This is the second year for Barrett-Jackson's auction in Orange County, California, and the company proved there's no such thing as a sophomore jinx by drawing more than 60,000 attendees to the three-day event. As with other Barrett-Jackson auctions, this one attracted a mix of serious car collectors, casual buyers, and even a smattering of celebrities.
Saturday is always the biggest day at any automotive auction, and while Orange County wasn't primarily a performance-car event (like B-J Scottsdale), it still drew a respectable selection of high-powered muscle machines, including Corvettes.
"The Corvette segment of the car hobby is one of my favorites," says Steve Magnante, one of the Speed channel's auction commentators. "Few other vehicle types have as many models, engine possibilities, and rare options as do Corvettes. Naturally, we're all frustrated by the lack of factory-applied metal trim tags on pre-1963 cars, so it is extremely important to make certain your prospective purchase really is what it appears to be."
"Corvettes will always hold their value. It's an American icon that even the younger folks can relate to," added one anonymous bidder.
This year's Orange County auction grossed an impressive $14 million in sales. Additionally, 63 percent of the bidders were new, as were 60 percent of consignors. New bidders also purchased 48 percent of the vehicles.
"This event has grown exponentially," said Craig Jackson, Barrett-Jackson chairman and CEO. "We brought out a portion of the renowned Scottsdale Auction tent, which is nearly two football fields in length, to accommodate our Southern California customers and fans. Record-breaking attendance, as well as an increase in new bidders and consigners, led to a very successful auction."