Classic-car auctions hit a speed bump. An upstart raced to the front of the pack hit the gas with killer listings, exert staff, and a car-crazed commentariat.

March 5, 2020 crossed the starting line in classic-car auctions almost 6 years ago, listing all of 3 rides. Today, the site known as “BaT” boasts 2m monthly visitors and 100k registered bidders.

How did BaT go bananas? It burned rubber and made a few sharp turns.

Meanwhile, old-school auctions sputtered in neutral

At Arizona Auction Week, one of the industry’s major events, sales were down 3% from last year. Experts say sales have stalled because too many players flooded the market’s engine. (Dang rookie drivers…)

Bring a Trailer is waving to the suckers in the slow lane:

  • Sales hit more than $230m last year — a $41% jump over 2018.
  • The site listed some 11k cars, with a sell-through rate of 70%.

BaT relies on strict quality control, top-notch listings, and a staff that knows its stuff. One worker discovered that a version of an Austin Mini auctioned on the site for $230k had once been presented to Queen Elizabeth.

And BaT’s got something rarer than rides fit for royalty…

…a comments section that’s actually… good! The car-crazed commentariat’s boffo backseat banter convinced BaT to host barbecues for the most prolific yakkers.

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