Barrett-Jackson 2021 – Better Late Than Never

Scottsdale, Arizona.

Delayed by the pandemic, Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale came and went in late March 2021. Since my first visit in 2012, I have never missed this gathering of classic and modern automotive technology. I don’t have the finances to support buying at the auction, let alone having a place to store all of the beautiful vehicles that I come to see. No matter, I’m like a kid in a candy store with no money in my pocket when I get there. I can look, but I mustn’t touch.

First a note about the show being held while we are still in the midst of the worst pandemic of our lives. In addition to delaying the show, the auction company closed off the auction floor to all but registered bidders and provided them with socially distanced seating as well as expanding their capability to handle bidding via online auction. They did not offer shuttle service from parking lots that were not within a reasonable walking distance as they have in the past. I could see there was no real need to provide off-site parking based upon the clearly smaller number of attendees that we saw looking at the vehicles.

Attendees, exhibitors, and staff were required to wear masks. We arrived in the morning and I noted that there was high compliance from attendees at properly wearing masks. As the day wore on and more people arrived, we began to see many people not wearing or improperly wearing masks as we all wandered through the several large open-air vehicle display tents. Our group made it a point to keep our distance from others. Just because we are vaccinated doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be careful in large groups. With the smaller number of attendees, it wasn’t hard to keep our distance.

Finally, we noticed far fewer cars on display in the outside vehicle tents than usual. There were a lot larger gaps between cars in the tents, and it wasn’t just for social distancing as many cars were parked close together (parking lot style). It appears that there were far fewer cars for sale this year. I don’t know if that is an indication that people are hanging on to their classics for economic or pandemic mitigation reasons. But I digress…. back to the show.

Ford Motor Company has the first exhibit space one sees when walking in the main entrance, and the opening image, my dear readers, threw me for a loop. It was the first open hood I saw among the new Fords on display. This is the under-hood view of the Cobra Jet 1400, an all-electric drag racing concept car. It is a screamer, as I would find out later when watching some YouTube videos. The 1400 HP electric system holds its own against conventional dragsters in its class, and it would appear that driver reaction time is as important a determination of a winning race as is the performance characteristics of the vehicle.

You can see for yourself about this electric concept car just by searching YouTube for “Cobra Jet 1400”.  Here is a link to a one-minute video to give you a taste of the performance of this vehicle.

Of course, Ford was showing off its Mustang Mach-E, a machine that is apparently taking sales from the industry leader, Tesla. This year at Barrett-Jackson, there were more electric cars on display and for sale in the auction than I have seen in previous years. The Premium model Mach E goes about 300 miles (483 km) on a charge and will set you back about $50K USD.

This vehicle is called the ElectraMeccanica Solo, a three-wheel vehicle, licensed in most states as a motorcycle. It is being billed as a perfect commuter car, qualifies for riding in the HOV lanes during rush hour traffic and provides a 100-mile range on a charge. When it’s available for purchase later this year, expect to pay about $20,000.

If you want something a little more like a classic sports car, the ElectroMeccanica eRoadster seats two and can do 0-60 in about 6 seconds. You can go 190 miles (306 km) on a charge, but be prepared to put down about $125,000 USD to join this electric club.

Tesla had their complete line of vehicles on display. I admit to forgetting to note which model Tesla I captured in the photo above. The least expensive Tesla is the Model 3. According to an article from Motor Trend (here), the Standard Range Plus model sells for around $40K USD and has a range of 263 miles (423 km).

I only saw one electric vehicle sold on the auction block (though I am sure there were more.) This 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV LT has a 240 mile (386 km) range and sold for $17,600 USD.

But enough about electric vehicles. Truthfully, I have no interest in owning one. I do a lot of cross-country traveling and don’t feel like stopping every 2-300 miles and sitting around to wait for batteries to charge. If I were still working and needed a commuter vehicle, I might consider it. For now, I drive a hybrid (Toyota Avalon), and it provides long-range 45 mpg fuel economy, and a comfortable big-car ride.

My fun car is a 2004 Mustang V6 that I purchased in July 2016 from a friend who took very good care of it during his many years of ownership. The image above is a photo I took of my orange pony at a classic car gathering in Goodyear Arizona.

Speaking of Mustangs, I present for your review (and comment, if you are so inclined), a gallery of Mustangs sold at Barrett-Jackson this year. As always, I recommend that you select an image to get a better view and to more easily scroll through the gallery.

John Steiner


  1. Thanks for sharing, JS. On a personal note, I never imagined that my wonderful wife and I would be living in metro Phoenix and, yet, be unable to attend the Barrett-Jackson (or Mecum) auction held here. We are still three days away from our second shot, 17 days away from “full” immunity. Not like I’m counting or anything. 🙂

    • Indeed. I am thankful the timing for our shots coincided with attending the show. It didn’t work out for us to get to Mecum this year, but I will try to do so next year.

  2. Thank you for the insight and photos from Barrett Jackson. Sometimes watching the broadcast on television is just not the same. It is on my bucket list to attend one year. I know it practically killed Disaffected Musing not being able to attend this year.

    • Even being “locked out” of the auction wasn’t a big deal for me. I seldom sat in the auction area anyway, preferring instead to just look at the cars. Besides, there were plenty of monitors including the largest big screen TV I’ve ever seen in the outside “food court” area.

  3. Though they may be regarded as bloated and piggish, I think I’d opt for the dark 71 Mach 1… though the blue 69-70 Mach 1 in the background is really my dream car.

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