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Barrett-Jackson responds

As always Barrett-Jackson wishes to thank our many customers, guests and fellow car enthusiasts. Working together we create something very special in Scottsdale every January and Palm Beach a couple of months later.

However, some recent, false postings on blogs and discussion forums now force us to shift from thanking so many to asking an irresponsible few: “what were you thinking?”

Also, please consider this posting an official, legal request of this blog from Barrett-Jackson to remove all content sparked by the post below since the original source of the information has since retracted the story and further publication of it, such as on this forum, will be subject to the aggressive legal action we should and must take to eliminate the absurd and false information contained on this site.

Though our attorney disagrees with me, I am of the mindset that Mr.

Barer’s original comments at www.apexstrategy.com (fourwheeldrift blog) – comments that led to others such as this blog to post the same inaccurate, irresponsible and legal defamatory information about Barrett-Jackson’s business practices -- may have been naïve or

innocent. That’s because he may have simply been careless to repeat

rumors he has heard from so-called “insiders” who claim to know various salacious things about our recent event. It is hard to imagine that a “freelance journalist” (as Mr. Barer’s website defines him) would recklessly publish so many unfounded and untrue statements in one package. Regardless of Mr. Barer’s intent, Barrett-Jackson takes all public attacks on its business practices quite seriously, particularly when they are published to an audience as far-reaching as users of the Internet by someone holding himself out as a professional journalist.

As with Mr. Barer’s original posting – one he has now replaced (see

below) --repeating his original comments on this blog does not excuse the false and defamatory information now posted as a result of Mr. Barrer’s original, bogus entry.

As President of Barrett-Jackson, I can assure readers of this forum that the claims made in Mr. Barer’s posting are patently false. There is no lawsuit by a well-known judge. There is no class action lawsuit. There is no situation involving Barrett-Jackson owning many cars that are run through the auction and providing “shill bidders” to inflate prices of vehicles. There are no secret trucks transporting vehicles back to Barrett-Jackson’s “warehouse” after unsuccessful sales. It is impossible to respond to each of the claims made in this posting in any reasonable, professional manner, and Mr. Barer should not be so reckless in repeating as “proven” such fabricated stories. This forum should not be so reckless as to repeat them.

In fact, the laundry list of wrongdoing cited as fact by Mr. Barer would be almost comical if the statements were not so directly harmful to the business that hundreds of people have worked so hard to build in these last

36 years.

The varied and far-fetched claims made by Mr. Barer in his story are not worthy of any further response other than to say that the only lawsuit surrounding these matters is likely to be one for defamation filed by Barrett-Jackson against any and all who repeat fantasy rather than fact.

Finally, thank you to all of our bidders, buyers and enthusiasts who wrote in and directly refuted this nonsense. It had an impact on Mr.

Barer and if we have one thing to thank him for is that he was willing to listen after receiving an avalanche of testimonials and facts directly refuting his rumor and innuendo.

Good people when confronted with good, new information re-evaluate and correct course. That is what Mr. Barer has done and what this forum should do as well.

Steve Davis


Barrett-Jackson Auction Co.

*******THE BARER RETRACTION POSTED ON WWW.APEXSTRATEGY.COM THE REASON IT IS NO LONGER HERE February 1, 2007 After some real soul searching I decided to take down the posting regarding Barrett-Jackson. I was not going to offer an explanation to readers, but after widespread rumors, many emails and telephone calls, I wish to set the record straight.

Steve Davis, President of Barrett-Jackson took the time and effort to read the article, and then posted a comment that argued that the content was “reckless.” I firmly believe that in writing it I far exceeded the standard of conduct applicable to opinion pieces published on the internet. Each of the allegations made in the piece was already published in print, on message boards, around the blogosphere, through email lists, or had been circulating via car club events. I have additional sources who provided other information regarding most of the points.

That being said, as I reread the piece and gave it a lot of thought, I came to the belief in retrospect that while a valid piece of journalistic workmanship, it could be arguably seen from Barrett-Jackson’s standpoint as unfair. I had aggregated claims and allegations from sellers and participants over the years, yet had not leavened the piece with B-J’s side of the story. In taking it down, it offers B-J time to respond, educate, investigate…I even provided B-J the name and contact information of the now-famous judge (with his

consent,) who sold his high-profile car on Saturday of the event.

Hopefully, they can communicate and come to an understanding, and both report back.

Since I have no personal animosity against B-J (I believe it to be one of the most entertaining auto events of the season,) and I realize there are two sides to this and every story, I felt the better course of action was to pull it down and integrate anything they chose to communicate within a new article.

Furthermore, the article brought out many additional people (including some names car enthusiasts would recognize) who have taken time to tell me their personal stories of interaction with B-J and other auction companies. So like an artist who looks at his painting after the fact, this story, if and when it is updated, can look so much better, in my opinion, with all of the information provided by these sellers, attendees, as well as auction company representatives. (I also thank Drew Alcazar from Russo and Steele for taking time out of his busy schedule to communicate with me. I look forward to hearing more from him, as well as representatives from other auction companies, who have contacted offering to share information regarding their experiences.)

My final reason for pulling the article was that it was getting too personal on many levels. From threats of lawsuits against me to attacks against those posting on the blog with differing views, it simply was not what The Four Wheel Drift was intended to be about.

I personally thank all those who have sent their stories and support, as well as those many great, trustworthy sources who were the basis of the original story.


Sam Barer

The Four Wheel Drift


THE Barrett-Jackson Auction Company is aware of postings on various “blogs” and online discussion boards that make false and libelous statement regarding the Company’s business practices. While the author that started this discussion decided to remove the posting after receiving a written statement and legal warning from Barrett-Jackson, the original blog content has been copied to numerous other Web sites and other locations on the Internet.

The reply from Barrett-Jackson has not been copied to these additional

locations. Continued posting of false and defamatory information

about Barrett-Jackson, no matter the original source, is not acceptable. We will pursue any and all legal action against individuals, forums and blogs that convey defamatory language about the company and its auctions.

The statements published in the original posting, and repeated in numerous other forums since that time, are untrue and are potentially harmful to Barrett-Jackson’s business interests. Barrett-Jackson issues the following statement for the purposes of clarifying the situation and providing its position regarding the accusations made against the Company.

• There is no lawsuit against Barrett-Jackson alleging improper or

unlawful auction practices.

• Barrett-Jackson has historically offered a combination of reserve and no-reserve vehicles across the auction block. In a sale with a reserve, a vehicle is not sold if the reserve price is not met. In a no-reserve sale, every vehicle that crosses the block is sold to the highest bidder, regardless of the amount of the last bid that is made before the fall of the auctioneer’s hammer. In a no-reserve sale, the owner of a car may not bid (by himself or through an agent) on his own car.

• In recent years, Barrett-Jackson has run auctions that are completely no-reserve. This is a business decision made by Barrett-Jackson; there is no legal or other requirement that all vehicles be sold at no-reserve. In the future, Barrett-Jackson may opt to offer vehicles with a reserve.

• Owner buybacks and so-called “chandelier” or “shill” bidding are

forbidden on all no-reserve vehicles sold at Barrett-Jackson. The practice is specifically prohibited in the consignment contract signed by each seller.

• Barrett-Jackson’s auction staff monitors all bid activity to the best of its ability while a vehicle is on the block. If Barrett-Jackson sees that an owner (or someone known to be the owner’s agent) is bidding on his own vehicle, the Company stops the bidding and reverts to the last bid.

• With the size of Barrett-Jackson’s auction venue and the presence of

thousands of registered bidders, it is physically impossible to guarantee that no owner (or an unidentified owner’s agent) attempts to bid on his own vehicle. For this reason, it is Barrett-Jackson’s policy to penalize any owner who successfully bids on his own vehicle by charging that person both the seller’s commission and the buyer’s premium on that vehicle. This penalty serves as a meaningful deterrent for those who may otherwise choose to ignore the rules. Individuals who fail to abide by auction regulations may also be barred from participating in future Barrett-Jackson events.

• Barrett-Jackson continually updates its practices and procedures to

implement additional measures to prohibit owner buy-backs and to prevent the practice of “chandelier” bidding in any no-reserve situation. These procedures include a continually evolving use of technology and visual aids to assist the auction staff in identifying owners who may attempt to bid on their own vehicles.

• Our business is based on honesty and integrity. We cannot conduct the ambitious events we do every year without it.

• We are always available to respond to questions. All one needs to

do is ask rather than respond with completely ridiculous, inaccurate and ultimately illegal commentary.


Robbie Sherwood, Spokesperson-Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction

Former Reporter, Arizona Republic

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  • 3 weeks later...

Barrett-Jackson has driven prices of collector cars far beyond what they should be. They have created a monster that will come to fall one day. The losers are the people who pay these outrageous prices and the true fanatic who has been priced out of the market. In the end, these market values will fall in the toilet. The only long term beneficiary will be Barrett-Jackson themselves. Thanks for nothing BJ! You provide nothing but a disservice to the automotive world. BJ is a predator, feasting on prey.

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