Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auction Re-opens

. January 24, 2010

Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auctions will open to the public on Sunday, Jan. 24 at 8 a.m. to resume its collector car auction following the severe storm that hit Scottsdale on Thursday night causing the company’s “Decade of Distinction Celebration” to close. During a breakfast briefing for consignors on Saturday morning, Drew Alcazar, co-owner and president & CEO of Russo and Steele provided information about the status of consignors vehicles and notified them that the auction would proceed . After approval from the City of Scottsdale Fire Marshal consignors were allowed to spend time on site to survey damage, if any, to their cars.

Consignors filled the main auction block Saturday morning while Alcazar addressed them. “I’m a car guy, I know what you’re going through,” Alcazar said. “Today I am the luckiest guy because I not am visiting any of my close friends, family or clients in the hospital or morgue. None of these great cars are worth someone’s life. In my estimation as 15 years as a restorer and 15 years as an auctioneer none of these cars had terminal damage; everything can get fixed and most important, everyone is safe.” Alcazar went on to say that after the many times he had walked onto the auction block, this by far was the most difficult time he ever had to do it.

On Friday, the Fire Marshal closed the auction site pending ongoing inspection after severe damage to the north and south tents that housed the majority of collector cars. After close inspection on Saturday morning, the Scottsdale fire marshal provided Russo and Steele clearance to open to the public on Sunday.

“The City of Scottsdale, Scottsdale Police Department and Scottsdale Fire Department have taken great measures to ensure the safety of our clients, employees and the general public,” said Alcazar “It is because of their proactive response, combined with the efforts of the Russo and Steele staff, to evacuate the tents that no injuries were sustained, and everyone in attendance remained safe.”

Late Thursday afternoon the City of Scottsdale Flood Planning Department notified the company of a potential flooding hazard, but allowed the site to remain open due to Russo and Steele’s due diligence in securing several industrial water pumps to remove excess water from the site. At that point several hundred feet of commercial concrete barricades were ordered to further secure the auction tents from potential flooding. As the wind worsened Alcazar consulted with Tom Abrams from Reliable Carriers who sent multiple semi trucks to block the impending wind. As the storm continued to strengthen Russo and Steele staff, in cooperation with Scottsdale public safety officials including police and fire, determined that the two automobile tents should be closed to the public. The automobile tents were evacuated 45 minutes prior to the gust of wind that ultimately sent debris towards the Loop 101 freeway. After the first two tents were evacuated the main auction tent remained open for an additional 20 minutes but was then ordered to close by the fire marshal as the storm worsened. One minor injury was reported with all attendees evacuated calmly and safely.

Since the storm, the company has been cooperating fully with the City of Scottsdale Fire Department to assess the situation with safety being the primary concern. In anticipation of continuing rain Friday night, Russo and Steele worked diligently throughout the night to cover the majority of the cars on site. At first light on Friday, specialty car cover company Cover King donated a number of waterproof car covers to quickly begin the clean up efforts and to ensure the safety of the cars. The Scottsdale Fire Marshal approved a limited number of Russo and Steele vendors to be on site, including Arizona Wash Boys and Steve’s Detailing, to assist with the covering of the collector cars. In addition to an outpouring of support by vendors, several Russo and Steele consignors have stepped up and will donate auction proceeds from the sale of their collector cars to local Scottsdale charities. Alcazar added that the positive response from clients, vendors and supporters has been overwhelming.

“There were a lot of cars with halos around them that did not sustain any damage” added Alcazar. “There are many passionate owners worried about their cars and our main priority is to keep them informed with the most up to date information.”

On Friday evening the City of Scottsdale Fire Marshall cleared Russo and Steele to open the doors for only the car owners Saturday morning for the special briefing. By Saturday morning the site had been completely cleaned and all debris has been removed. Early Saturday morning the Scottsdale Fire Marshal deemed the property safe to resume all auction operations Sunday morning at 8 a.m. For the benefit of Russo and Steele’s valued clients and car enthusiasts throughout the valley, the auction will be extended through Monday, Jan. 25. Updated run lists and further details will be posted at www.RussoandSteele.com.

There have been a lot of inaccurate numbers reported in regards to damages, and rather than speculate on the number, Russo and Steele is awaiting an accurate assessment. Multiple agencies are currently conducting ongoing investigations; details will be provided as they are made available.

For additional information or images, regular updates will be made to the company website at www.russoandsteele.com, on the company’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Phoenix-AZ/Russo-and-Steele/63384680796 or follow on Twitter @RussoandSteele.

About Russo and Steele Collector Automobile Auctions:
Russo and Steele Collector Automobiles is one of the nation’s premier collector car auctions; specializing in the world’s finest European sports cars, American muscle cars, hot rods and customs. Its two auctions each year attract clients from all over the globe not only because of its reputation for stellar collector automobiles, but also unique auction experiences unattainable at any other collector car auction in the world. Its auction events take place with its signature auction in Scottsdale, Ariz. every January, and Monterey, Calif. in August. Additional information please visit www.russoandsteele.com or call (602) 252-2697.

For more information, contact:
Stephanie Quinn
Phone: (602) 252-2697
Stephanie@russoandsteele.com

Category: Auction News

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