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Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach is a NASCAR fan's dream come true

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On Thursday, April 10, the twelfth annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach got off to a rousing start with a star studded opening gala, featuring a performance by Palm Beach County resident Vanilla Ice. One of the highlights of the event, whose crowd included a veritable who's who of the elite residents of the Palm Beaches, was a charity auction to benefit the Darrell Gwynn Foundation.

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The items were donated from a wide variety of high and not so high profile benefactors, and most had a racing theme. The most prominent of these was the scooter used by Tony Stewart during his recovery from his broken leg in 2013, which crossed the block for $22,000. It also included an autographed firesuit, as well as a VIP ticket package for the 2014 Coke Zero 400 at the Daytona International Speedway. Another impressive NASCAR themed item was a racing-style pit box entertainment center, that brought an additional $7,000 for charity. In total, $69,000 was made for the foundation from Thursday's auction.

Friday brought additional charity bidding action, as well as many other cars and other items of automobilia from the numerous consigners. One of the early items up for bid was lot #3000, a 1969 Chevrolet C-10 Custom Pickup, which sold for an impressive $90,000. All the proceeds from the sale were donated to Rebuilding Together.

Later in the afternoon, lot #3001, a 1969 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible Hurst Shifter replica, will cross the auction block, with all proceeds from that sale benefitting the Darrell Gwynn Foundation. During primetime, lot #3002, a 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 2 Door Coupe, which is the the first 2015 production vehicle of the line, will be sold with all proceeds to benefit AARP Drive to End Hunger.

The charity auction doesn't end there, as a custom 2013 Ford Mustang GT starring in the new movie, “Need for Speed,” donated by Ford Motor Company, will cross the block on April 12, with all the money from that sale going to the Henry Ford Hospital.

Of course, one of the primary attractions for the average visitor is the immense amount of cars on display. A highlight of this, and many other Barrett-Jackson auctions, is the large number of NASCAR stock cars, pace cars, and other racing related items that are available to the highest bidder. Some of the cars you will see while wandering through the numerous display tents on site are the UPS sponsored Ford Taurus driven by Dale Jarrett, a NASCAR Craftsman Truck piloted by Ron Hornaday, and a replica of Cotton Owens famous racecar that competed in the early days of racing on the sands of Daytona Beach.

There are also several official pace cars on display, as well as a Formula Drift Car that will be auctioned off later in the weekend. Plus, Firestone has one of the IndyCar display cars available for you to look at, and numerous other companies have static displays for everything from auto parts to car wax, and so much more.

The auction continues until 9:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with an earlier closing time of 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. Gates open at 8:00 a.m. each day of the event, and tickets are still available through the South Florida Fairgrounds box office and online. For those of you not lucky enough to attend the event in person, television coverage is being provided by Fox Sports 1 and 2, with Saturday's coverage appearing on the National Geographic Channel.

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