VIN 001s are a rarity few can appreciate, let alone afford. Barrett-Jackson, auctioneers with aplomb, moved a handful of them last weekend at their auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Who can afford a VIN 001 is less important than why. After all, VIN 002 and any produced thereafter are the same. Will VIN 001 produce a sizable return on investment if you hold it 20, 30, maybe 50 years? Or are there bragging rights that go beyond tangible benefits that only auction regulars can recognize?
The big dog this last go-round was the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition 1, whose VIN 001 raised $2.5 million, benefitting the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Wherever this Hummer ends up, you can guarantee no passersby will know its pedigree.
Second to the Hummer was Ford’s 2021 Bronco 2-door VIN 001. At $1.075 million, the National Forest Foundation and Outward Bound were the happy recipients of someone’s generosity. That’s a lot of cheddar for the first Bronco out of the box. The auction’s PR firm issued a statement that the VIN 001 Bronco wasn’t going home with the buyer, to be delivered at a later date. Is this how they could possibly end up with more than one 001?
Another Ford, a 2021 Mustang Mach 1 Fastback VIN 001, raked in a half-million dollars for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. This Mach 1 has a 480-horsepower V8, a six-speed manual Tremec transmission, and the Handling Package. In Fighter Jet Gray, a color exclusive to the Mach 1, there’s a new front fascia, wheels, orange accents, and special badging. All of this will ensure you’ll recognize the real Mach 1 from its Mach E electrified sibling.
Ram tossed in their 2021 Ram 1500 TRX Launch Edition VIN 001 not to be left out. At $410,000, which went to the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, this 001 seemed like a bargain.
Yes, VIN 001s did very well for Barrett-Jackson and the charities. Does it result in a tax offset for the automakers in the form of a charitable donation? Or is it a way to measure the impact their vehicles have in this rarified atmosphere?