The Western Wall, Bethlehem, Mecca, and Scottsdale are all holy places. My first pilgrimage to the Arizona desert auctions converted me to a believer. My 48-hour trip was a transcendental experience—it was short but unforgettable. The auction events at Scottsdale are sprawled out and scattered across town. If you replace the ocean with desert, events at Scottsdale have a similar feel and logistical cadence to Pebble Beach. Scottsdale requires that one invokes the “I have to put 10 pounds in a 5-pound bag” rule. Even if time permitted, there was just too much to see and do during Arizona car week.
An added benefit of my trip was that I got to pal around with my old friend and fellow American Flyer Steve Larsen. Steve is an avid car and motorcycle enthusiast with a phenomenal garage full of fun and meaningful machines. Steve is blessed with a lot of positive attributes and assets—one of the best of them being his wife Maggie. Back in 2003, we rode the South Island of New Zealand together and in 2005 we toured Turkey on BMW 1200 GS’s. When my father Max died in 2007,Maggie flew all the way out for the service. Motorcycle touring brought us all together and now we are lifelong friends.
My Arizona trip itinerary was ambitious. My mission was to visit with Steve and Maggie, have dinner with a great mentor and client who lives in Scottsdale, attend the Gooding and RM car auctions, and to speak at the Sports Car Market Insider’s Seminar. The panel was a smash success and was very well attended. Spirited discussions and robust Q&A covered several collector topics including valuation and building the right-sized collection. We will give TG and SCM readers more details on the Insider’s Seminar in an upcoming issue of Sports Car Market magazine.
For collector car enthusiasts, Scottsdale is sacred ground. The following photos and captions are vignettes from my short 48 hours in Scottsdale: