Hundreds of incredible muscle cars, custom builds, pre-war classics and modern performance cars are set to invade WestWorld of Scottsdale for Barrett-Jackson’s 47th annual Scottsdale auction, held January 13-21, arguably the ultimate car show. While there are many interesting cars offered, the Salon Collection is of particular interest.
“This is probably our best docket of offerings since 2007,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “It is a phenomenal offering in all categories, your seeing more of a demographic swing with more muscle cars and modern supercars.”
Highlights within the Salon Collection include the first prototype 1966 Shelby GT350, as well as a 1968 Dodge Hemi Charger R/T, 1970 Plymouth Superbird and 1971 Chevrolet Corvette LS6. Custom builds like Rusty Wallace’s 1966 Chevrolet El Camino custom pickup and 1969 Ford Bronco 4X4 can also be seen alongside pre-war classics such as a 1951 Talbot-Lago T-26 Grand Sport Saoutchik coupe, in addition to modern performance such as a 2014 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4.
“A lot of times you want to go use a car for certain things and you will find out in the middle of the summer that an exotic muscle car without air conditioning is probably not your best choice,” Jackson said. “So we take a broad selection of cars and we only take so many of each sort of type.”
Part of the science that goes into building the docket and determining what cars are selected for the salon collection takes many factors into account. “We have a team of automotive experts that look into the cars condition, provenance, rarity, value, market trends and desirability,” Jackson said. “You can have a car that’s expensive, but sometimes people aren’t really buying it. We are primarily ‘no-reserve’ so we make sure we are in agreement with the owner as to what we estimate the car will bring.”
The variety of cars offered can be attributed to Jackson’s personal experience within the hobby and his devotion to serve all sorts of collectors.
“It’s sort of the year of the Shelby” Jackson said. “I’m one of those guys who has been out buying and collecting these cars, like a lot of other people, and they are very desirable.”
What makes the 1966 Shelby GT350 Prototype, SFM6S001, particularly important is that it is the pre-production prototype and very first Shelby GT350 built for 1966. A primary Shelby American test car used for most of the driving tests for the 1966 GT350 development program, it was also used to evaluate a vinyl roof treatment, which was ultimately not released for sale.
“Original cars are the hardest to find,” Jackson said. “Especially having a rare muscle car like the 1971 Hemi Challenger that we have in the auction. For the car to survive all these years and stay original is hard. You can restore a car multiple times but its only original one time.”
According to the docket, the triple-black 1971 Hemi Challenger comes documented and is powered by a 426ci Hemi engine with a pistol-grip four-speed manual transmission. It is one of 70 Hemi Challengers produced that year and features an A34 Super Trak Pak, power brakes and bucket seats.
“I have a black 1970 Hemi challenger,” Jackson said. “I like the one we are offering, it’s a rare car in the HEMI world.”
For General Motors fans, the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is a car to watch. It is car number 59 of the 69 COPO 9560 high-performance 1969 Camaros built. Finished in Hugger Orange with black interior, this COPO Camaro is the only ZL1 ordered with an NC8 chambered exhaust. It also features a 9560 M22 Rock Crusher 4-speed manual transmission.
Jackson said that since the auction house began selling restomods in 2005 they have grown significantly in popularity. “Restomods appeal to people because they are great drivers. A lot of people really love the look of those old cars.”
However, the Scottsdale docket and Salon Collection also shows an emerging trend. “You’re seeing a lot more of the IROC Z28’s, fox body mustangs and European cars like the Countach and the 308 Ferraris,” Jackson said. “A lot of cars that were sort of looked down upon when they came out, we now look back at them with more nostalgia. All those cars of that era are coming up in value because there is a whole generation of people that grew up wanting those cars.”
According to Jackson, the average age of the buyers trends younger each year. He attributes this to the company’s efforts to reach out to millennials and embrace them. “Television has helped a lot too,” he said. “We have been on TV for 21 years, so a whole generation has grown up watching us. Many of them are in their prime money making years now and buying the “poster car on your wall.”
Jackson added an entire collection of fox body Mustangs will be offered during the event.
“People should come out,” Jackson said, adding part of what makes the auction such a unique event is the extra activities available to do onsite, such as attend “Behind the Hobby symposiums,” meet-and-greets with celebrities, thrill-rides in the latest vehicles from automakers and more.
A complete schedule of events along with other auction information can be found on the Barrett-Jackson website.