Does your heart flutter when you touch your car keys? Is the rev on an engine like music to your ears? Have you ever spent an entire weekend waxing your ride? If so, then January is your month.
Gear up for eight of the year’s coolest car events, which are happening this weekend and next across the Valley.
The largest and most famous, Barrett-Jackson’s Collector Car Auction, is likely to steal the spotlight, but each of the events offers something for everyone.
“Everyone does sort of have a unique presentation to their event,” says Drew Alcazar, president of Russo and Steele Collector Automobiles Auctions.
“It’s a nice smorgasbord for all the enthusiasts. They can enjoy different feels at different places.”
BARRETT-JACKSON COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION
A fire-breathing, car crushing robot called Robosaurus. The “General Lee,” a 1969 Dodge Charger coupe from the TV show “The Dukes of Hazzard.” And the 1966 Ford Thunderbird from the Oscar-winning “Thelma & Louise.”
These famed vehicles are just a few of the more than 1,100 cars that will be sold, at no reserve, at the 37th annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction starting Saturday and continuing through Jan. 20.
“The cars this year are really different,” says Gary Bennett, vice president of consignments at Barrett-Jackson. “We have a broader mix of cars than we’ve ever had before.”
Details: WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Road . Opens 8 a.m. Saturday, runs through Jan. 20. $10 to $55, depending on day. (480) 421-6694 or www.barrett-jackson.com.
WORLD OF WHEELS
If you love admiring classic cars, but don’t necessarily have the money to buy one, then the 39th annual World of Wheels exhibit is for you.
The largest and oldest indoor automotive competition will feature 500 customized cars, trucks, vans and motorcycles.
“The World of Wheels is different because the cars are not for sale,” says Bob Larizee, show manager. “Most of the show is made up of local enthusiasts who come to show off their cars.”
These enthusiasts spend years working on their rides. Many even build their cars starting from scratch.
In addition to classic and custom cars, this is a family-friendly event that features a full-sized replica of Lightning McQueen from the Pixar-Disney film “Cars,” and The Bumblebee, a 1976 Camaro, which is the Autobot hero in the movie “Transformers.”
Details: University of Phoenix Stadium, 91st Avenue between Bethany Home Road and Maryland Avenue, Glendale. 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. today, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. $15 for adults, $5 for children 6-12. (623) 362-8768 or www.autorama.com.
RUSSO AND STEELE
Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auctions’ “Sports and Muscle” in Scottsdale is billed as an event by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. More than 500 cars, in the exclusive niche categories of European sports cars, American muscle cars, hot rods and customs, will be auctioned from Jan. 16th to 20th.
“We create an environment specifically to cater to the collector car enthusiasts,” says Alcazar.
For example, unlike some other car collector auctions, Russo and Steele is a bit more exclusive.
Although the event is open to the public, only registered bidders are permitted in the main auction tent, which features a distinct “in-the-round” auction block.
A car collector enthusiast, Alcazar describes the Russo and Steele as an extension of his own personal hobby.
“Unlike other events that are all about the money or all about the business, there’s maybe a little more heart and soul in this,” he says.
Details: Russo and Steele coliseum, Loop 101 and Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. Jan. 16-20, beginning at 10 a.m. $150 for a bidders pass; $75 for guest pass. (602) 525-2697 or www.russoandsteele.com.