Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2011 Barrett-Jackson Gala from Scottsdale

It's been a couple of years since I've made it out to this ginormous classic car auction, sorry...event, at West World in Scottsdale, Arizona, but it's exactly as I remembered it. After a five-and-a-half hour drive from Orange County on Monday morning, the huge tents and structures that make up this amazing three ring circus of classic and collectible cars came into view. Even before the actual show begins, the amount of activity is incredible. Hundreds, if not thousands, of workers are scurrying about, making last minute preparations for the anticipated 185,000 folks who will be headed down for the nearly weeklong event.

I had made it down just in time to miss the media credentialing reps who had taken a break to change for that night's Gala reception. No worries – after walking the half mile from one end of the tent to the other and back, I finally had what I needed and even a few extra minutes before the soiree started to change out of my road clothes.

I met up with Lance, Deborah and the rest of the Superformance/Shelby Distribution gang and headed in. I followed them over to see their newest offering. The new 40th Anniversary Edition Perana Z-one looks absolutely amazing in its black cherry metallic pearl paint. It looks almost root bear brown in certain light but shifts to plum and even black in shadowed areas. It's stunning. After spending about an hour in the Sherwin-Williams booth where the car is parked, I can tell you I wasn't the only one who thought so. Dozens of people stopped to say pretty much the same thing over and over, "That is so beautiful. What is it?"

The Perana Z-one is a Zagato concept come to life. To celebrate their 90th year in automotive design, the Milanese coachbuilder decided to design something for themselves instead of for Aston Martin, Lancia, Alfa Romeo or Ferrari like they've done in the past. The response to the Z-one show car was so great that they looked for a way to build it. They eventually found Hi Tech in South Africa, the firm that engineers and builds the Noble, Fenix and Superformance vehicles for those car companies. Hi Tech is one of the only low volume production facilities in the world, so it was a natural fit.

The Perana Z-one is being handled by Superformance Distribution in the States and will be limited to just 99 units annually. The particular car on display at Barrett-Jackson this year is a car commissioned by B-J to celebrate their own 40th Anniversary in business. The special edition features that special Planet Color black cherry paint from Sherwin-Williams, as well as B-J logo black and red wheels. It also comes with a specially commissioned David Yurman watch. Just 40 will be sold. This week is the car's official debut and it will be featured at a special VIP event on Wednesday night.


This night's party was pretty incredible, with live music, dancing, fireworks, and Craig Jackson himself presiding over a slide show. Nothing like torturing a captive audience. Actually it was short and sweet. He wanted to hammer home (get it? it's an auction) the idea that they aren't just a car auction company. They are also car collectors. He showed images from his youth and the very same cars from those images were on the stage, proving he can't seem to get rid of anything. Dialing Hoarders now.

The other great part of these galas is the food and drink. Open bar and lovely little samplings of everything from Cold Stone Ice Cream to Mastro's lamb chops. The lobster bisque shooters were particularly noteworthy. Lots of cute girls circulating through the crowds handing out champagne all night too and plenty more lovely ladies of all ages taking advantage of the festive opportunity to showcase their Golden Globes...worthy dresses, with plunging necklines and fallopian tube revealing hemlines. Seriously, what are some of these gals thinking? Not that anyone was complaining, mind you.

I haven't had a chance to check out many of the auction offerings yet, but that's what today will be for. Watch this space for further postings from 2011 B-J Scottsdale. For now, check out the pics from last night.

Direct link to photos

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