The best auto auctions in America – for the collectors, the gearheads and the motor enthusiasts, it simply doesn’t get much better. Thousands of legendary vehicles on display at once, waiting to go home with the highest bidder.
While most of us can’t afford to participate in the high ends of these collector car auctions, the excitement of being at one is a thrill in itself. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best auto auctions in America. Where will you start?
It shouldn’t be a surprise to see Barrett-Jackson come in first. Its half-century-long legacy has secured the company a place as the leader in the collector car auction landscape. Barrett Jackson is certainly one of, if not the, best auto auctions. The auction house holds events annually in Scottsdale, Palm Beach, Connecticut, and Las Vegas. They feature some of the most famous and sought after vehicles the world over. Barrett-Jackson events are often star-studded showcases with cars worth millions up for grabs, so it’s an event not to be missed by buyers and enthusiasts alike.
The Mecum Auction company is notorious for featuring the fastest, coolest and most sought after muscle cars out there. Auctions are held in 11 cities across the country. Each auction features fascinating main attractions like the 1968 Challenger 2 Streamliner, up for auction at the 2020 Kissimmee event. Mecum also hosts auctions on collector motorcycles, tractors, road art and guitars. It’s the perfect experience for fans of all things vintage.
Copart Auctions are less focused on collector and antique vehicles, so they are a great place to find great deals on everyday vehicles. Of course, this massive auction house boasts some remarkable collector items as well, like this uniquely outfitted G Wagon. Copart holds thousands of auctions held yearly, some online-only and some in-person, and has more than 125,000 vehicles available on any given day.
This somewhat underground auction house dubs itself the auctioneer “by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts, and stands as a close challenger for the Barrett-Jackson auctions. Russo and Steele auctions are focused on European sports cars, American muscle cars, hot rods and customs. The events qualify as one of the best auto auctions in part thanks to the unique auction format which puts buyers, sellers and observers together in the same space. Event-goers sit in a 360º setup for an “in the ring” style of entertaining auction action, which drives excitement and competition.
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.
Buying at auction? Check out our guides for shipping your vehicle home: