As coronavirus spread across the country, car auctions barely slowed down. Adapting quickly to lockdown, stay-at-home orders, and social distancing measures, auctions across the nation moved online. Not only were cars able to be viewed and bid against, but it allowed more visitors from across the country to get involved.
Barrett-Jackson’s inaugural Online Only collector car auction was held in May, and managed to bring in more than $3.79 million in sales. Eighty-five vehicles were offered in the reserve auction, with 45 selling, as well as 228 pieces of automobilia. This includes the charity sale of the NASCAR race car driven by Dale Earnhardt, which sent $425,000 to COVID-19 relief efforts through the charities Feeding America and Samaritan’s Purse. The bidder, who wished to remain anonymous, can know that their funds went on to help people in crisis.
The highest non-charity seller was a custom 1963 Corvette split-window coupe which went for $357,500. On top of that, two world auction records for collector cars were met. 2010 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak Race Car that went for $61,600 and by a 1984 Dodge Daytona Turbo sold for $20,350.
“The response to our Online Only Auction was incredible, with bidders and consignors participating in the action throughout the entire event,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and chief executive of Barrett-Jackson. “We kicked off the auction by setting a world auction record for our very first lot. Our two top sellers also were part of an exciting bidding war similar to one you’d experience during one of our live auctions.
The top sellers for the Only Online auction are:
- 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Custom Split-Window Coupe – $357,500
- 1941 Lincoln Zephyr Custom Coupe – $203,500
- 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 – $195,000
- 1967 Ford Mustang Custom Fastback – $165,000
- 2003 Kirkham 427 KMS/SC Roadster – $115,500
- 2014 Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake Convertible – $93,500
- Hank Williams Jr.’s 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Seville – $92,400
- 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 – $91,300
- 1968 Ford Mustang Custom Fastback – $90,200
- 1965 Sunbeam Tiger Convertible – $88,000
The success of the Online Only auction could hint at the new normal. With pandemic-related, social distancing issues still in place, it is possible that online auctions could continue for the foreseeable future. However, many auction houses are eager to welcome buyers back to a clean and safe environment.
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