Written by Barbara Toombs
When you pull a talented team together to make a car lover’s conference room, the magic starts to happen.
In February 2019, Barrett-Jackson moved its corporate headquarters to a new site adjacent to the runway at the Scottsdale Airport (just a stone’s throw from WestWorld, where the flagship Scottsdale Auction is held each year). One large area was earmarked as the executive conference room when the buildout was complete.
“Given the size of the room, I started researching large conference tables,” remembers Jackson. “I started to think about something that would have some significance to me and the business – and reflect my passion for collector cars as well. The first thing that came to mind was a Porsche that had once been displayed on the roof of one of our previous headquarters buildings.”
Back in the mid-1980s, Jackson had a business making Porsche 911 Slant Nose kits, and although he eventually sold the endeavor, this one example remained. Why not incorporate it into a one-of-a-kind conference room table? Jackson’s wife Carolyn, the company’s Vice President of Brand Strategy, thought it was a great idea. “People surround themselves with things they love,” she said. “This car was important to Craig and I love that he has incorporated it into his everyday life.”
There were challenges to overcome, not the least of which was getting the vehicle and the giant tabletop into the second-story room. “We had to tear the existing wall down and move the car in using a forklift up to a second-floor loading dock,” Jackson recalled. “We then literally rebuilt the room around the car, even fabricating a special ceiling with a stainless-steel roof.”
There was also concern about people being able to see over the top of the car as they sat at the table, so Jackson and his in-house fabricators “slammed” it, removing the suspension and shaving off the bottom of the tires so the Porsche sits flat and lower to the ground. Special metal supports were welded on to hold the large glass tabletop, and then the audio/visual team got to work.
Walk into a meeting here and be ready for an incredible experience. Slip into one of the customized Barrett-Jackson chairs around the table or onto one of the custom bench seats along the wall, which feature the same diamond stitching you’d find in a high-quality collector car. Plug your laptop into one of the multimedia jacks built into the Porsche’s windows and keep everything powered up using the charging stations found at each table corner.
Have a video to present? Just press play and it will appear on the large 4K laser projection screen that drops down from above. Surround-sound speakers tucked into the stainless-steel ceiling point down towards the table when activated, and a 12-inch subwoofer inside the car allows those sitting in the meeting to literally feel the sound.
Finishing touches include LED lighting underneath the car and around the massive table. Large historic photos of Barrett-Jackson’s Arizona auction sites through the years adorn the walls, and the shelving showcases a multitude of items highlighting the company’s history and role in the collector car community.
The incredible high-tech conference room serves as a fitting gathering place to discuss upcoming auctions, new endeavors and how Barrett-Jackson can continue to innovate in the years to come. It is an important reminder not only of the past, but also of what is possible when people gather around a collectible vehicle.