WEST PALM BEACH — Brittney Morris has been watching Barrett-Jackson collector car auctions on television for most of her 26 years.
This weekend, she checked off a line on her bucket list by attending the 2022 Palm Beach Auction at the South Florida Fairgrounds.
Morris turned into a car lover thanks to her dad, Robert. On Tuesday, Morris left her home in Nashville, where she works as a finance coordinator for Toyota, picked up her dad in Mobile and drove down to Palm Beach County for the three-day event. The trip had been planned for months.
“He’s done so much for me that I wanted to give him the best Christmas present ever,” Morris said. “Next thing you know, we’re here. This has been the experience of a lifetime.”
Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach: Get your motor running at the Barrett-Jackson 2022 Palm Beach Auction
In photos: Barrett-Jackson Car Show 2022 Palm Beach
The Palm Beach Auction was held for 17 consecutive years before the COVID-19 pandemic put it on the sidelines for two years.
Car collector enthusiasts were back in full force this weekend with event organizers expecting crowds of more than 60,000.
The auction tent Saturday was standing-room only, filled with hundreds of registered bidders and nearly as many on-lookers.
Morris was one of them.
“I want to come back one day and be a bidder,” said Morris, mentioning a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle as her dream car. “I don’t think I’ve seen a female bidder yet.”
On Friday, NASCAR racing legend Rick Hendrick paid $1 million for a 2009 Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake and an Official Indy Pace Car 1986 Chevrolet Corvette convertible. Hendrick’s bid sparked $650,000 in donations with all proceeds of the combo sale and contributions going to humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine.
The Ford Shelby was donated by former Charlotte Hornets owner George Shinn. The Corvette was gifted so it could be auctioned by Mark and Tetiana Pieloch, a Vero Beach couple with ties to Ukraine.
The Palm Beach Auction, televised live on the History Channel, is one of four held across the country annually by Barrett-Jackson, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company that specializes in collector vehicles and automotive memorabilia. Auctions are also held in Scottsdale, Las Vegas and Houston.
In addition to the auction and cars on display, the event also featured interactive sponsor and vendor exhibits and hot laps and thrill rides, in which patrons could drive four high-performance vehicles — a Ford Mustang Mach 1, C8 Corvette, Dodge Charger and Toyota Supra — around a closed circuit.
Morris, who said she grew up riding dirt bikes, and her dad each took part in the rides.
“We drove all of them,” she said. “Just amazing.”
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach: Car auction in Florida draws thousands