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The enmity between Barrett-Jackson and Russo and Steele is no secret, and isn’t new. Most often, it’s been expressed in conflict over location, conflict I thought was at an end when in October, Russo and Steele announced a new, permanent auction location. But now, well, Russo’s going back to their original location. You can read Russo and Steele’s publicly available press release below and draw your own conclusions; if anyone from B-J wants to present their side of the story, I’ll run that here, too.

Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auctions announced today that they have decided to return to their traditional auction venue in order to better serve their clients. After announcing their new event site last month, the City of Scottsdale found itself in a familiar, but complex situation when Barrett-Jackson submitted a competing request days after learning that the site was to be Russo and Steele’s new location. The competing request was filed under the guise of “additional parking needs.” Having already approved the extended terms and venue location which were announced for Russo and Steele, the City was once again placed in a difficult position, as it sought to meet the needs of both events.

Following additional days of discussion with the City of Scottsdale, Russo and Steele decided not to indulge a public media showdown; the relationship between Barrett-Jackson and the City of Scottsdale is well known and a dispute now would take valuable time away from Russo and Steele’s preparations for its 11th Annual Scottsdale Auction Event. Due to the required time lines of site preparation, including asphalt improvements and the required cure times – Russo and Steele elected to focus on upgrading its long-established home in North Scottsdale instead of concentrating on this latest attempt to derail their historic comeback this January. The decision allows the collector car hobby to preserve the Scottsdale auction synergy and Russo and Steele to continue to foster the valued relationship with Scottsdale; its host for over ten years.

“Our number one priority is to our clients. The traditional venue location is already prepared providing easy access off Scottsdale Road and outstanding visibility off the North Loop 101. Our clients can prepare for a dramatic change to the event site featuring our new Losberger main auction structure. Manufactured in Germany, this new structure will afford an ‘all encompassing environment’ in which to hold all the event elements including the main auction block, vehicle staging, vendors, sponsors and all the amenities that Russo and Steele is uniquely known for.”

When asked about the decision to take the high road and not currently dispute Barrett-Jackson’s intentional interference Drew Alcazar, owner of Russo and Steele, said “I admit, it is unfortunate that this situation had to occur at all, but I’d like to thank all those who worked so diligently to assist us in securing the agreement in the first place. Russo and Steele’s venue change was predicated on the ability to use asphalt and implement additional upgrades, not because of anything that occurred on the traditional site. This year Russo and Steele’s event represents a paradigm shift. Many significant changes have been designed to create a venue in which car collectors and hobbyists will be duly impressed.” Alcazar continued, “We will produce an event that I want to attend myself, an event that’s exciting to me. And that camaraderie, what we call at Russo and Steele ‘By Enthusiasts, For Enthusiasts,’ extends to everyone who has passion for great cars.”

Alcazar concluded by saying; “Russo and Steele’s goal is to have every client, enthusiast, sponsor and attendee enjoy the 11th Annual auction event and say ‘Wow, these guys took a huge hit last year and look at how they responded!’ That’s the statement we’re looking to make. And we’ve already heard great things from our clients – the excitement they’re feeling and the changes we’re making will only continue getting better as we move forward.”