How many cars can a car show show if a car show could be shown?

I just spent a fantastic weekend at the Barrett Jackson Scottsdale Auction last week. I didn’t go for the auction, because I don’t need a car, and if I did, it wouldn’t be one I could afford. I went to see the cars. And boy did I!

I’d been to other auctions, and a lot of car shows all over the country, but this was by far the largest group of cars in once place I’d ever seen. Everything from mint condition AMC Pacers (“mint” being a relative word) to the new Ford electric truck, Resto Mods and Street Rods, ‘70s and ‘80s Ford and Chevy pickups that looked like someone just drove them into their space after a day working on the farm, immaculately restored vintage sedans and coupes, gleaming muscle cars, and so much more. All cars sell at the auction with no reserve, but that doesn’t mean they go cheap. If you own a classic Ford Bronco, Toyota Land Cruiser, or Chevy Blazer, they’re money in the bank right now whether or not they’re restored.

The indoor space, made up mostly of large permanent tent-like structures, is huge and takes hours to get through if you spend time admiring even a fraction of the cars. Then, step outside any one of a dizzying number of exits and find open-sided tent after tent filled with more vehicles, dozens of food trucks, liquor and juice bars, memorabilia displays, and vendor booths for add-ons and high-performance equipment. Oh, and then there’s a track where you can do ride-alongs in race cars.


I spent my time looking at cars I might want to include in my Bad Carma Mystery series, and other planned novels. There was an extensively-restored 1960’s Divco like my character, Renni Delacroix, owns that sold for $120,000. I have stories planned that have a place for one or more of the 13, 21,or 23 window VW/Samba microbuses, a Honda Trail motorcycle, a Jeepster, a 1979 Excaliber Phaeton III (one of only 340 built and which spent most of its life in museums), big old Dodge Power Wagon, a butt-ugly but way cool International Cab-Over flatbed, a Chevy Nomad or Woody Wagon, a 1954 Kaiser Darrin convertible, a 1933 Auburn convertible sedan, 1953 Jaguar Roadster, 1931 Cord Cabriolet, a 1953 Porsche tractor, and so many more that I’ll be writing this series and more until I’m 100 years old.

My husband salivated over the original Ford GT40s, along with myriad Mustangs, GTOs, Corvettes (what seemed like hundreds of them), Chevelle SSs, Cobras, Hellcats, Superbirds, a Pantera (like one he’d owned back in the day and was working on rebuilding but had to sell), Mercedes both new and old, including my dream car, a 300SL Gullwing, and a McLaren MP4.


While we didn’t sit in on the actual live auction, we did spend quite a bit of time watching it on our hotel TV, including the charity auction of a 2023 Corvette that went for $5,000,000. If you enjoy cars, no matter what vintage and condition, you’d enjoy this event, or any of the others that take place on a regular basis all over the country. And don’t sell your local car club shows short – I’ve seen some really amazing cars there as well.


And if you enjoy a good mystery, with cool cars, you’ll enjoy The Pickup Artist, a Bad Carma Mystery, out now for pre-order in digital or paperback, and releasing on April 1.


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