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Barrett-Jackson Holdings bought Collector Car Network
The deal includes ClassicCars.com, AutoHunter.com, Journal.ClassicCars.com and The Future Collector Car Show
One hoped-for benefit of the pairing is to use online sales to capture young buyers and bring them into the hobby
Just a week or so after we realized that Hagerty might be buying up all the classic car shows, Barrett-Jackson has announced it is buying up a car media outlet, the parent company of which is Collector Car Network Inc. Specifically, Barret-Jackson’s purchase includes:
The collector car sales website ClassicCars.com, with 4 million visitors a month
The online auction website AutoHunter.com, launched last year
The car journalism site Journal.ClassicCars.com, with 500,000 readers a month
The youth-oriented Future Collector Car Show, with 12,000 guests in attendance
All of the above are part of the Collector Car Network Inc., launched by publishing executive Roger Falcione and based in Phoenix, Arizona. Falcione will remain president and CEO, and it appears staff will remain largely in place as well. Several staff members had worked at Barrett-Jackson in the past, and Barrett-Jackson CEO Craig Jackson was familiar with many of the ClassicCars editors already, since many are from the greater Phoenix/Scottsdale area.
“We’ve been talking a lot and finally I decided, you know, I should just buy the company,” said Craig Jackson.
Among the goals of the new amalgam is to use the power of the internet to bring in younger buyers.
“I think it’ll bring the youth through the digital experience just as we (at Barrett-Jackson) have been doing with the live experience,” said Jackson.
Does this mean that the independence of ClassicCars and the Journal will be at stake? Jackson did once famously kick classic car journalist Keith Martin, publisher of Sports Car Market, out of the Barrett-Jackson auction because Martin had questioned the value of so-called resto-mods in the auction.
“I’m not going to buy the Washington Post and we’re only going to write about things that I agree with,” Jackson said. “I talked with (editors Bob) Golfen and Larry (Edsall) and I said, you know, ‘I think what Roger (Falcione)’s team and our team has is the ethics credibility,’” Jackson said. “But I go, ‘I can help you guys on a lot of this because our team of experts, you use like, Trans-Am or Chevelle I would then say, ‘If you want to know about the car, call Jerry MacNeish, call the most reputable guy on the planet, ask him about the car.’ And they're like, ‘Does this mean we get access to all the experts now?’ I go, ‘Yeah, you got our whole automotive team and our experts can help answer these questions.’ As I quite often call them and I say, ‘You know, that’s not quite accurate.’ And I’ll explain it and they’ll say, ‘Okay, well, we'll do better next time.”
Jackson said the AutoHunters website can benefit from the vetting process used by Barrett-Jackson auctions to verify a car’s authenticity and its potential value and sale price. The CollectorCars websites will also have access to Barrett-Jackson’s how-to videos and other media the auction firm produces.
“We see this acquisition as an enormous growth engine for the collector car marketplace,” said Roger Falcione, president and CEO of Collector Car Network. “Our two companies are perfectly aligned to be the leading resource for car collectors worldwide, including the rising generation of collectors who are evolving the market.”
“Roger and his team have built an exceptional organization with an award-winning customer service culture,” said Jackson. “Like Barrett-Jackson, they have built incredible brand equity over the years. Combined with Barrett-Jackson’s customer service record, expertise and world-class marketing efforts, we will make it even easier for everyone to engage in the hobby.”