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Russ Jackson with his son Craig


The Jackson and Barrett families with members of the Classic Car Club of Arizona celebrating Russ and Nellie’s 50th wedding anniversary.

Born into a family that emigrated from Scotland, Russ Jackson carried with him many admirable Scottish traits. He was known to be forthright and honest, practical, hard-working – and cost-conscious. “I always wanted to do something different with the auction, and he worried about what the costs were,” remembers his youngest son Craig, chuckling. “If he walked into the Scottsdale Auction today, I have no doubt that he’d say, ‘How much did you spend building this damn place?!’”

Born in Michigan, Russ grew up in Pontiac and attended General Motors Institute in Flint before becoming a salesman with local car dealerships and a member of the Pontiac Fire Department. After he married Nellie in 1940, Russ joined the Air Force as a member of the ground crew, working his way up the ranks to Chief Mechanic. He served at bases that included Gulfport and Biloxi, Mississippi, as well as California, and always had Nellie by his side, who worked as an accountant wherever her husband went.

Nellie and Russ prior to his deployment

Like his wife, Russ was a born entrepreneur, and returned to Pontiac after World War II ended and established Russ’s Country Store just outside the city, which he successfully ran from 1946 to 1960. Russ had taken his family on regular vacations to Scottsdale, Arizona, since the mid-1950s, but now the time had come to make a permanent move, and the Jackson family set forth in a three-vehicle caravan to make the Valley of the Sun their permanent residence.

Once settled, Russ focused on the couple’s two new businesses. It didn’t take long before Russ secured a contract for the Jacksons’ all-new full-service Super Car Wash to keep Scottsdale’s police cars spotless, and also doing prep work and car washing for local auto dealerships at. At the couple’s second business, the Classic Carriage House, Russ pursued his real passion: buying, selling, rebuilding and refinishing classic cars.

That passion for classic cars is what led him in 1963 to cross paths with fellow enthusiast Tom Barrett. Having a particular fondness for old Cadillacs with big 12- or 16-cylinder engines, Russ spied an advertisement Tom had placed in the newspaper for a 1933 Cadillac V16 Town Car built for actress Joan Crawford. Although unable to find common ground on the value of Miss Crawford’s Cadillac, Russ and Tom soon combined their love of prewar cars to start the “Fiesta de los Autos Elegantes” car show in 1967, which evolved into the forming of the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company in 1971 and the company’s very first collector car auction.

Early ad campaign for Tom Barrett’s real estate office at the Safari Resort and the Jackson’s car wash

Of the many tasks required to make the auctions run smoothly, Russ was a natural at running the shop and – along with his son Brian, and later his younger son Craig – working on restorations of potential auction vehicles. When it came time for the auction itself, Russ’ exemplary organizational skills made him the perfect person to take charge of the operations of the event – from the car displays, tents and staging to the logistics of running the cars across the auction block; a simple affair in the early days that evolved over the years into a multi-day monumental effort. Of course, Russ also was instrumental in convincing his many connections in the collector car community – many the result of his involvement in the Classic Car Club of America – to bring an impressive selection of vehicles to every auction.

The longest-serving Barrett-Jackson employee, Enrique Chavez (who joined the company in 1987), remembers spending quite a bit of time with Russ, and related how he never let the pressure get to him. “Russ was funny,” Enrique recalled. “He never took life very seriously; he lived for the moment. He taught me how to relax, no matter how challenging things got.”

Russ Jackson sadly struggled with and passed away from colon cancer in 1993, at the age of 78. He left the operation of The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions in the very capable hands of his two sons, who shared not only their father’s passion for all things automotive, but also his commitment to honesty and ethics – something Barrett-Jackson is known for to this day.



The Jackson and Barrett families with members of the Classic Car Club of Arizona, which helped stage the first Fiesta de los Autos Elegantes

Russ with Craig at the Scottsdale auction site in the late 1980s.

Russ at Gerry Porter

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By: Barrett-Jackson
Title: A LASTING LEGACY: Russ Jackson’s Love of Classic Cars Paved the Way for the Family Business
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Published Date: Wed, 03 Nov 2021 16:15:05 +0000

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2024 Honda XR650L Dual Sport Preview


American Honda maintains its venerable XR650L into 2024, with no notable changes to the stalwart platform. It will remain priced at $6,999 and will only be available in the white color scheme shown below.

“A motorcycle of legendary status, the XR650L continues to stand the test of time, thanks in part to its simple, no-frills design and relentless dependability,” American Honda says in its official press release. “Backed by an incredible record of success in Baja, this dual-sport icon has amassed a loyal following of enthusiasts around the globe since its introduction in 1993.

The 2024 Honda XR650L will remain priced at $6,999.
The 2024 Honda XR650L will remain priced at $6,999. (Honda/)

Related: 1993 – 2007 Honda XR650L | Smart Money

As is evident by the longevity of other dual sport motorcycles, like the KLR650 and DR650S, big single-cylinder machines continue to have appeal. The XR650L is no exception in this case, but it does now stand as one of the most simple of the bunch mechanically, now that Kawasaki has finally given in to fuel injection.

The 644cc mill is air-cooled, features a 42.5 diaphragm-type CV carburetor, and puts power to the ground by way of a five-speed transmission. The bike is ready for some hard time off-road too thanks to the sealed battery, dry-sump design, black spoked rims, and long-travel suspension.

The suspension is actually one area where the XR650L shines among its closest competitors, offering effective Showa kit front and rear. The long-travel, air-adjustable fork has 16-position compression damping and gives riders up to 11.6 inches of travel. The Showa shock comes with spring-preload, 20-position compression, and 20-position rebound-damping adjustability and 11 inches of travel. These specs outshine those of both the Kawi and Suzuki.

Its price tag is also one of the most competitive of the small group of largely-untouched-so-are-now-retro-cool dual sports, beating out the Suzuki and pricing just $100 above the standard trim and S-level KLRs.

2024 Honda XR650L Dual Sport Technical Specifications and Price

Price:$6,999Engine:644cc, SOHC, air-cooled single; 4-valveBore x Stroke:100.0 x 82.0mmCompression Ratio:8.3:1Fuel Delivery:42.5mm diaphragm-type CV carburetorClutch:Wet, multiplate slipper/assistTransmission/Final Drive:5-speed/chainFrame:Semi-double cradle steelFront Suspension:43mm air-adjustable axle Showa cartridge fork, compression damping adjustable; 11.6 in. travelRear Suspension:Pro-Link Showa shock, spring-preload, compression and rebound damping adjustable; 11.0 in. travelFront Brake:2-piston caliper, 256mm discRear Brake:220mm discWheels, Front/Rear:Spoked rims; 21 in. / 18 in.Tires, Front/Rear:21×3.00 / 18×4.60Rake/Trail:27.0°/4.0 in.Wheelbase:57.3 in.Seat Height:37.0 in.Fuel Capacity:2.8 gal.Claimed Curb Weight:346 lb.Available:March

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By: Byron Wilson
Title: 2024 Honda XR650L Dual Sport Preview
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Published Date: Mon, 04 Mar 2024 11:00:01 +0000

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Speed Read: A razor-sharp BMW R1300GS from Switzerland and more

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The latest custom motorcycles and bike news.
The Swiss maestros at VTR Customs deliver the first custom BMW R1300GS that we’ve seen, while Radical Speedshop builds a bespoke Moto Guzzi café racer like no other. We also look at a tidy Yamaha XT500 restomod and a stunning 1949 Triumph Speed Twin bobber.

BMW R1300GS by VTR Customs
BMW R1300GS by VTR Customs When BMW announced its new flagship adventure motorcycle, the BMW R1300GS, we knew it was only a matter of time before we saw it customized. Thanks to Switzerland’s VTR Customs, we didn’t have to wait too long.

Big adventure-style bikes with go-fast bits are all the rage right now. Machines like the Ducati Multistrada V4 RS and BMS M1000XR are primed for riders who want adventure bike ergonomics in a performance-orientated road-going package. This is probably what inspired the mad scientists at VTR Customs.

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By: Ben Pilatti
Title: Speed Read: A razor-sharp BMW R1300GS from Switzerland and more
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Published Date: Sun, 03 Mar 2024 19:12:35 +0000

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Audi Tops the Luxury Car Safety Charts in 2023

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Safety is becoming more important to luxury car buyers. Wealthy individuals want vehicles that will protect themselves and their passengers.

However, it isn’t always clear which brand offers the best safety profile. Now, though, figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal a winner – the German automaker Audi.

The NHTSA looked at the rate of crashes per 1,000 drivers and found that Audi had a crash rate of just 0.54, putting it below tech leader Mercedes at 0.55 and far from Subaru which was up at 0.75.

The question on many people’s lips is why Audi is so safe. After all, Mercedes is the manufacturer that tends to bring the latest safety technology to market first.

The main reason appears to be the brand’s heavy investment in safety technology in recent years. The company conducts significant research and development in-house, allowing it to bring technologies to market at a lower price point than its rivals. Drivers benefit from comprehensive safety features across the range instead of solely on high-end models.

re Advanced Safety Features Necessary?

Previously, skeptics scoffed at the value of advanced car safety features, calling them gimmicky. However, the evidence suggests that it is effective, especially in recent years. Advanced driver assistance systems are finally coming of age and having a noticeable impact on the number of insurance claims. Data from LexisNexis Risk Solutions suggests that bodily injury claims are 27 percent lower with these systems, and property damage claims are 19 percent lower. 

These statistics are good news for drivers. It means that they can expect statistically different outcomes driving Audi vehicles than conventional cars. It represents a genuine upgrade. 

Car accident attorney Adam S. Kutcher is at the forefront of the consequences of vehicle collisions. The lawyer has tremendous knowledge of how vehicle accidents can cause harm.

“The people that come to us are real people who are often going through the most challenging time in their life,” he says. “People worry about who will pay their medical bills and lost wages, even if insurers agree to pay to replace vehicles. That’s why this new technology is so exciting for everyone who practices in this area. We don’t want to see people getting hurt. Instead, we want to make sure everyone stays safe and that as many people avoid this harrowing experience as possible.”

Currently, tort law is helpful to victims of car accidents through additional provisions in the legal code. But the reality is that many people never recover from their injuries and can’t go back to work, regardless of the medical care they receive.

“We can sometimes get big rewards for people seriously injured in car accidents, but financial compensation is only ever partial,” says Kutcher. “Money can’t fix a disability or even a tragic death in the family for an auto accident. That’s why car manufacturers are stepping up to the plate and investing in this technology.”

The Components Of Advanced Driver Safety Systems

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Advanced driver safety systems refer to a plethora of technologies car manufacturers are including in their vehicles thanks to advances in software and chip technology.

Automatic emergency braking is one of the most coveted features. Vehicles can now brake independently of drivers if they believe a crash is imminent, preventing rear-end shunts and jackknifes at interchanges.

Manufacturers have gradually increased the range of situations in which this technology will activate over recent years. Previously, it was solely to stop drivers from bumping into the car ahead, but now cameras can detect cross-traffic, even when reversing, and

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By: Wilson Lim
Title: Audi Tops the Luxury Car Safety Charts in 2023
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Published Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2023 07:56:16 +0000

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