Billing itself as the purveyor of The Worlds Greatest Collector Car Auctions, Barrett-Jackson is considered to be just that by car collectors the world over, as evidenced by the millions of dollars worth of vehicles that are sold under their gavel at a series of events in the United States each year.
For the past year, from the wrap-up of their annual end of season massive auction in Las Vegas (which is televised live worldwide) last year, until the event this year, which took place at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino from Sept. 27 to Sept. 29, 2018, Barrett-Jackson has also been using it’s public profile and leveraging the philanthropic spirit and generosity of the collector car community to raise money and awareness for the American Heart Association (AHA).
In total, at the 2018 version of the Las Vegas auction, $34.7 million (USD) worth of vehicles were sold, with $1,094,500 of that total coming from six vehicles that were auctioned off exclusively for charitable endeavours. The highlight of this portion of the auction was the sale of a 50th Anniversary Ford Shelby GT350 which went for $215,000, all of which went to the Barrett-Jackson Driven Hearts Charity Campaign.
A special 2018 Ford Mustang GT Coupe Premium, emblazoned with a wrap and logo from the NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights sold for $250,000 with that money going to the Las Vegas-based Grant a Gift Autism Foundation. Two members of the hockey team, which made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season in 2017-2018, Brad Hunt and Brayden McNabb, helped auction off the Mustang.
Driven Hearts was a year-long fundraising and public awareness campaign that was spurred on by the loss of friends of current Barrett-Jackson CEO and chair of the board, Craig Jackson, who is the son of co-founder Russ Jackson.
“A number of our treasured friends in the collector car community have passed away recently as a result of heart issues, including two men very close to Barrett-Jackson. Both of these men exemplified the philanthropic spirit of car collectors and contributed much to Barrett-Jackson’s charitable efforts on the auction block. In honour of all our loved ones affected by heart disease, we are committed to supporting the American Heart Association’s efforts by helping raise money, bring awareness and promote heart health,” said Craig Jackson in a statement on the Driven Hearts website.
His comments were echoed by Barrett-Jackson president Steve Davis in a press release announcing the results of the auction.
“Not only did we bring to the Entertainment Capital of the World some of the most coveted collector cars on the planet, we also filled the weekend with some extraordinarily special moments with the sale of six charity vehicles. With the help of our friends in the collector car community, we helped raise over $1 million to help countless people across the country,” he said.
Besides raising much-needed funds for the AHA, the Driven Hearts Charity Campaign also used Barrett-Jackson’s significant social media (including the #DrivenHearts hashtag), traditional media and publicity machinery presence to get the word out about the warning signs of heart attacks and stroke, preventive measures and positive lifestyle choices.
“From educating people about the importance of heart healthy lifestyles to raising awareness about the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke, the American Heart Association is honored to work together with Barrett-Jackson to create a healthier future for everyone. Together, we are slamming the breaks [sic] on heart disease and stroke,” said a statement from the AMA on the Driven Hearts website.
The auction proceeds were just the denouement of the year-long Driven Hearts Campaign, which also saw Barrett-Jackman staff and drivers at all their auctions wearing shirts with the Driven Hearts logo on them along with the acronym F.A.S.T. which represents the warning signs of stroke (Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 911).
As well Barrett-Jackson parented with Hotels for Hope which allowed fans travelling to auction events to book rooms through Barrett-Jackson, with a portion of every room booked and paid for going to the American Heart Association. Individuals living in the state of Arizona were also able to purchase Barrett-Jackson licence plates through the Arizona Department of Transportation for $25. With $17 from each purchase going to the American Heart Association. Special collector licence plates were designed for vehicle collectors to not only let folks know about their passion for collectable cars, but also support awareness of the American Heart Association, with proceeds from their sales.
Final totals for the entirety of the money realized from the campaign have not yet been released.
Barrett-Jackson was formed in 1971 in Scottsdale, Arizona by Russ Jackson and his business partner Tom Barrett as a small vehicle restoration business to go along with a vehicle auction enterprise. According to the company website, since Craig Jackson took over from his brother Robert in 1995, after his untimely death, Barrett Jackson has raised more than $89 million for a variety of charities, including a little over $10 million in the last decade.
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