Each January, collectors, car aficionados and auto novices alike descend onto Scottsdale for a week of some of the most famous auto auctions in the world.
Six auctions make up this vehicular-extravaganza, but the events go above and beyond the multi-million dollar cars they sell. They’re see-and-be-seen lifestyle events, complete with music, food and fashion.
And while car enthusiasts enjoy browsing the selection of luxury cars, they also appreciate the benefits of staying in the Sonoran Desert in January—sunshine and warm weather. Ladies and gentleman, start your engines and head to Scottsdale this winter.
Though appreciated, January in Scottsdale isn’t all about warm weather and ringing in the New Year. To many, January is all about cars, cars and you guessed it, more cars. But these aren’t just any old car you’ll see zooming along the Arizona 101 Freeway. Below includes three of the events that put exquisite cars on the auction block.
* Last year, more than $113 million in cars were sold at Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction. The cars up for sale included a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 2-Door Coupe that sold for $3.85 million.
Those looking for the finest selection of quality collector vehicles, outstanding professional service, and unrivaled sales success need to look no further than Barrett-Jackson Jan. 10-18.
In the 1960s, Tom Barrett decided to sell his 1933 Cadillac V16 Town Car. And Russ Jackson hoped to buy it. Although the two never struck a deal, the failed transaction laid the groundwork for “The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auction.”
Located at WestWorld of Scottsdale, Barrett-Jackson specializes in captivating the passion of classic and one-of-a-kind vehicles to exotics and muscle cars. Don’t expect to be limited to only automobiles during your trip to Barrett-Jackson. If you’re traveling with family and friends who don’t share your affinity for luxury cars, you’re all certain to enjoy Barrett-Jackson’s offerings of fine art, gourmet cuisine and fashion.
* This year marks Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auction’s 15th anniversary Jan. 14-18.
Created by enthusiasts for enthusiasts and specializing in European sports cars and American Muscle cars, Russo and Steel has a high-energy, noisy atmosphere. Attendees are packed into an arena with elevated 360-degree seating. And the event’s “auction-in-the-round” format puts buyers right on the floor alongside the cars.
* Take a trip back in history on your travels to Gooding & Company Scottsdale Auction Jan. 16-17. Conveniently located at Scottsdale Fashion Square, the auction offers collections that will capture your attention with stunning examples across many marques and eras.
The cars on display include fine antiques, classic autos, and sports and racing cars. Spectators view the wide array of high-quality vehicles up for auction and connect with Gooding & Company’s top-notch staff and fellow collectors.
For those not in the market for a collectible car, Scottsdale offers other opportunities sure to please car buffs.
* Penske Racing Museum offers a glimpse at legendary sports cars without the risk of going into serious debt. Admission to the museum is free.
You’ll see racing cars that won Indianapolis 500s, NASCAR Nextel Cups and more. The Boutique offers Penske Racing merchandise such as apparel, books and one-of-a-kind car parts.
After browsing fancy automobiles, you’ll be itching to get behind the wheel yourself. Satisfy your need for speed at several Scottsdale-area attractions.
* Bob Bondurant can’t stay away from the hot lap. Even at 81, you may see him at his Chandler, Ariz., driving school speeding through the looping track at high speeds.
If loud engines and fancy cars are your thing, head over to his school, Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, the largest purpose-built facility in North America.
It features a 1.6-mile racetrack and eight acres of asphalt. There’s no better way to satisfy the need for speed than driving door-handle to door-handle at 100 miles per hour in a Chevrolet Corvette or Camaro.
* Take your speed indoors at one of Scottsdale’s indoor kart racing facilities, Octane Raceway. Experience the thrill of racing against your family and friends or just try and beat your personal best as you zoom around the track in karts during this adrenaline rush of a ride.
Designed similar to real race cars, the karts make you feel like an experienced race car driver.
Editor’s note: Information in this story provided by Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Scottsdale Independent is available for free every Wednesday.