Saturday, January 10, 2015

The story of a cancer survivor - part 3

If you’re a regular reader, you already know that I’m a cancer survivor, since I’ve already published two articles about my experience:

The story of a cancer survivor

The story of a cancer survivor - part 2

You may also know that I’ve long been a “car nut”, which led me to (eventually) become a car salesman later in life, when I spent nearly 8 years selling cars in 2 different states. The irony of my car sales career is that I did not own a car of my own during my entire sales experience (and still don’t) but managed to sell 2 cars to immediate family members during my career, and more than 600 to other people (some of whom I sold to more than once).

Common sense would tell you that there’s isn’t much of a connection between cancer and cars (the BIG “C” and the little “c”) but I learned this morning that there IS - at least in Arizona.

One of the car auctions that is held early in the year in Arizona is the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, which is being held this weekend in Scottsdale. This morning’s Arizona Republic had an interesting article about it:

Barrett-Jackson 2015

The roots of the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction go all the way back to 1972, when Russ Jackson and Tom Barrett organized a fund-raising car auction for local charities. Originally called “Fiesta del Auto Excellence”, it was later re-named “Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction”, and re-named again in 2006 to “Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction” in 2006.

Russ Jackson died at the age of 77 in 1993, after a long struggle with colon cancer. Two years later, his son Brian died of the same disease, at the age of 49, and control of the company passed to his brother Craig, who is now the chairman and CEO of the company.

Like the original company started by Russ Jackson in 1972, the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction is a HUGE fund raiser for charity. Since its inception, the company has raised over $67,000,000 for various charities, one of which is T-Gen, an organization that supports the Barrett-Jackson Cancer Research Fund.

Although the auction has always sold an interesting collection of automobiles (some of which have benefited the charity more than once) this year’s auctions will feature two cars that were built by the famed hot rodder Boyd Coddington, who died in 2008.

My dream car in high school was a ‘57 Chevrolet (which I never actually owned) but none of the cars that I dreamed about were anything like the “Chezoom” that will be auctioned off this weekend.

Another Coddington creation that will be auctioned off this weekend is a 1936 Delahaye (nicknamed “whatthehaye”) that last sold at auction in 2005 - for $550.000.

I’ve never been to the Barrett-Jackson auction, and it’s unlikely that I’ll ever be able to afford to buy one of their vehicles, but it’s encouraging to see that car collecting, a passionate hobby for an awful lot of people, can also be a vehicle (no pun intended) for the good of society.

If you’d like to look at some of the other vehicles that will be auctioned, just click on the link below. You’ll also notice that the link will actually allow you to actually BID on the cars (you can always dream, can’t you?)

Barrett-Jackson - Scottsdale 2015

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