Hearst Autos, publisher of Car and Driver, Road & Track and Autoweek, has announced the acquisition of Bring a Trailer, a digital auction platform and auto enthusiast community. The announcement was made by Hearst Magazines President Troy Young, Hearst Autos CEO Matt Sanchez, and Bring a Trailer co-founders Randy Nonnenberg and Gentry Underwood.
Bring a Trailer curates classic, collector and enthusiast vehicles submitted by its audience for auction. The site has a community of more than 415,000 users and more than 175,000 registered bidders. The name of the platform is a reference to the familiar shorthand in classified listings urging buyers to “Bring a trailer!” for non-operational projects, race cars and Concours show vehicles.
“Bring a Trailer represents another step in the evolution of Hearst Magazines, one that connects passion points to content and now, marketplaces,” Young said. “At its core, Bring a Trailer is about curation, which is what our brands have always been about.”
“Bring a Trailer has set the bar for building a community around a passion point,” Sanchez said. “What Randy and Gentry have developed is truly special, and what they deliver to their audience is so much more than transactional. They’ve built a family, developed trust, and have become an invaluable part of the automotive landscape. We’re excited to welcome Bring a Trailer into Hearst Autos and develop the resources, tools, technology and partnerships to support and grow this iconic business.”
Bring a Trailer will continue to run as an independent business, led by Nonnenberg and his team. No personnel changes are planned, and operations will continue from the existing San Francisco, California, headquarters.
“I’m very excited to continue to lead Bring a Trailer as we partner with Hearst Autos,” Nonnenberg said. “We can now keep all of the best parts of the business intact while enhancing our capabilities to address our huge product demand and user traffic growth. I had Road & Track magazine pages hung on my walls as a kid and they helped shape my automotive passion. This is really an amazing next step in the Bring a Trailer journey, and it will allow us to solidify our tech foundation so that we can add new features and better serve the automotive enthusiast community.”
Hearst Autos will expand and support Bring a Trailer’s offerings, community and transactions through investments in robust technology and new products and features, the group says. In addition, Hearst Autos’ brands Car and Driver, Road & Track and Autoweek will add collaborative benefits to Bring a Trailer, including editorial content and insights as well as business and sponsorship opportunities.