Jesse Stawnyczy

Friday, Jan. 19, 2018

It’s all in the details: polishing cars into money-makers at Barrett-Jackson

SCOTTSDALE – Just as the ‘56 Chevy Bel Air was about to rumble up the ramp, the detail team responsible for bringing million-dollars cars at Barrett-Jackson to glory noticed a dull spot on an otherwise gleaming tire.

Time for more polish. Done and ready.

The 47th annual Barrett-Jackson car auction offered more than 1,700 vehicles for sale in Scottsdale. Sergio Hernandez and his team of detailers, wielding Q-tips, rags and buffing machines, readied hundreds of collector cars for buyers and television cameras. The auction, drawing high rollers and fans of more modest means to WestWorld in Scottsdale, ends Sunday.

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Sergio Hernandez, a European Detail manager, said the process is more complex than just taking a car through the wash.

“We dedicate a lot of time to detailing every single inch of the vehicle,” he said. “We can do a maximum of 15 or 20 cars a day.”

Not every vehicle needs special attention, but Hernandez said the on-site shop has been busy since the beginning of auction week.

“Last year we did almost 400 cars for the whole event,” he said.

Barry Johnston and his 16-year-old son, Cash, said those who prepared his 1969 Dodge Super Bee for auction paid attention to details like putting correct decals and tags under the hood to replicate factory chalk markings on the car frame.

[2up_image-standard source1=”” caption1=”Car detailers at Barrett-Jackson said they take care to do their job correctly the first time, with the quality of their work having an impact on the final look and sales price. (Photo by Jesse Stawnyczy/Cronkite News)” source2=”” caption2=”Car shows are opportunities to learn the history and see details on classic cars that otherwise might have gone unnoticed, like this hidden gas cap on a 1953 Cadillac. (Photo by Jesse Stawnyczy/Cronkite News)”]