One of the things that makes the Barrett-Jackson auction stand out from the crowd of similar events is its no reserve policy, which means that vehicles on the block will be sold, no matter what price they bring. The policy can be risky, but sellers know the auction consistently attracts buyers with money to spend, and in spite of the poor economy, rain, hail and even a tornado warning, sales at the 2010 event were about 20 percent higher than last year.
I counted 136 pickup trucks on the 2010 auction list, ranging from restored trucks to street rods, and covering a range of years from the 1920s to about 2002. Ford, Chevy, Dodge, GMC, and a lone 1941 Hudson pickup were auctioned. You can see pictures of the vehicles sold and learn more about their conditions on the auction results page.
Charity Efforts at Barrett-JacksonSome buyers who attend the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction are able to buy anything they want at any price, but they're well known for helping charities. One of this year's best examples of charity spirit involved a top fuel dragster offered by the Darrell Gwynn Foundation (Gwynn was a NHRA Top Fuel Champion who suffered major injuries in a crash and was left mostly paralyzed). The foundation helps provide wheel chairs for children.
A prominent Arizona collector bought the dragster for $200,000. He immediately donated it back to the foundation to be sold again -- it brought $110,000 in the second sale, and the new buyer also donated it back. The third time around, the dragster sold for $100,000. Barrett Jackson waives the fees for charity auctions, so the full $410,000 went to the foundation.
Auction ResourcesCraig Jackson on Buying and Selling Classic Cars, an interview with Craig Jackson by Tony and Michele Hamer, About.com's Guides to Classic Cars
Take a look at Tony and Michele's Top Reasons to Go to a Classic Car Auction
Around the Tents at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction, by Judy Hedding, About.com's Phoenix Guide