Rick DeBruhl has always been a car guy. In fact, he said he started out as a “car kid” – to the extent of even having car-themed wallpaper in his childhood bedroom. He spent two hours a day in his high school’s auto shop and worked as a mechanic through college before eventually becoming one of the voices of Barrett-Jackson’s live TV coverage.
He first attended a Barrett-Jackson event around 1980, and still has a ticket and catalog from a 1985 auction. It wasn’t until 2003, though, that DeBruhl began working with The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions. He was initially asked to fill in as a commentator on the auction block if another on-air personality couldn’t make it. One time, when the originally scheduled personality was able to be there after all, the producer asked DeBruhl to provide a “sneak peek” at the cars lining up in the staging lanes instead, giving the television audience a glimpse at the vehicles soon to cross the block – something that had never been done before. “As it turned out,” he said, “it was something people liked – they really wanted to know what car was coming next.”
DeBruhl admits his favorite aspect of covering the Barrett-Jackson auctions is, first and foremost, the car people. “I couldn’t imagine a better job than getting to talk to fellow car enthusiasts about their vehicles and learning about the stories behind them,” he said.
His most memorable moments include being on the auction stage with such huge automotive icons like Carroll Shelby and Dan Gurney, as well as celebrities like Alice Cooper and Jay Leno, who are incredibly knowledgeable about cars. DeBruhl said he has also had amazing opportunities to meet some of the true greats in the industry through Barrett-Jackson, including journalists like Brock Yates and Bob Varsha.
“I’m very thankful I’ve had the opportunity to learn over the years from people who made such a significant impact on the broadcast and journalism side of the automotive world,” he said.
Barrett-Jackson is honored to have Rick DeBruhl, with his unique automotive insights and instant rapport with enthusiasts, be part of the on-air team.