AND THEY’RE OFF! Cars and stars shine as Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach Auction gets underway

Legendary actor William Shatner poses with the winning bidders on his 2002 Aston Martin DB7, which he autographed for the couple.

William Shatner poses with the winning bidders on his 2002 Aston Martin DB7, which he autographed for the couple.

Collector cars were gleaming, automobilia was sparkling and exhibitors put the final touches on their displays as the gates opened for the 14th Annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction on Friday. Enthusiasts streamed in to enjoy the picture-perfect weather and some spectacular vehicles.

Country music artist Zac Brown shares a laugh with Craig Jackson at the Opening Night Gala.

Country music artist Zac Brown shares a laugh with Craig Jackson at the Opening Night Gala.

Excitement filled the air as the much-anticipated Florida event kicked off Thursday evening with a festive Opening Night Gala. Celebrities including country music artist Zac Brown and American TV and film icon William Shatner joined hundreds of bidders, consignors, sponsors and invited guests for an electrifying evening full of cars and gourmet cuisine, and the band Soul Survivors kept the dance floor packed late into the evening.

On Friday, more than 100 exquisite pieces of authentic automobilia were in the spotlight in the morning, from pedal cars and gas pumps to brightly colored neon dealership signs. Top automobilia sellers of the day included a Gulf Oil visible gas pump and a whimsical “Clownin Around” kiddie teeter-totter ride.

Shatner brought star power to the block on Friday to see two of his cars – a 2002 Aston Martin DB7 and a 2004 Volkswagen Phaeton – go to new homes, which the legendary actor autographed for the lucky winning bidders in front of many enthusiastic fans. His vehicles were two of more than 200 making the trip across the Barrett-Jackson stage on Day One, which also included four special cars sold with 100 percent of the hammer price benefiting some very worthy charities.

An undeniably powerful moment happened when former U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell of “Lone Survivor” fame came to the block to encourage bidding on a stunning restored Hennessey Viper Venom 500 with custom airbrush work honoring Operation Red Wings. The hammer came down on the winning bid of $150,000 for the Lone Survivor Foundation, which Luttrell founded.

Other cars with a cause crossing the block today included a 2014 Ford Raptor Hennessey VelicoRaptor 600 that brought in $100,000 for Paralyzed Veterans of America, a 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Commando Tactical Edition selling for $225,000 to benefit the Patriot Foundation and a 2017 Chevrolet Corvette VIN #001 Grand Sport that brought the hammer down on a $170,000 bid for the Karmanos Cancer Institute.

Enjoy the gallery and video below showing highlights of the Opening Night Gala and Day One at Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach!

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William Shatner and Craig Jackson at the Opening Night Gala.

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Barrett-Jackson's Gary Bennett, Steve Davis, Craig Jackson and auctioneer Joseph Mast with Darrell Gwynn. A special poster autographed by celebrities and famous race car drivers was auctioned off for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation – bringing $17,000 to the worthy cause.

Barrett-Jackson’s Gary Bennett, Steve Davis, Craig Jackson and auctioneer Joseph Mast with Darrell Gwynn. A special poster autographed by celebrities and famous race car drivers was auctioned off for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation – bringing $17,000 to the worthy cause.

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Carolyn and Craig Jackson with John and Jeanette Staluppi.

Carolyn and Craig Jackson with John and Jeanette Staluppi.

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Lot #3001, a  Image Not Available Lot 3001 a 1993 DODGE VIPER HENNESSEY VENOM 500, sold for $150,000 for the Lone Survivor Foundation, founded by former U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell.

Lot #3001, a 1993 DODGE VIPER HENNESSEY VENOM 500, sold for $150,000 for the Lone Survivor Foundation, founded by former U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell.

Craig Jackson and Steve Davis (far right) joined Marcus Luttrell (back row, third from right) and some other representatives of Luttrell's Lone Survivor Foundation after the sale of the Hennessey Viper Venom 500.

Craig Jackson and Steve Davis (far right) joined Marcus Luttrell (back row, third from right) and some other representatives of Luttrell’s Lone Survivor Foundation after the sale of the Hennessey Viper Venom 500.

 

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