McCartney guitar prompts alliance between U.S., British auction houses

SCOTTSDALE , Ariz. – The classic-car auction house Barrett-Jackson will move into new territory in January when it teams up with British music memorabilia auctioneers Cooper Owen PLC to present a joint sale of vintage automobiles and rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia. On July 28, Barrett-Jackson’s president and CEO, Craig Jackson, purchased a legendary musical instrument from Cooper Owen: Sir Paul McCartney’s first guitar, for which Jackson paid $633,438 (inclusive of 15 percent buyer’s premium). Jackson was pleased with his dealings and commenced negotiations that led to Cooper Owen’s agreement to participate in the 36th Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event, Jan. 15-21. The rock memorabilia section of the sale is slated for Monday evening, Jan. 15.

“The formation of this strategic partnership will bring some of the rarest and most desirable music collectibles from around the world to Barrett-Jackson,” said Craig Jackson. “Cars and rock ‘n’ roll really define the baby boomer generation, and we want to offer collectors, like myself, the greatest possible experience to find what they are looking for in both categories.”

John Collins, managing director of Cooper Owen, remarked: “Barrett-Jackson provides us high performance and a high-quality venue … We are excited about servicing the market place in such a synergetic way.”

Last year, more than 300,000 attendees and millions of television viewers from around the world witnessed more than 1,600 cars being auctioned off for approximately $135 million at the two 2006 Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Events held in Scottsdale, and Palm Beach, Fla. A leader in its own field, Cooper Owen has been setting world auction records in England for music and entertainment and musical collectibles since 2005. In their debut sale, hand-written lyrics for the Beatles’ All You Need Is Love fetched $1.25 million.