Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas 2010 – The Veyron & That Jerk
What can you get for $500 in Las Vegas? Well, honestly just about anything you could imagine, plus a lot you don’t want to imagine.
One bandana wearing jerk decided to spend his $500 on 15 minutes of fame and possibly a lifetime of being known as “that jerk”.
To accomplish such a feat and stand out in a town filled with bandana wearing jerks, “that jerk” got creative and bought Barrett-Jackson bidder credentials for $500, showed up at the Mandalay Bay convention center a few minutes before 5:30pm Saturday September 25, 2010, sat in the second row along the middle isle and raised his hand several times.
5:30pm was the highly publicized time that a 2008 Bugatti Veyron was going to cross Barrett-Jackson’s no reserve auction block, live on Speed Channel. The Veyron was to be the 2010 Las Vegas auction’s version of a keynote address. The convention center was packed and possibly millions were watching on television to see how much a true one million dollar car would bring at a no reserve auction in our current economic climate.
As I observed, from less than 6 feet away, “that jerk” really seemed to enjoy the huge amounts of attention he was receiving from the crowd, Speed Channel cameras and the blond sitting next to him – all because he bid on a car. The jerk bid the Veyron up and eventually won the auction for $700,000 plus a 10% buyer’s premium. However, once the cameras were off of him and all interested parties were behind closed doors, to close the deal, “that jerk” just flat out refused to pay for the car.
Having a bidder back out on a deal is nothing new to the seasoned Barrett-Jackson staff. Under normal circumstances, the auction staff will either re-run the car through the block or offer the car to others who were outbid. Most often this a seamless ordeal, however, when such an incident occurs so late in the auction on a $700,000 bid, on one of the headlining cars of the auction, things become that much more complicated.
Perhaps because it was so late in the auction and it would have been a logistics nightmare to re-run the car, or because it was at the tail end of Speed’s 21.5 hours of live coverage or because $700,000 is actually a bargain for a Bugatti Veyron, Craig Jackson, the Chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson, made an insta-call decision to fill the $700,000 void left by the bandana wearing jerk, and purchased the car himself, for his personal collection.
Immediately after “that jerk” reneged on the deal, the undoubtedly annoyed staff of Barrett-Jackson relieved him of his bidding credentials and removed him from the property. After “that jerk” was booted from the property and Craig Jackson made the decision to buy himself a Bugatti Veyron, Craig Jackson and Steve Davis, the President Barrett-Jackson returned to the auction block to explain to the crowd, within the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and to everyone watching live on Speed Channel, what just happened and why Craig’s personal car collection may now include a Veyron. Steve and Craig also stated that if any of the REAL bidders were still interested in the car, at $700,000, Craig would step aside and let them have it. When no one in attendance indicated they wanted the Veyron for $700,000, Craig said “I guess I own a Bugatti”.
The announcement that Craig had purchased the car under the strange circumstances was met with applause and the announcement that the bandana wearing jerk (my words – not theirs) had been removed from the property was met with even more applause. A few more cars were sold, without incident (as usual), before Steve again brought up the incident and held out for all to see, in his hand, “that jerk’s” bidder credentials and said to the crowd “this is all that is left”, which as you can imagine, was met with another thundering round of applause.
Later in the evening, when Craig was taking a look at his newest acquisition, he received a phone call and was told a phone bidder was interested in the Veyron for $700,000. Upon getting off the phone, Craig was quoted as saying “I guess I don’t own a Bugatti”.