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I was over the moon when I heard the news that my father made plans to take me to Scottsdale. A moment that I had dreamed about for countless years had finally come true. The tough part would be the 365-day countdown, but I knew it would be worth the wait.
The build up of excitement days before the event almost became unbearable. The night before, I had taken two videos asking my parents how excited they were about going to Barrett-Jackson. My mother said, "Oh, very excited! I can't wait to watch my daughter jump up and down looking at her Mustangs" and my father added, "Very excited! But, let's get there first! I can't wait to see my daughter's face when she walks in the tent." And, boy, they were not disappointed with my reaction! I cried walking up to the tent, at the tent, inside the tent, and seeing the auction block for the first time. So, I guess you could say that I was completely and utterly overwhelmed.
Barrett-Jackson is everything I knew it would be. Old cars, new cars, big cars, small cars, loud cars, fast cars, and every car you could ever possibly imagine. Cars to the left, cars to the right, cars inside and outside; every corner there was something that drew you in. I felt like I was a ball in a pinball machine just racing around, back and forth, to look at this car and that car and everything in between.
What's great about Barrett-Jackson is that it has something for every one of all ages. You had the hardcore car enthusiasts who watched the auction block from morning to night, taking bets with their friends to see how high the car would sell for. You had the browsers who would walk around the show and pick which one they'd buy if they won the lottery. Then you had those who simply wanted to enjoy a good, old-fashioned car show. There were many vendors featuring artists, sculptures, jewelers, designers, and more, which catered to individuals that may have not been interested in the cars themselves, but found a love in these areas. Then you had the kids who wanted to be just like mommy and daddy, creating a whole new set of classic car enthusiasts.
My time in Scottsdale was short, but it sure did pack a punch! After speaking with other classic car enthusiasts at the show, I can say that we all agree on one thing: it's a show you cannot miss. For me, I was hooked. I came home with a 1000+ photos in my camera, waiting to flip through them all, and upload them to Facebook so that I could share my experience with the world. But, it didn't end with Scottsdale. I thought I was one of the lucky ones who could say that I've been to a Barrett-Jackson event, but it was just about to get even better.
Before I knew it, I was on my way to Barrett-Jackson's second event of the year: Palm Beach. This time I had gone solo, which became a different experience itself. I felt that I truly got to examine each and every car closely, as this event was only three days, in comparison to the ten-day show in Scottsdale. Although I was only at the show for the day, I felt that I was able to capture just a glimpse of what a Barrett-Jackson auction is all about. During that trip, I thought to myself, "Is it possible to truly go to every single event this year? What would it be like to experience one-year of Barrett-Jackson?" Thinking about this possibility wasn't going to cut it for me; I had to make it happen.
As I return from my trip to Palm Beach, I start planning my next visit to Reno-Tahoe to experience Barrett-Jackson and their affiliation with Hot August Nights. Hot August Nights is another car enthusiast's dream to fulfill, but to add Barrett-Jackson on top of that, well that's just the icing on the cake! Although the weather didn't hold up, Reno was mind-blowing. This Barrett-Jackson was the smallest of the four events the company holds each year, but their collaboration with Hot August Nights made up for it. Almost every single hotel in the "The Biggest Little City In The World" had a car show. Hotel after hotel, my good friend, Gerrod Winkler (owner of a 1967 Mustang Coupe), and I were love struck. As big time Ford Mustang enthusiasts, Reno delivered! Mustang after Mustang filled the parking lots of each hotel; it made both of us feel like we were in car heaven. Swap meets, drag racing, and Summit Racing, oh my! Add that to my visit to San Francisco to walk down the road Bullitt was filmed on, this was by far one of my most memorable experiences.
As Reno draws to a close, the car enthusiast in me knew that I needed to make it to Las Vegas for the last show of the year. Although bittersweet, Las Vegas was truly amazing. I decided that since my father brought my mother and myself to the first show, that I could spend this last event with him, just the two of us. I paid for our flight, and he paid for our hotel. It our first father-daughter trip together and I wouldn't have spent it any other way. Las Vegas was another great glimpse into what a Barrett-Jackson show is all about. Just the right amount of cars, with the perfect amount of glitz and glam, it was simply perfect.
My one-year of Barrett-Jackson started off with a bang and ended the same way. Although I loved every single event, I'd have to say the first one was my absolute favourite. With 1500+ cars at Scottsdale, it's definitely the biggest and by far the best show out of all four. Some people have said it's too big, but if you truly want to experience car heaven, there's no other place better to do it. If you want the best in collector car auctions, Barrett-Jackson is a must-see. And, although you might not be lucky enough to make it to all four, I promise you that any event will definitely deliver in high quality cars, expertise, and a fun experience for all car enthusiasts.