The folks behind the Barrett-Jackson auctions have been called many things, but "stupid" isn't one of them. They know that trying to start up a new auction in a new locale requires a lot more than propping up a tent and putting out the "For Sale" sign. You need to get the community behind you if you plan on staying.
Hoping to become a permanent fixture in the Southern California car scene, the crew descended upon Orange County a week ahead of their scheduled auction in Costa Mesa and tried to show that they're in it for the long haul. In addition to winning over some local legislators and law enforcement, they also recruited car clubs from all over the Southland for a road rally from the iconic South Coast Plaza "please-don't-call-it-a-mall" shopping destination over to the site of the auction, the Orange County Fairgrounds.
There were 100 cars in the parade, including Mustangs old and new, Porsches of every era, vintage and late-model musclecars, a ton of British roadsters and a small squadron of Hollywood hero cars. A police escort led the cars on their three-mile route. At the Fairgrounds, the cars were then put on display and the drivers were given goodie bags that included tickets to next weekend's auction.
We tagged along and took some pics, which you can see in the gallery below. Click through and you'll find some of our favorites – one of the original Batmobiles, a 'Starsky and Hutch' Gran Torino, an Adam-12 Plymouth, K.I.T.T., a sick custom T-Bird (check out the grille), a Panther Pink Challenger T/A and an LS2-powered Studebaker Golden Hawk. We'll be back next week to share some auction highlights as well. If you're going to be in the area, check out the Barrett-Jackson website to see if there's anything you might want to bid on. We have our eye on a certain Fiat Multipla already.