A classic and rare car auction over the weekend at the Orange County Fairgrounds generated $14 million in sales, organizers said Tuesday.
Nearly 54,000 people attended the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction event Friday through Sunday, according to the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based auction house. About 66% of the bidders registered to bid for the first time, a sign the event is growing.
"Southern California is without a doubt the car culture capital of the U.S.," Craig Jackson, Barrett-Jackson chairman and chief executive, said in a news release. "The quality and variety of the vehicles we see here is astounding, and the success we had here this year, and every year, is a testament to the large number of people who live and breathe the collector car lifestyle in this region. We're proud to be a part of it."
The event featured 400 cars, many of them collectibles. Others were hot-rods and unusual newer models.
Many of the sales were in the six-figure range. A 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 42 fetched $253,000, while a 1965 Ford Rancheo went for $200,000.
The top sale, $300,000 for a 2013 Dodge Viper, benefited the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer. The sales of eight pre-selected cars generated $1.1 million for various charities, according to a news release. Fees and commissions were waived on those auctions.
The renowned event added Costa Mesa as its fourth stop in a national tour three years ago. The most expensive car auctioned off last year was a 1963 Volkswagen 23 Window Bus for $217,800. In 2010 it was a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 convertible, which sold for $253,000.
"We try to find destination locations," Patrick Van Den Bossche, Barrett-Jackson's chief operating officer, told the Daily Pilot last week. "They have to have the right synergy, like beaches, business. We don't like to just drop in like an operation. We like to be part of the community."
Barrett-Jackson's next sale is Sept. 20 to 22 in Las Vegas.