• Jan 22nd 2010 at 4:00PM
  • 14
Russo and Steele tent collapse - Click above to watch the video after the jump

Last night while we were driving to the RM auction on the 101 loop in Phoenix, Arizona, traffic came to a sudden stop. Literally, a complete halt. We turned on the radio hoping to find out the reason for the delay, assuming a big rig had been blown over or a multiple car pileup had been caused by the rain. We finally found a local news station, only to hear that a tent had blown onto the freeway. While the people on the radio didn't know any details, we instantly knew what must have happened.

Full details came in just a little bit later. High winds had collapsed two of the tents covering the cars at the nearby Russo and Steele auction, with one of them blowing onto the freeway. Fortunately, there were no deaths and only one reported minor injury, but plenty of gorgeous classic cars were damaged in the process. Right now no one seems to really know the extent of the damage since the local fire department isn't allowing access to the area for safety reasons, but we'll be sure to let you know about any updates we hear.

We've included two official statements from Russo and Steele as well as a two videos after the jump. The first is an outside view of one of the tents as it collapses onto the cars, and the second is video recorded during the auction when the announcement is made to evacuate the tents (jump ahead to 21 minutes). Be aware that there is some NSFW language in the second video. Thanks to everyone for the tips!

[Source: Russo and Steele, YouTube, Auto-Focus.us]


Scottsdale update, Friday, January 22 11:30 a.m.

The City of Scottdsale Fire Marshall will not declare the auction site safe today due to continued storm activity in the area. This means no access for car owners. The earliest time the consignors might be able to inspect their cars is tomorrow morning, according to the Fire Marshall. We will be posting updated information as it becomes available.

Scottsdale Update Friday, January 22 8:30 a.m.

You may have heard that an intense winter storm roared through Arizona, causing damage at the Russo and Steele auction site in Scottsdale last night. Two large canopies covering many of the cars were blown down during severe wind gusts. Thankfully no one sustained any major injuries. Our team spent the night on site waiting for the City of Scottsdale Fire Department to allow us back in. We are still waiting for that access. Safety is the priority. Once the site is secured and safe, the car owners will be given access. We are being told that the earliest that may be will be this afternoon. We are optimistic about continuing the auction this weekend. We thank you for your continued support during these difficult times.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Obviously they didn't listen to Wayne Carrini. Didn't a tent nearly fall on some auction on Chasing Classic Cars over the summer?
      • 5 Years Ago
      You break it you buy it.....
      • 5 Years Ago
      That'll buff right out.... and that.... and that.... and that... .
      • 5 Years Ago
      FYI: The NSFW language in the top video titled "russo steele 2010 disaster..."
        • 5 Years Ago
        ...because rare cars are so much more important than the people in the cars on the freeway.

        Priorities, sir: yours seem to be a bit mixed up.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "1965 Cobra with bodywork damage from falling tent. Opening bidding at $500....."
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh, and, SCRATCH AND DENT SALE! This Saturday at Russo and Steele!
      • 5 Years Ago
      that SUUUUUCKS, at least nobody got hurt bad.
      • 5 Years Ago
      PHX just expanded their civic center by about 400%, why these auctions feel they have to use tents still I will never know.

      Craig Jackson tried to get Scottsdale to build some sort of hard structure to house his auction (and the Horse Show) a couple years back when the city was rolling in dough. They told him to go pound sand.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That was absolutely epic weather we had last night - seeing as the Phoenix area usually never even thinks of tornadoes, and Scottsdale, Mesa, and Gilbert all had tornado watches...normally these tents are not an issue.

      @Boxer: All of the Scottsdale auctions want to be near each other and in that area, your only option is pretty much picking a field and setting up a tent.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I just love how everyone was evacuating with such urgency...
      • 5 Years Ago
      No one got weather reports?
      Did no one think that millions of dollars of cars under tents in extremely high winds might be a bad idea?
      These cars should have been moved by their owners away from the tents and should have been stored in an airplane hanger.

      I feel sorry for the announcer that had to tell the dummies there about 20 times to exit the place for their own safety.
      If it was me I would have told them twice and if they did not get it, then their getting hurt or dying is their problem.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Gee, who'da thunk it? It's not like the winds have been blowing for three days solid now, is it? Idiots.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's what I say. I mean DUH! If I had a car under that tent I would have taken it out days ago.
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X