AMAZING AUTOMOBILIA SALES: A 50 Facts & Favorite Memories Feature

Credit: Original article published by Barrett-Jackson.

 

Colorful automobilia items fill the stage each morning at Barrett-Jackson auctions.

 

This exquisite full-size transportation-themed carousel manufactured by Wilhelm Hennecke of Germany in 1957 sold for $557,750 at the 2018 Scottsdale Auction.

To mark Barrett-Jackson’s half-century in business, in this special series we’re taking a look back at some of our favorite moments from the past 50 years – as well as some little-known facts about The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions.

 

Automobilia is just as much a part of the Barrett-Jackson experience as the collector cars that cross the block. The neon lights and porcelain signs of yesteryear add to motoring history and nostalgia. It’s an all-encompassing experience and one that makes the collector car hobby so appealing to so many. At the start of each Barrett-Jackson event, the finest and rarest one-of-a-kind automotive collectibles take center stage.

Part of the Ron Pratte Collection, this Harley-Davidson neon sign from the 1930s brought in $86,250 at the 2015 Scottsdale Auction.

The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions has routinely shattered record after record of automobilia sales. Shattering all expectations and landing Barrett-Jackson’s flagship Scottsdale Auction once again in the record books, 2015 was a monumental year. With 2,000 rare automobilia pieces selling for $6.55 million – nearly triple the previous record – the 2015 Scottsdale Auction became the highest-grossing automobilia auction in history. Many of the top 10 automobilia items were from the renowned Ron Pratte Collection. Top sellers included a 1930s Harley-Davidson neon porcelain dealership sign that sold for $86,250 and a 1950s Humble Esso Aviation Products neon porcelain sign at $80,500.

Also out of the Ron Pratte Collection, this Humble Esso Aviation Products neon sign sold for $80,500 in 2015.

“We hit it out of the park with our Automobilia Auction in 2015,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “It’s exciting to set new world records for automobilia sales. I believe it not only punctuates the strength of the collector car market, but also reinforces the confidence and faith that collectors have in Barrett-Jackson.”

The 2018 Scottsdale Auction would also be a monumental event for automobilia sales. History was made when bidding reached a fever pitch on Super Saturday, resulting in the sale of a full-size 1957 Wilhelm Hennecke transportation-themed carousel for an astounding $557,750.

SOLD! A winning bid of $149,500 took home this rare 1939 Husky Gasoline porcelain service station sign at the 2018 Scottsdale Auction.

The hot streak would continue with the sale of an extremely rare 1939 Husky Gasoline service station sign for an incredible $149,500 – setting a new world record for a 30-inch double-sided porcelain sign.

And lightning does strike twice: at the 2019 Scottsdale event, a second Hennecke carousel brought in an impressive $506,000. The momentum continued to climb and, in 2021, a total of 1,018 automobilia pieces sold at No Reserve for more than $4.4 million in Scottsdale – making it the second most successful automobilia auction in its 20-year history.

While collector cars may be the heartbeat of Barrett-Jackson, the always-colorful auction of authentic automobilia items has really added another exciting dimension to the company’s unique automotive lifestyle events over the past half-century.