Auction Report

MacWhorter Collection Explodes at Mecum Dallas

130 Vehicles Boost Mecum Totals

Posted: November 10, 2016 5:30 pm
by Shaun Tolson
Photo courtesy of Mecum Auctions.

When the first day of Mecum’s four-day auction in Dallas concluded, the company had set a new benchmark for the year, selling 96 percent of the vehicles that crossed its block—an increase of more than 20 percent over first-day sales during the company’s Houston auction back in April.

Much of the first-day success in Dallas can be attributed to Mecum’s sale of Ron MacWhorter’s collection—a total of 130 vehicles, most of which were sold with no reserve. All told, the auction house sold 756 cars and hammered down $24,600,000 in sales over the four-day event, which closely mirrors the $24,800,000 the company achieved in Dallas in 2015.

The headlining sale on the first day belonged to a 1954 Chevrolet Corvette roadster (from the Ron MacWhorter collection), a first-generation Corvette that sold for US $78,000, only US $2,000 shy of its low estimate.

A 1953 Chevrolet 3100 pickup truck, painted Mint Green and Metallic Charcoal with a brown interior, achieved the highest hammer price on day two, selling for US $46,500. Prior to the auction, the classic Chevy truck received a frame-off, nut-and-bolt restoration to its original assembly line specifications and wowed the audience with its hickory wood bed and its 216 CI engine.

On Friday, a 1967 Shelby GT350 Fastback—a “star” labeled lot—lived up to its billing and became the first vehicle to sell for six figures. This particular early-production Shelby is noteworthy for being offered in its original, unrestored condition, a distinction that led to its US $107,000 hammer price (only US $3,000 below its low estimate).

Near the end of Friday’s session, a more modern speedster, a 1984 Lamborghini Countach 5000S, crossed the block and quickly surpassed the Shelby as the top-selling lot of the day. When bidding ceased, the car—which underwent a 20-month restoration that included a complete engine and transmission rebuild (among other work) by Norwood Italia—rolled off the block with a sale price of US $210,000.

The final day of Mecum’s auction in Dallas featured most of the event’s headlining vehicles, as is typical. Not surprisingly, eight of the top 10 cars sold during the auction crossed the block on Saturday afternoon, among them a 1965 Shelby GT350 Fastback, which commanded US $410,000, and a 1968 Chevrolet Yenko Camaro RS/SS that changed hands for US $335,000.

Despite the auction’s overall success, there were a few disappointments on Saturday. Three of the company’s “main attraction” vehicles failed to sell, despite the fact bidding for all three reached the high six figures and, in the case of a 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, surpassed the vehicle’s low estimate by US $50,000. The other two vehicles, a 1969 Maserati Ghibli 4.9 Spyder and a 1996 Porsche 911 GT2 EVO, achieved high bids of US $860,000 and US $950,000, respectively.

In the case of the Porsche, bidding started at US $500,000 and quickly escalated to US $900,000. With the leading bid only US $50,000 away from US $1,000,000, the auctioneer continued to emphasize that million-dollar mark in his requests for future bids, which suggested that an even US $1,000,000 might be enough to lift the reserve. In the end, however, bidders learned that an additional US $350,000 would be required to sell the car.

Mecum’s next auction takes place Nov. 17-19 in Anaheim.

Photos courtesy of Mecum Auctions.

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