE striping and badges. Interior features include serialized dash plaque and engine plate, backlit Shelby door sill plates, headrests and floor mats. Optional features on 17GTE0002 include supercharger, gauge pod, aluminum coolant tank and carbon-fiber front splitter.

Of the 200 cars auctioned off Saturday, cars from the Tammy Allen Collection were a featured attraction. Tammy Allen is a long time regular at Barrett-Jackson auctions and collected over 100 cars as a pure enthusiast over a number of years. Do to some circumstances beyond her control, she was forced to sell off some of her collection, naturally Barrett-Jackson was her choice.  Lot #694 “Wasabi”, a custom fluorescent candy green 1950 Mercury Coupe powered by a 383 Chevy stroker small-block which sold for $159,500 was one car. Others were Sonny & Cher’s George Barris Customized 1965 “His & Her’s” Mustangs.  Sonny’s, brown & gold, sold for $71,500, Cher’s, pink & red, sold for $55,000.

The top five sales of the auction were:

  • lot #749 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 that sold for $357,500
  • lot #741 1967 Shelby GT500SE Super Snake sold for $275,000
  • lot #398 2008 Hurst 50th Anniversary Dodge Viper SRT/10 $220,000
  • lot #744 2009 Mosler MT900 GTR Twin Turbo Custom Prototype “IAD Land Shark” $220,000
  • lot #730 2012 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Sedan “Pawn Stars” $181,500

The top selling car a 1969 Mustang (lot #749) may have confused quite a few people with it’s very high selling price, and it was nowhere near the nicest car there being a car almost 50 years old and completely unrestored, but this is no ordinary Mustang. It wasn’t even an ordinary Boss 429, if there even is such a thing!  Out of the nearly 300,000 Mustangs built in 1969 just 859 were the Boss 429 models. The Boss 429 was a highly modified car built to homologate the purpose built hemispherical design cylinder headed racing engine it was equipped with for use in NASCAR.  NASCAR rules stated manufacturers must only race what they sell on the street.

What many people are unaware of is that there are actually two versions of the Boss 429 engine that were installed in Mustangs. Early “S” code engine equipped cars were essentially detuned NASCAR engines with forged steel internals and magnesium valve covers. Later “T” engines were built a little cheaper and were intended for street use only. Only the first approximate 200 cars had the “S” engine, this car was one of them. That makes it a very desirable car, but this car is a virtual “holy grail” being that it is a unrestored, unmolested survivor car  being offered for auction by the original owner with 21,400 actual original miles with all supporting documentation. Some collectors spend a lifetime searching for cars like this Boss 429, truly an amazing find and buy for some lucky buyer!

Here’s a sample of the wide variety of other cars present, and other sights at the 9th annual Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas:

Bernie Smith
Bernie Smith

Tampa Bay Florida based photographer, I have always been a huge fan of all forms of photography. It wasn’t until relocating to Las Vegas and digital camera technology evolved that I was able to fully realize my love for photography. Automotive, motorcycles, beauty, glamour, pinup, retro, swimwear, and fitness themes are all areas of particular interest.

60’s Muscle cars have been a part of my life since I was 14 years old with particular emphasis in Fords, Mustangs, and Shelbys being my specialty having owned and restored more than a couple rare examples. Having worked as a Ford Senior Master certified technician over 20 years has provided the means to stay current with cutting edge technology. A high performance late model fuel injected car has it’s own unique appeal to me, just as the old school muscle does. Motorsports and college football are also huge passions of mine.

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