Saturday, February 5, 2011

Collector-car mogul's home features palatial garage

Mark Henle/The Arizona Republic Craig Jackson's larger garage is a circular space built into the side of the mountain that has room for a dozen cars and a rotating carousel in the center.

It's clear that most tours of Craig Jackson's home start in the garage where the Barrett-Jackson mogul of collector-car auctions keeps his vast and fast car collection.

slideshow Take a tour

That's too bad because his top-of-the-mountain Paradise Valley home features a beautiful, oversize front door of wood and textured glass.

Impressive, but the stately entrance pales in comparison with the generous space Jackson has devoted to his big-boy toy collection of 28 cars - including a 250-mph Bugatti Veyron, a purple 1970 Plymouth Barracuda Hemi convertible and his daily driver, a Bentley GTC convertible.

To call it a garage is akin to calling Van Gogh's "Starry Night" a picture. It is more like an automobile museum and a man cave.

In fact, the larger of Jackson's two garages was built into the side of the mountain, with poured-in-place concrete walls.

It's a circular space with room for a dozen cars around the perimeter and a rotating carousel for another vehicle. Six flat-panel televisions are programmed with details on each high-performance car.

An attached three-bay garage has room for five vehicles, thanks to two hydraulic lifts that stack the cars. A sky bridge connects the rotunda garage to the main house, which has another three-bay garage with a mural of a Delahaye, a French car brand noted for sculptural masterpieces.

An office below the sky bridge includes six off-road motorcycles and a collection of Jackson's racing trophies. Growing up, Jackson had a penchant for winning races or wrecking his dirt bike, he said with an exuberant laugh that sounds a bit like actor Jack Nicholson's.

"I still like speed," he said. "I'm an adrenaline junkie."

Jackson, 51, is presiding this week over all the speed junkies and car collectors attending the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event at WestWorld in Scottsdale. The auction of close to 1,300 vehicles ends Sunday.

Jackson is chairman of the Barrett-Jackson Auction Co., which his parents, Russ and Nellie Jackson, started 40 years ago in Scottsdale with Tom Barrett.

Craig Jackson took over management of the company in 1995 and has grown it into one of the nation's largest car-auction houses with four annual events and $126 million in sales last year.

Mountain views of Valley

Jackson's mountaintop perch borders the Phoenix Mountains Preserve more than a mile west of Mummy Mountain. It affords great views of Camelback Mountain, the McDowells and even WestWorld's huge tent, where the auction is held.

Jackson said a lot of collectors keep their cars in warehouses separate from their homes, "but I like to have my cars next to me."

He rotates through his collection so the cars don't sit idle too long.

On a recent visit, the main-house garage was filled with the 2008 Bugatti Veyron, one of the world's fastest production cars, the 2008 Bentley ragtop and a black Ford GT.

Imagine having that choice of cars when you walk out of the house. Or grab the keys to a 1953 Cadillac limousine, a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette roadster or a 427 Shelby Cobra, which Jackson bought from comedian Tom Smothers.

"It was a trailer queen," Jackson said, meaning that it was often shown and rarely driven. "I've put about 14,000 miles on it driving in road rallies."

There is a story behind each of his cars. Jackson said he bought a red 1974 Pontiac Super Duty Trans Am because one of his classmates at Scottsdale Coronado High School had a similar Trans Am that could outrun Jackson's first car, a 1966 Pontiac LeMans.

Auto art fills home

Jackson's home itself is filled with automotive art, including the original paintings used for the auction catalog covers.

He also has on display a sequin dress worn by Marilyn Monroe and a jacket that Elvis Presley was wearing when he divorced Priscilla Presley in 1973.

Paul McCartney's first guitar, which Jackson bought for $620,000 in 2006, is put away for safekeeping.

Jackson has installed more-efficient windows and electronic blinds, which he can raise and lower at the touch of a button. Coupled with a photovoltaic system on the roof, Jackson said he cut his utility bill by $1,000 per month.

The main living space has tall windows all around, a grand piano, circular fireplace, glass-walled wine-storage room and a hanging sculpture of dozens of glass spheres.

It looks out on a landscaped terrace, waterfall and infinity-edge pool.

Skylight reveals heavens

Jackson's master bedroom is a sprawling space with lots of glass and an oversize bed in the middle of the room. He had a contractor install a 10- by 15-foot skylight, which peels back at the touch of a button to reveal the night sky.

Jackson said his daughter, Shelby, is a photographer and fashion designer who did the interior on her own bedroom. It features a zebra-print rug, turquoise bedspread and white leather chair with a whole wall of south-facing windows.

Jackson's son, Hunter, 11, is interested in cars, but Jackson said it's a little early to know if he will follow in his footsteps.

Jackson, who was 11 years old at the first Barrett-Jackson auction, said he liked cars growing up but wanted to be a contractor. It didn't work out that way, but it appears to have worked out just fine for him.

by Peter Corbett The Arizona Republic Jan. 20, 2011 12:44 PM

Collector-car mogul's home features palatial garage

No comments:

Post a Comment

Featured Artists


Recent Comments

My Blips