Hey, Gas Monkey fans! I’m Mark Karpinski and my partner, Scott Brandt, and I operate a classic cars dealership back in St. Louis, MO, called Motoexotica Classic Cars. I’m happy to be a guest writer for GasMonkeyGarage.com as we gear up for Barrett-Jackson 2017. This series of photographs offers a small snapshot and an insider’s view of the most exciting week in our industry.
First of all, we had an adrenaline-charged week last year, and Scott and I ended up buying 49 cars from the auction for inventory to supply Motoexotica Classic Cars. We always have a blast, because the energy of Barrett-Jackson is off the charts! When you add Richard Rawlings and the Gas Monkey crew to the mix, that energy dramatically increases – an experience tough to describe, actually.
It was amazing to see “The Bandit” himself, Burt Reynolds, rolling up to the block in a Trans Am, followed immediately by the Gas Monkey Hot Wheels ‘Midas Monkey’ Corvette. An epic moment happened when we sold a 1928 Stewart produce truck full of real fruit. In true Gas Monkey fashion, Richard walked up to the truck as it crossed the block and started eating all of the bananas.
I shoot a lot of digital pictures, but I’ve never been able to stop shooting film, especially black and white. We travel all over the country to various auctions searching for and selling cars. You’ll usually see me with a small Rangefinder camera from the late 1950s with Leica and Voigtlander lenses. I love this setup for many reasons, the main being that Rangefinders are silent and quick, so I never miss a moment. I love capturing classic cars in the modern world with the character of a period vintage look.
I shoot mainly Kodak Tri-X black and white film because I can push it to very fast speeds without having to use a flash. Barrett-Jackson is a very exciting place but the environments are dark, so fast film and extremely quick lenses are needed.
I get to do it all over again this week, and I’m super excited to leave for Scottsdale! I plan on shooting twice as many rolls of film as I did last year, so be on the lookout in the coming weeks for photos from this year.