SCOTTSDALE – One lucky bidder last weekend at the Barrett-Jackson 2023 Scottsdale auction drove away with a custom 2021 Shelby Super Snake Count’s Kustoms edition car, with all proceeds to help disabled veterans and first responders.
The collaboration car comes with multiple parties, including Camp Freedom, Count’s Kustoms out of Las Vegas and Shelby America. The 2021 Super Snake is the first ever collaboration car by Shelby America to leave their showroom, however, this isn’t the first time Camp Freedom has collaborated with Count’s Kustoms.
The car features a “5.0-liter Coyote engine producing 800 horsepower, mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission,” according to Barrett-Jackson.
“This is actually the seventh vehicle that we’ve done with Count’s Kustoms, so they’ve been a great supporter,” said Matt Guedes, the Executive Director of Camp Freedom. “On this build, I’ve learned in life you let experts be experts. Shelby American, doesn’t get any bigger. Count’s Kustoms, it’s as great as it gets in the custom world. So I literally said, ‘Have at it guy’s, let’s do what you know best,’ and that’s what they did.”
Camp Freedom is a foundation based in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, which offers a wide variety of outdoor experiences to disabled veterans, first responders and their families. At their 2,350 acres of property in Pennsylvania, activities can range anywhere from fishing and hunting, UTV rides, hiking, cross country skiing, wildlife tracking and photography.
Guedes noted that Camp Freedom continues to grow, with the foundation welcoming over 2,500 guests to its property in 2022. The entirety of the $350,000 hammer price from the Super Snake will further assist the organization’s work.
“Camp freedom is only five years old, and in five years we’ve served over 5,000 disabled vets, first responders, their family members and gold star families on our 2,300 acres, all free of charge. In order to do that, we gotta raise a lot of funds,” he said.
With over 300,000 in attendance over the weekend, Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale show tends to be one of their biggest auction’s in the country, attracting some of their top spenders to provide the necessary funding to the charities.
“Well, Barrett-Jackson. I mean, it’s the cat’s meow of everything that has to do with collector cars. It’s the best that there is,” Guedes said. “So we were very excited to get one of only five slots of a charity build here at Barrett-Jackson.”
Dean Hoffman, a member on the board of trustees for Camp Freedom, is a retired colonel who served in the U.S. Army for 30 years. He detailed the importance of the foundation’s work from his unique perspective.
“With the 20-plus years of war, there’s a lot of scars, struggles and challenges, especially in the special operations community, and when guys leave that camaraderie then go out to the real world, what they once had isn’t there,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman finds fulfillment in seeing the individuals positively impacted by Camp Freedom who then return to offer help to the next wave of people just like them.
The charity cars tend to be a big hit with auctioneers. The auction raised over a combined $1.89 million dollars for the various charities throughout the weekend from the five cars.
“Everybody loves the car. The stop traffic has been unbelievable,” Guedes said. “People stop, comment on the color, comment on the wide body, comment on the car, and we wanna tell them about the mission. People are gonna buy this car because they love the car, but they’re gonna buy it because they love the mission. We’re trying to tell them that we’re literally in a position where we take vets and first responders from isolation, drugs and alcohol, which leads to desperation, and we step in.”
The Scottsdale-based auction company, founded in 1971, continues to grow each year. Barrett-Jackson chairman and CEO Craig Jackson told Arizona’s Family the 2023 auction broke over 200 world auction records and also welcomed a record number of attendees to the Scottsdale event.
Marc Bartolone has been coming to the car show as a fan for years and always leaves impressed with the growth of the event.
“I’ve been out here maybe 10 years now, it’s always a great spectacle,” Bartolone said. “Look at all these great cars, there’s more cars here than have ever been before.”