Dressed in a casual tan suit and white T-shirt, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins gently leans back on his cherry red 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air.
He flashes his trademark smile and looks forward to auctioning off his classic car at Barrett-Jackson this month at WestWorld of Scottsdale.
“I’m parting with this because I recently got into building cars,” Hopkins says quietly. “I want to hold onto it, but being a builder, I want to have different, newer projects. I have a truck and two more old schools.”
Barrett-Jackson kicks off its 2023 Scottsdale Auction on Saturday, January 21, and it runs through Sunday, January 29. As event season begins with Barrett-Jackson each year, the auction company welcomes hundreds of thousands of guests to take part in the world-renowned automotive lifestyle event. The auction features the docket as well as a variety of activities and experiences beyond the block.
“This past year marked the most successful year of auctions in Barrett-Jackson’s history, setting new heights and breaking hundreds of world auction records, and we are keeping our foot firmly on the accelerator heading into 2023,” says Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson.
“This year’s Scottsdale Auction will once again provide an unforgettable experience for our guests with an extraordinary docket and a host of activities that demonstrate why we deliver The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions.”
Saturday, January 21, is Family Day presented by QT, when children 12 and younger receive free admission with an accompanying paying adult. Barrett-Jackson will present a series of hands-on activities, including STEM Fest, which will allow young auctiongoers the chance to learn and participate in several immersive science, technology, engineering and math exhibits.
One of the notable exhibits will be the capsule from the Blue Origin rocket, which will be showcased at STEM Fest before moving to the Exhibitor Marketplace for the remainder of the event.
Saturday will also highlight the Barrett-Jackson Cup presented by Castrol, where all 50 custom car and truck entries will be on display in the auction arena and paraded across the auction block before moving to the South Showcase to remain on display for the entire week.
The winners of the Barrett-Jackson Cup Ultimate Best in Show, including the its $20,000 cash prize, and the People’s Choice award voted on by auction fans around the world via social media, will be announced the following Saturday, January 28. Additionally, the Boy Scouts of America will be participating in a pinewood derby competition and earning their automotive merit badges.
On Sunday, January 22, Barrett-Jackson will feature the Future Collector Car Show presented by Meguiar’s on the WestWorld Polo Field.
The concours-style event will showcase vehicles that best represent the past, present and future of the collector car hobby. It will also feature a fashion show, live DJ and sponsor exhibits. Prior to the show, judges will hand-pick the cars for each award class from the applications submitted.
Every vehicle entered in the show qualifies for the coveted Best of Show trophy, a People’s Choice award selected by spectators on-site and various Best in Class awards.
Throughout the week, guests may also immerse themselves in a variety of other experiences, including luxury shopping within the Exhibitor Marketplace, learning from industry leaders during the “Behind the Hobby” Collector Car Symposiums and thrill rides, hot laps and off-road experiences with leading automotive manufacturers.
Guests may also enjoy one of several food and beverage options alongside outdoor fire pits, in front of the live music stage or indoors adjacent to the auction arena. Barrett-Jackson features several delectable food trucks, craft beers, cocktails and a cigar lounge as well.
“Every January our Scottsdale auction ushers in a renewed excitement for the collector car hobby over the coming year,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “For more than a half-century, Barrett-Jackson has created some of the most incredible collector car moments here at home in Scottsdale. We’ve built the ultimate lifestyle event and invite everyone to help us write the next chapter in automotive history.”
Hopkins was familiar with Barrett-Jackson before he auctioned a black drop-top Resto-Mod 1960 Chevrolet Impala convertible with it last year. It sold for $132,000.
“It was fun,” he says. “We got what we wanted for the car. It wasn’t about getting the price. It was about experiencing it. The atmosphere was cool. It was everything I expected and more. I didn’t know it was that big.”
It was his first experience selling a car with Barrett-Jackson, but the five-time NFL Pro Bowler watched the events on television as a youngster.
“Barrett-Jackson is, obviously, a renowned auction and Craig Jackson is a renowned car collector,” Hopkins says.
“I think Barrett-Jackson is one of those names you hear and think, ‘I want to be a part of it.’ Growing up, I watched the Barrett-Jackson auctions with my uncle. That’s what my uncle used to watch: car shows and Westerns.”
Tinkering with cars is nothing new to Hopkins either. His first car was a 1982 Cutlass, which he dubs a “project car.”
“We built the speakers, and we almost electrocuted ourselves,” he says with a laugh. “It was great to be able to work on something and fix it myself. It’s nice being hands-on.”
The 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air was built in Tennessee, but Hopkins put his touch on it, notably a supercharger on top of an LS3. Designed for high performance and longevity, the LS3 reflects Hopkins’ time in Texas, he says.
Hopkins is looking forward to constructing cars himself. The hobby requires the patience of a saint.
“Some cars take two to three years,” he says. “You have to be in it for the long haul.”
Barrett-Jackson, The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auction
WHEN: Times vary, Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, January 29
WHERE: WestWorld, 16601 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale
COST: Tickets start at $25; discounts for seniors, military, students, first responders, children