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.
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!