Inaugural Collector Car Auction and Show Debuts March 14–18
Feel left out in the collector-car parking lot?
Want to sell your two-door classic but can’t get in the proverbial front door of other auctions?
Like car auctions but wish they were also vehicles for family fun, for everyone to enjoy?
Nancy White, Joe Schott and Eric Jones of Peoria, Ariz.-based Classic Carriages LLC have heard your automotive angst. Their Collector Car Auction and Show, March 14–18, at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, responds directly to the needs of those consignors with great vehicles who have been denied the opportunity elsewhere. The triumvirate has also designed an event featuring seven family-friendly attractions: activities for children and for those spouses less automotively motivated.
“The collector automobile market is booming, with record prices being paid for cars at recent auctions,” says White, who spent the past 40 years in various types of investments and the business community in California before joining up with Schott in August 2006 to found Classic Carriages. “At the same time, more and more people are capitalizing on the demand by downsizing their collections.” But, the car enthusiast notes, “It’s a tough market to get a car included in some of these auctions. Our team is committed to changing that.”
Of course, the superb condition of the car as well as its value to the collector market are still significant guidelines, notes Schott, a Glendale resident since 1951. But the emphasis is on variety and quality: “Collectors like the old, classic, custom and unusual so that empowers us to find cars of many makes and years,” he says. “Even new cars are collectors eventually.” Before founding Classic Carriages with White in August 2006, Schott held executive positions in a number of industries including manufacturing, land development, and computer software. The two actually met at a car auction, turning mutual passions into a new company.
To bring additional muscle to Classic Carriages, renowned collector car auctioneer Brent Earlywine, CAI, signed on to be the lead auctioneer for Collector Car Auction and Show. Earlywine has more than 21 years of experience in collector car auctioning and will bring a complete professional team with him to the event. Chip Gerst also joined Classic Carriages as a consultant and car buyer. Gerst has more than 30 years of experience buying and selling cars; his primary focus is muscle cars.
Mods to Hot Rods, Classics to Contemporaries
The five-day auction event, on three stages, will include 700 collector cars and 100 cycles and choppers from the Jazz Age (a custom 1920 Chevrolet Truck: “Tequila Sunrise”) to the Computer Age, a 2007 Koenigsegg CCX, which might fetch as much as $1 million as there’s only one in the country and, at more than 800 horsepower, it’s the fastest V8 production car in the world. The auction begins with a preview, Wednesday, March 14, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., with the bidding starting at 10 a.m. daily from Thursday, March 15, through Sunday March 18. The show closes daily at 8 p.m. except Sunday, when the event ends at 6 p.m.
At reserve and no-reserve, the show has attracted classic American muscle cars such as a 1967 Chevelle SS396; a 1970 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350; a 1967 Oldsmobile 442; a 1968 Pontiac GTO Convertible; and a 1970 Dodge Challenger and 1967 Corvette 427 Coupe, both consigned by baseball Hall of Famer and car lover, Reggie Jackson.
Exotics aficionados will find a 1997 Aston Martin DB7 Convertible, and Doc Scadron, owner of Doc’s Jags in Scottsdale, has consigned five Coventry classics to the auction, including a 1937 Jaguar SS 100, a 1948 Jaguar Mark IV, and a 1963 Jaguar E Type Racecar. In addition, the auction team, led by Earlywine, will also gavel down a number of rarities, including a 1958 American Motors Metropolitan, a 2005 Hummer Lamborghini Orange, a 1999 Harley-Davidson Fatboy Custom, a 1928 Stutz Coupe, and a 2006 Pontiac Stage 3-GTO RA6.
Automobilia fans will also be thrilled by the Classic Carriages event: Auction items will include a turn-of-the-century motorized bicycle and a fully operational miniature submarine car.
“The Classic Carriages auction is driven by ‘Three Cs,’” says Jones, the company’s COO who previously worked for Global Spectrum, which manages the University of Phoenix Stadium. “For one, Comfort: We’ve got a great facility on the booming west side of the Valley, lots of chairs, tiered seating, and a 360-degree turntable on the auction stage.
“Secondly, we’ve got Convenience: We have immediate access to the 101 Loop, which connects throughout the Valley, multiple entrances to the stadium, 14,000 free parking spaces and valet parking for bidders and the public, and easy accessibility to buyer and seller areas.
“Thirdly, we offer Confidence: Our goal is for the buyers and sellers to feel confident in our operation. We have the experience and expertise to handle paperwork smoothly, get their money to them when they sell and handle the transactions very professionally.” Although not specifically a “car guy,” Jones brings 25 years of event-related experience to the team, including event production, facility opening and management, convention and visitor bureau sales, and event consulting.
A Classic Idea: Drive in with the Whole Family
The family events are not just sidelights but highlights of the auction.
“Of course, the focus of a typical auction is to buy and sell cars, but we feel that we should have more of an ‘event’ where spouses and families can equally enjoy themselves,” Jones explains. “Our research tells us that many auction-goers would like for their families to be a part of it, but not sitting for six–eight hours listening to an auctioneer.” He notes, too, that if the whole family participates, everyone stays longer at the event.
Some of these events offer the public opportunities to see a wide range of cars. Approximately 60 of the current model year sports and exotic cars from many car manufacturers will be displayed outside the stadium at the Sports and Exotic Car Gallery. In addition, the Car Club Extravaganza will welcome approximately 2,000 owners of classic cars and hotrods affiliated with Arizona car clubs to display their show cars outside the stadium on Saturday and Sunday, March 17 and 18. At the Car Corral, unique classic and antique cars not included in the auction will be on display for sale on the stadium plaza.
The Motorsports Festival features Wally Cahill, host of Motorsports Mania on FSN, and will display vehicles such as racing cars, motorcycles, sand rails and other off-roaders. Finally, throughout the inside and outside of the stadium, various exhibitors and vendors will display services and products ranging from car parts and accessories, automobilia, artwork, exotic clothing, fine and costume jewelry, and gift ideas.
The Ladies Desert Oasis, in the West Club of the Stadium, will offer luncheons, fashion shows, massages, speakers on various womens topics, cooking and self-defense demonstrations and boutique offerings of jewelry, clothing, gifts and skincare products.
For young racers, the Family Zone will include slot car racing, remote cars with a track, model and toy cars, simulator video screens for racing and fast car driving and other gaming machines. Children under 12 are free to the show — another family-friendly policy instituted by Classic Carriages.
At the Celebrity Car Challenge, 20 celebrities will put one of their collector cars on display. Attendees can vote for their favorite celebrity car. On the final day, the winner will be announced, and a donation will be made to the winning celebrity’s favorite charity. The event is sponsored by G.A.M.E., a local car customizer which is also auctioning five collectibles at the auction. Among the local celebrities considering participating are the Arizona Cardinals’ Leonard Davis and Anquan Boldin and Amare Stoudemire of the Suns.
Finally, the Charity Gala and Preview Night, Wednesday, March 14, features KNIX’s Tim and Willy Kid’s FUN-Dation, a community charity nonprofit for improving childrens’ quality of life. Attendees can preview the auction entries that night.
One Auction Deserves a Second, and a Third
With a full-time staff of 18, Classic Carriages plans to hold its second auction in October as part of a three-year, two-show-per-year contract with the stadium. In the future, White, Schott and Jones plan events outside Arizona as well.
“I mentioned the three Cs,” Jones notes. “But this company, and this auction, is about 4 Cs. The last, and the most encompassing, is the ‘Consumer.’
“For our customers, we set ourselves apart, first, because of the venue — the stadium and its many amenities; second, the date, because it coincides with spring baseball training; then, the event focus, which, of course, is car enthusiasts and their families; and lastly, the structure, because of our multiple attractions and activities.”
He adds: “This is where the Classic Carriages team is focused: on our collector families. We are coordinating an auction car fans will regularly look forward to and, at the same time, an event their families will mark on their calendars with the same excitement and anticipation.”
For ticket information, access www.classiccarriages.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
For additional information about the auction and show, visit www.classiccarriages.com or call 877.999.0900.
Tickets for the Charity Gala and Preview Night are available through Meetings & Concierges, 480.990.1887.