Monday, January 25, 2010

Russo & Steele Auction Closed By High Winds, Muscle Cars Damaged By Tent Debris, Auto transportation, car haulers

The Phoenix area is a hotbed of classic cars, as two large car auctions, the Barnett-Jackson and Russo and Steele actions are being held in Scottsdale this week; that’s going to mean a lot of auto transportation opportunities this week in the Southwest. However, the bad weather that dumped two feet of snow in Flagstaff to the north of Phoenix brought high winds that damaged and disrupted the Russo and Steele Auctions.

When you look at the Russo and Steele website, the overriding vision is of classic cars under large tents. The problem with tents is that they don’t do well in heavy winds, and two of the big tents were blown over, with tent poles sent crashing into cars and the tents themselves getting blown onto the 101 beltway. According to Autoweek, $1.5 million dollars of damage was done to vehicles at the site. adds that about half of the 600 cars on consignment at Russo and Steele were damaged, with damages averaging about $500 a car.

Russo and Steele held a consignees-only meeting Saturday morning, where that million dollars of bad news was likely being discussed. The normal Wednesday-Sunday format is tentatively slated to extend into Monday, which will throw people’s schedules and hotel plans into a tizzy. That includes car haulers who were slated to be taking cars to their new owners this weekend; they might wind up hanging around the Phoenix area a bit longer than planned.

The Barnett-Jackson auction centralized activity in one main tent on Thursday night, putting tractor-trailers around the tents a shield for the fierce winds, but otherwise stayed on schedule.