Looking forward to the 2013 Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale

Tom Barrett met Russ Jackson back in the late 1960's when Barrett showed interest in Jackson's pristine 1933 Cadillac V16 Town Car. It was their taste in such classic and rare vehicles that spawned the duo's original car show, the "Fiesta del Auto Elegance" in Scottsdale, Arizona, where proceeds from the event went to helping the community at large.

In 1971, Barrett and Jackson dropped the "Fiesta" label and organized their first formal car auction, putting their own legendary rides up on the block. This inaugural event gained international attention for this pair of gearheads, as they broke an auction record when Barrett sold his own Mercedes 770 Phaeton for $153,000.

It's definitely safe to say that the event has grown in the decades since the original "Fiesta," taking on higher ticket items and an air of prestige that now ranks it among the premier collector car events in the world. Beyond being just a gathering of car lovers, the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale is considered one of the West's premier cultural events. Over the course of six days, attendees can enjoy nightlife, fashion shows, rides and drives and demonstrations taking place while more than 1,000 cars hit the auction block.

The event has moved far beyond the world of just collectors cars too in recent years. Since 1989, when the event started being held at the massive WestWorld convention center in Scottsdale, customized and specialty motorcycles, trucks, yachts and even airplanes have summoned huge bids.

Over the past five years, roughly 200,000 spectators have come to the event, many of them anticipating Saturday, commonly referred to as "Shatterday," the day when organizers bring the biggest ticket items to the stage in hopes of shattering previous auction records.

Although the Barrett-Jackson name is now attached to similar auctions in Palm Beach, Florida, Orange County, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada, the original show in Scottsdale still draws the biggest crowds and the best sales for the company by far.

In 2007, the Scottsdale auction made headlines when an original 1967 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake sold for nearly $5.5 million, making it the most expensive American-made car to ever sell at auction. This auction was attended by the late, great, legendary car designer Carroll Shelby himself, who used this car as his own personal daily driver. With 800 horsepower, this was hardly your regular commuter car, but leave it to Shelby to choose one of the rarest cars ever made to be his main whip – only one other car like it was ever made.

"When I built this dual supercharged 427 Cobra in 1966, I wanted it to be the fastest, meanest car on the road. Forty years later, it will still kick the tail of just about anything in the world. It's the fastest street legal Cobra I've ever owned," Shelby said on the Barrett-Jackson website.

This year's show is sure to be another doozy, as a host of rare cars are set to take the auction block. An incredibly rare 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible that was discovered and restored by long-time HEMI hunter Harold Sullivan is one car expected to fetch a high asking price on Saturday. The car had been stolen 30 years before its discovery back in 2001 when Sullivan saved it from the scrapyard and brought it back to its original glory.

Another American classic will be up for grabs this year as one of the rarest Shelby Mustangs in the world, a survivor ’67 GT500, will also be a part of the No-Reserve Auction on Saturday, January 19. Not only is this car one of the rarest Mustangs ever, with barely 9,000 miles on the odometer, it likely has the lowest mileage of any GT500 in existence.

Once again,  STA-BIL, the premier maker of fuel stabilizers and ethanol treatments which is used by collector car enthusiasts across the country, will be sponsoring and exhibiting at the show. Also, Cool Rides Online members will be in attendance keeping you updated throughout the event. The festivities will take place from January 13-20.

What are you most looking forward to about the upcoming Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale? Leave your comments below: