Rick Hendrick Buys First Production 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 for $1 Million at Barrett-Jackson Auction
Published April 13, 2014
The Barrett-Jackson auctions struck again for the second day in a row, with another miracle in fund raising. The day after the first retail production 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 sold for $500,000 in a charity fund raiser, Barrett-Jackson unloaded the first retail production 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 2 door coupe for a cool $1 million.
With the Corvette, they doubled the payout with a bidding war that finally settled at $1 million with the Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, emerging from the dust as the winner. His NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing team is home of drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne.
Hendrick also founded Hendrick Automotive Group, which has 100 franchised dealers with 7,000 employees across 12 states, and over $3.5 billion in sales. He started with a single Chevrolet dealership at age 23, the youngest in the nation. You could say he's got some spare change lying around to pick up the tab on a supercar like this.
Enter Lot #3004 at the predetermined time of 5:00 PM, a nice shiny yellow Corvette Z06, VIN 0001. Well that's what most people call the first produced car. I looked at the VIN and it ended with 50000 so I don't believe this is the actual vehicle he will get.
As the photo above shows, the Corvette Z06 came up the ramp to the auction block with its headlights ablaze and the crowd immediately surrounded the Vette. Many bidders came up to the stage and people surrounded it trying to get photos.
To make more efficient use of of the funds being raised and to ensure the most amount of money reached the charity, Barrett-Jackson announced that they are refusing the buyer and seller premiums that otherwise would have been charged for the car. This means that 100% of the amount raised went to the charity and they gave up at least $200,000 in buyer and seller premiums.
Once the excited crowd got all their pictures, they were ushered away from the front so everyone could have an unobstructed view. I was at the front right corner of the stage taking these photos. Auction employees lifted the hood of the Corvette and the bidding started. I figured with the Camaro selling for $500,000 the night before and becoming the top sale for that day, the Corvette would at least go for between $600,000 and $800,000.
GM had donated this Z06, as it had with the Camaro that sold night before and these donations turned out to be quite fruitful to the tune of $1.5 million combined. I'll mention it again that all car manufacturers ought to do this.
Once the bidding started, the bid price jumped up rather rapidly in increments of $25,000. Most of us don't even have a enough money to get past the first increment!
Once the price hit $500,000 which took only 37 seconds into the bidding, I'm sure they felt they didn't need these pesky $25,000 increments anymore; they are just delaying the inevitable. So they began to raise the bids by $50,000 increments. When you're playing in the high stakes poker room, you pull out the big chips.
At about one minute into the bidding, they had reached $800,000. The crowd roared louder and louder as each $100,000 milestone was met. It took just over 2 minutes to hit $1 million.
The auctioneer was the most excited person in the house, slamming the gavel down 3 times while screaming "Ladies and gentlemen, I have sold the car...sold the car...sold the car for $1 Million to Mr. Rick Hendrick!"
No doubt his voice will be hoarse the next day. It almost sounded like the famous audio of the reporter covering the Hindenburg, only with a much more cheerful outcome.
Where the funds raised are going
The auction for this Corvette was to benefit the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Michigan. They are a "Comprehensive Cancer Center," one of only 41 designated by the National Cancer Institute. This hospital gives access to over 100 cancer treatments that other hospitals don't have.
It was not that surprising that Mr. Hendrick made this generous donation as he is a cancer survivor himself, winning a 3 year fight with leukemia from 1996 to 1999.
He is also well known for his legendary collection of cars, where he keeps over 150 Corvettes and muscle cars in his 58,000 square-foot Heritage Center. It is part museum and part specialty muscle car dealership.
The number of Corvettes he owns would make even the Petersen Automotive Museum jealous. This new Z06 will fit in right at home for him in his Heritage Center.
About The Author: Jeff Ostroff
A lifelong consumer advocate with over 20 years of unparalleled expertise, Jeff is the Founder, CEO and Editor-In-Chief of CarBuyingTips.com. As chief consumer advocate, he oversees a team of experts who cover all aspects of buying and selling new and used cars including leasing and financing.
For decades, Jeff has been the recognized authority on vehicle purchasing, sought out often by the media for his decades of experience and commentary, for live call-in business radio talk shows and is cited often by the press for his expertise in savvy car shopping methods and preventing consumer scams and online fraud. Jeff has been quoted in: CNN, MSNBC, Forbes, New York Times, Consumer Reports, Wall Street Journal and many more.