The sky's the limit

COSTA MESA — They call this a "tent."

The people who brought the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction to Costa Mesa last summer have started preparing for an even bigger show this year.

Barrett-Jackson's second annual Orange County Collector Car Auction will take place at the Orange County Fairgrounds the weekend of June 24-26.

Last week, workers began erecting the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based auctioneer's famous "Auction Tent," which will house those expensive collector cars going on the auction block.

The structure is two football fields long. When workers finish the two-week installation, the 63-foot tall pavilion will take up a 101,773-square-foot patch at the O.C. Fair & Event Center, according to Barrett-Jackson's marketing office. Sixteen semi trucks hauled in the various pieces needed to assemble the tent.

Among the many collector cars going on the auction block this year, the 2011 edition of the O.C. show will feature a 1973 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Berlinitta, a 1968 Shelby GT-350 Mustang and a 1957 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible, according to a news release.

Several related events around Costa Mesa are also set for the days leading up to the auction, which the auctioneer bills as the World's Greatest Collector Car Auction. At noon on Saturday, Barrett-Jackson will stage its Orange County Road Rally, parading collectible automobiles from South Coast Plaza to the Fairgrounds. To register a car for the rally, contact Danica Solesbee at dsolesbee@barrett-jackson.

From 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, an O.C. Cruise-In will take place at the Connell Chevrolet dealership, 2828 Harbor Blvd. Area classic car buffs are welcome to bring their cars in but should pre-register by calling D.J. Martin at (714) 546-1200.

And on June 23, the eve of the three-day auction, Barrett-Jackson will throw an opening night gala bash at 7 p.m. Tickets are $75. To buy tickets for the gala and Barrett-Jackson Auction, go to

— Imran Vittachi

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