Barrett-Jackson’s marquee sale of an exotic Bugatti Veyron in Las Vegas turned into soap opera Saturday when the winning bidder backed out of the sale, leaving the auction company holding the bag for a $700,000 sale.
Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson, stepped up and bought the car himself, making the Bugatti’s consigner whole and protecting the integrity of the auction.
Barrett-Jackson would not identify the faux buyer, saying only that once the guy said he would not honor the sale, the auction yanked his bidder credentials on the spot and escorted him off the premises.
“First, he said he didn’t bid, then he said he was ‘trying to help,’” Jackson said. “The bottom line is, he said he wouldn’t buy it and we booted him.”
The controversy was announced from the auction podium by Barrett-Jackson president Steve Davis, who said the buyer had reneged on the deal, Jackson had bought the Bugatti himself and that any of the under bidders were welcome to make an offer.
When no one spoke up, Jackson said, “I guess I own a Bugatti.”
A short time later, Davis stood at the podium and dangled the lanyard with the bidder’s pass from the unidentified bad bidder.
“He’s been escorted off the property,” Davis said. “Here’s all that’s left.”
Jackson seemed OK with his pricey acquisition as he eyed the Veyron supercar later in the auction’s holding area, saying it would be a keystone for his own car collection. He also said he was anxious to take the 1,001-horsepower beast for a cruise around Vegas.
But with that, his cell phone rang and he was told that one of the phone bidders still wanted to buy the car.
“Another bidder saw what happened on SPEED and now he wants to buy it,” Jackson said after he hung up. “I guess I don’t own a Bugatti.”