After some real soul searching I decided to take down the posting regarding Barrett-Jackson. I was not going to offer an explanation to readers, but after widespread rumors, many emails and telephone calls, I wish to set the record straight.
Steve Davis, President of Barrett-Jackson took the time and effort to read the article, and then posted a comment that argued that the content was “reckless.” I firmly believe that in writing it I far exceeded the standard of conduct applicable to opinion pieces published on the internet. Each of the allegations made in the piece was already published in print, on message boards, around the blogosphere, through email lists, or had been circulating via car club events. I have additional sources who provided other information regarding most of the points.
That being said, as I reread the piece and gave it a lot of thought, I came to the belief in retrospect that while a valid piece of journalistic workmanship, it could be arguably seen from Barrett-Jackson’s standpoint as unfair. I had aggregated claims and allegations from sellers and participants over the years, yet had not leavened the piece with B-J’s side of the story. In taking it down, it offers B-J time to respond, educate, investigate…I even provided B-J the name and contact information of the now-famous judge (with his consent,) who sold his high-profile car on Saturday of the event. Hopefully, they can communicate and come to an understanding, and both report back.
Since I have no personal animosity against B-J (I believe it to be one of the most entertaining auto events of the season,) and I realize there are two sides to this and every story, I felt the better course of action was to pull it down and integrate anything they chose to communicate within a new article.
Furthermore, the article brought out many additional people (including some names car enthusiasts would recognize) who have taken time to tell me their personal stories of interaction with B-J and other auction companies. So like an artist who looks at his painting after the fact, this story, if and when it is updated, can look so much better, in my opinion, with all of the information provided by these sellers, attendees, as well as auction company representatives. (I also thank Drew Alcazar from Russo and Steele for taking time out of his busy schedule to communicate with me. I look forward to hearing more from him, as well as representatives from other auction companies, who have contacted offering to share information regarding their experiences.)
My final reason for pulling the article was that it was getting too personal on many levels. From threats of lawsuits against me to attacks against those posting on the blog with differing views, it simply was not what The Four Wheel Drift was intended to be about.
I personally thank all those who have sent their stories and support, as well as those many great, trustworthy sources who were the basis of the original story.
The Four Wheel Drift