It’s with nice unhappiness that we’ve got discovered of the passing of Don Williams. Williams was a key a part of the crew that based Barrett-Jackson and a much-loved member of the Barrett-Jackson household.
Williams had at all times been obsessed with automobiles. He was solely 21 when he started working at Outdated Time Automobiles on La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles, the biggest basic automobile retailer west of the Mississippi, and one of many only a few in the complete nation. His rising data and keenness for prewar automobiles ultimately led him to begin his personal basic automobile dealership, and he obtained concerned within the auto public sale enterprise when he produced the very first collector automobile public sale in California.
In 1979, Williams moved to Arizona, the place he joined forces with Tom Barrett and Russ Jackson and have become intrinsically concerned with the Barrett-Jackson Collector Automobile Auctions. A number of years later, alternative got here knocking, and Williams moved to Northern California to just accept the thrilling problem of assembling one of many most interesting basic and postwar automobile collections on the request of millionaire land developer Ken Behring. This partnership ultimately culminated within the Blackhawk Museum, which opened in 1988 to showcase the gathering.
As he labored to assemble the gathering, Williams began the Blackhawk Assortment, Inc., which specialised within the acquisition and sale of one-of-a-kind basic vehicles and sports activities and race automobiles. Three years after its founding in 1981, Williams grew to become the primary particular person ever to promote a basic automobile for greater than $1 million together with his 1931 Figoni-bodied boattail Duesenberg. Williams’ firm grew to become one of many world’s main basic automobile brokerage companies, shopping for, promoting and assembling complete collections. It allowed him to take pleasure in his ardour for searching for out the rarest of all classics, one-of-a-kind or limited-production fashions from the pre-World Warfare II “golden period” of automobiles. At one level, Williams had extra basic Bugattis in his possession than some other collector.
Regardless of his new enterprise again in California, Williams, extremely regarded for his basic automobile data and willpower in searching for out the finest-quality and most original automobiles accessible, remained an important a part of the Barrett-Jackson world over time. It was in his function as a key member of the corporate’s unique crew of famend and credible automotive specialists that he and Barrett-Jackson Chairman and CEO Craig Jackson put their heads collectively to create the Barrett-Jackson Salon Assortment providing on the Scottsdale Public sale in January 2012.
The Salon Assortment offered public sale members with the proper marriage of the world’s most treasured collector automobiles and the variety, pleasure and status related to a Barrett-Jackson occasion. This new, elite assortment was a centerpiece at Barrett-Jackson’s flagship Scottsdale Public sale and featured a number of the world’s most uncommon, precious, collectible and coveted automobiles.
The primary Salon automobile to cross the block was Williams’ personal silver bullet-style 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, one of many lowest-mileage in existence. The automobile set a brand new public sale world document when it offered for $2.2 million— making it the primary Gullwing on the earth to ever promote for greater than $2 million.
“I spent many a day restoring automobiles for Don, in addition to for Tom Barrett and my father,” remembers Craig Jackson. “I thought of Don a valued useful resource and trusted advisor, and never a day will go by that I received’t miss his affect and friendship.”
Don was a beacon on the Barrett-Jackson occasions over time, and he’ll really be missed. Craig Jackson and the complete crew at Barrett-Jackson and the Collector Automobile Community prolong their deepest condolences to the complete Williams household.