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Up Close & Personal With Steve Davis - Life On The Block
When You're Watching Coverage Of the Barrett-Jackson Auction In January, Keep An Eye Out For President Steve Davis. He's A Mustang Guy Like Us.
MM: What do you say to people who claim that Barrett-Jackson is responsible for today's high values?
Davis: You see a lot of the passion for these cars and that, coupled with supply and demand, are contributing to the higher prices. But keep in mind, Barrettt-Jackson is just the platform that the transaction takes place upon; at the end of the day, it is the buyer and seller who dictate the market. The tremendous reach and awareness that Barrett-Jackson represents does help drive interest. This may impact prices, but it also brings more people into our hobby. Why shouldn't these cars demand these kind of prices? It's Americana. If you question Boss 429s bringing the kind of money they do, you haven't been out trying to find an NOS smog system for one. That gives you a reality check when you price some of these rare pieces. There's just something uniquely American about Mustangs. Something magical about what they represent. Everybody remembers or has a story about a Mustang.
MM: As president of Barrett-Jackson, do you have to hide your Mustang loyalty?
Davis: I love anything that rolls. But there's just something magical about Mustangs. When you say the word, it's universal-everyone understands it. There was a time when we had to fight to keep the Mustang. Remember when it was going to be the Probe? It's great to be able to walk into a showroom today and buy a car with more horsepower than you ever dreamed of back in the day, with air conditioning that actually works and all the cool electronics, yet still have the same aura and mystique that they had back then. That's not to take away from the old cars. As cool as the new cars are, there's something unique about getting into an old Mustang, firing it up, and taking it for a spin.
MM: Sounds like you might have been involved with the Barrett-Jackson edition of the Shelby GT.
Davis: Yes, the culmination of my Mustang love to date is the Barrett-Jackson limited-edition Shelby GT. For a Mustang and Shelby guy, someone who grew up dreaming to someday be involved in a project with Ford and Shelby, and actually making it a reality, it is an amazing feeling. We only built 100 cars. We worked with the powers at Ford and directly with Carroll to make it happen. And to have the first cars delivered at the auction in January was just incredible.
MM: The first Barrett-Jackson Shelby GT was sold for charity, right?
Davis: Actually, it is the No. 9 car we are auctioning off for the Lili Claire Foundation at our Las Vegas event. It's a great feeling to be in a position where you can make a positive difference with these cars. The Shelby cars at Barrett-Jackson have raised millions of dollars for charity.
MM: We see you on-screen quite often during the SpeedTV coverage of the Barrett-Jackson auctions. You're easy to spot with the sunglasses.
Davis: My eyes are very sensitive to light. That's why my office lights are dim. My sunglasses are right here-I never go far without them. As a result, people recognize me as the guy in the sunglasses.
MM: Ever sold a Mustang you wish you had kept?
Davis: All of them, but I did have a '66 K-code convertible with the factory bench seat and automatic transmission. Very rare car and fun to drive. That's a car I wish I had back. You love them all but you can only keep a few.