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What it takes to Drive a Car across the Block at Barrett-Jackson Northeast

barrett-jackson

Uncasville, Conn. (June 25, 2018) – As a life long “Car Guy” I’ve worked on my bucket list, Formula One in Italy, Mercedes and Porsche Museums in Germany, NHRA, IndyCar, NASCAR events and Laguna Seca for vintage weekend to name a few. Along the way and I’ve managed to add some new items to the bucket, one of my latest is driving at an auto auction. You get to drive, a bit at 3 miles an hour some of the coolest cars ever built.  From Muscle cars, retro mods, customs, restored pickup trucks, 50’s classics all the way to the latest Japanese and European sports cars. Along the way you might need some additional skills and a strong left leg to drive lot 314 a 1942 US Army Cargo truck.  It would be a chance to spend a weekend away from the kids, eat junk food and talk to car guys all weekend.  With this in mind I ventured to the Barret-Jackson Northeast auction at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Ct.  I started off early talking with a group of drivers.  I learned one of the not advertised pre-requisites for this job is car club membership. The folks I met all belonged to the Connecticut Military Corvette Club. Here is the link check them out, for a new England group they are quite active, but note you must have a Vette to join.

http://vettclub.org/

Now they don’t post this job in the paper or online, and yes these guys were getting paid, but like many things in life, it’s who you know to join this elite staff. Long before the TV cameras are set up the cars arrive, trailer load after trailer load. This is where the work begins and 688 cars later they are ready to start the show.  Now where do you put 688 cars? Not an easy task in a venue that was not designed for this type of event.  Here at the “Sun” they store and stage the cars in one of the 4 story parking garages and It can get pretty tight once you add in thousands of spectators. From the block to the garage is a bit of an uphill walk, not bad once or twice, but all weekend, great workout for a 20 something, thing is, most of the drivers are retirees. Not a bad gig at all for these guys, and they do it year after year.

There are some rules for the drivers, don’t even think about taking out your cellphone while you are driving the cars, show up on time and expect a long day.  I always said if I could get a classic I wanted to be in the Corvette club, figured it was less stuffy and lots more fun.

This really was a great event, I’ve been to other auctions and they are by all standards car auctions with not much more. The Barrett Jackson event was very different and had a tent full of cool vendors set up.  The usual players were there Chevy and Ford but also some new custom cars from companies like Roush and Factory Five Racing from Massachusetts, Chris Craft boats even some unique summer lawn furniture. If you get the chance a Barrett Jackson Auction is worth the price of admission.

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Words and photos by Charles Hahn for Arizona Auto Scene.

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