Updated June 30, 2022 - 8:39 am
The Las Vegas drive-in crowd has powered the city’s reopening during the pandemic. The Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Auction has hitched a ride, too.
Barrett-Jackson is revved up, for real, for its 14th auction in Vegas and second at the Las Vegas Convention Center’s West Hall. The event runs Thursday through Saturday, open 10 a.m. each day. Day-of tickets start at $45, not including fees, with kids 12-under free (go to barrett-jackson.com for information).
Barrett-Jackson CEO Craig Jackson is presenting about 650 cars, all with “no reserve” listings (meaning the cars will sell, regardless of bid).
The car-auction culture is thriving, Jackson says. Folks have done some soul-searching through COVID and decided they want to ride in style. Or, at least feed the need for nostalgia.
“People want to buy their dreams, I think, because it was tough going through the pandemic,” Jackson says. “People are seeing that the Barrett-Jackson is a place to have fun and enjoy life, and we’ve felt that way about Las Vegas since we had our first show in Vegas.”
In this year’s auction, Kiss co-founder Paul Stanley has designed such a dream machine. The Starchild’s vision is a metallic-red 2022 Chevrolet Corvette 3LT convertible. The car is VIN 001, the first Corvette produced for the 2022 model year. Stanley has also thrown in a signed guitar.
“Paul was part of the team that originally developed that color and it’s not a one-off color,” Jackson says. “But he was part of the history of that color getting developed. And they spec’d it out for him. It comes with a guitar. It’s rock ‘n’ roll.”
Recurring Aces of Comedy at the Mirage headliner Gabriel Iglesias has two cars on consignment. His 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Trans Am Bandit Edition is a “special build,” the latest iteration of the ’77 Trans Am from “Smokey and the Bandit.” The car sports a signature from Burt Reynolds across the dash, and is No. 20 of 77 such Trans Ams produced that year. Iglesias also offers a 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, a pure muscle car and one of just 3,300 Demons produced internationally.
The Queen’s wheels are up for sale in this year’s auction. Queen Elizabeth II’s 1966 Venden Plaz Princess Limousine built for the royal tour of Jamaica is offered. A 1981 DeLorean has transformed back in time, into a re-creation of the “Mr. Fusion Time Machine” from the “Back to the Future” movie franchise.
Barrett-Jackson always has plenty of cars to satisfy the passion for straight-up, American-made hot rods. An extremely rare, ’63 Corvette Z06 Split-Window is to be rolled out. The car was built the first year of the Z06 option, and just 199 came off the line (one of these cars sold for $990,000 at a Barrett-Jackson auction in January).
Barrett-Jackson has an open-ended agreement to continue presenting in Las Vegas.
“Vegas is like our second home,” says Jackson, whose company is based in Scottsdale, Arizona. “It’s a great car culture there. That’s why we like it.”
Cool Hang Alert
A very cool scene returns to Spirits Lounge at Stirling Club at Turnberry Place, with Michael Grimm and Bill Zappia’s “Givin’ It To ‘Em” set for 8:30 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.) Saturday. Grimm, of course, won Season 5 of “America’s Got Talent.” His recent duet with Michelle Johnson on “With A Little Help From My Friends” during Johnson’s and Jeffrey Neiman’s “Let It Be” Beatles tribute just killed the place. Zappia is a seriously underappreciated talent who also backs Christine Shebeck, subs in Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns and spent about a decade with Terry Fator. Zowie Bowie vocalist Jaime Lynch is guest-starring. Tickets are $35 (GA), $45 (VIP), fees not included. To to firstname.lastname@example.org for info.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.