When you step inside an auto auction like the ones on our Top 5 list and comparing it to an everyday consumer auto auction the difference is night and day. The cars brought in to these elite auctions are worth hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. The people in attendance may or may not be there to actually bid on the vehicles on the block, but what they all have in common is a passion for unique, antique, rare, and otherwise valuable cars.
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Now lets get to our list of the Top 5 Auto Auctions in America!
#5 – RM Sotheby’s
As a brand symbolizing all the finer things in life, RM Sotheby’s events aren’t just some of the best auto auctions out there, they’re the stuff of legends. Sothebys hosts events in Monaco; Essen, Germany; Palm Beach and Amelia Island, Florida; Paris; and Phoenix, so there’s a Sotheby’s auction for all. This company’s auctions are more than just a place to buy cars. RM Sotheby’s is the official collector car auction house for Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, and other high-end manufacturers, and collaborates on important car events.
#4 – Worldwide Auctioneers
Whether you’re looking for rare prewar vehicles, vintage European racers or mint condition American muscle cars, Worldwide Auctioneers is a great place to start. One thing that sets this auction house apart from others is that its owners are also chief auctioneers and automobile specialists, so the inventory on offer has been expertly curated and buyers can be sure that the investment they are making is a sound one. Worldwide Auctioneers may be smaller than some of the other houses mentioned above, but the company’s philosophy emphasizes quality over volume. They work to give sellers and buyers a relaxed, fun, and above all personal experience that is very different from the larger collector car auctions in the USA. There are elegant preview receptions, personal inspections, and even opportunities to test drive vehicles before auctions.
#3 – The Mecum Auction Company
For roughly three decades, The Mecum Auto Auction has been a leader in classic and collector car auctions, hosting events throughout the US and offering more than 20,000 cars for sale each year. The goal of this family-run auction house has always been to offer an amazing auction experience that brings together car connoisseurs and to help people find the vehicles of their dreams. It is currently ranked number one in the world for the sheer volume of vehicles it sells and number one in the United States for the number of auctions it hosts each year. One of these is the world’s largest collector car auction, which is held annually in Kissimmee, Florida.
#2 – Bonhams
While not an exclusive purveyor of automobiles, the Bonhams Motoring department does bill itself as the largest auction house hosting sales of classic vehicles, motorcycles, and related memorabilia. These auctions are typically held in conjunction with world-renowned automobile enthusiast events in fabulous locales. What buyers like about Bonhams auctions is the company’s reputation for its connoisseurship and its reach. While British Bonhams does have offices in the United States and hosts car auctions in the USA, its automotive experts are able to source its auction inventory from around the world so you can find vehicles at these auctions you won’t see anywhere else.
#1 – Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction
It is no surprise that Barret-Jackson is #1 on our list of Top 5 Auto Auctions. For almost 50 years Barrett-Jackson has attracted the most elite buyers and enthusiasts of cars worth millions of dollars. Barrett-Jackson showcases some of the most sought-after vehicles. Barrett-Jackson houses auctions in Scottsdale, Las Vegas, Palm Beach and Connecticut. They often live stream these events right on their website. That said, even though you can watch remotely, attending one of these auctions — which include symposiums, celebrity appearances, test rides, and more — should absolutely be on your bucket list.
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