Bringing out your best at the beginning can sometimes lead to memorable results—first-round knockouts, leadoff homeruns, and opening kickoffs returned for touchdowns all come to mind. There are times, however, when memorable moments are born from the decision to save your best for last. In some ways, Mecum Auctions adhered to the latter strategy during its three-day Anaheim auction last week.
Less than 24 hours before the auction kicked off at the Anaheim Convention Center, Mecum announced the last-minute consignment of three, high-performance, contemporary sports cars—a 2011 Porsche 911 GTS RS 4.0, a 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach, and a 2016 McLaren 675LT—each one slated to cross the block during the final day of the event.
Although only one of those vehicles met its reserve, the one that did, the 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach, sold for US $1,475,000.
Not only was the car significant—it was the only 918 Spyder delivered to the United States with a paint-free exterior that showed off the carbon-fiber body (protected by a matte black plastic wrap)—the sale itself was noteworthy for being only the 12th time this year that Mecum has sold a vehicle for at least US $1,000,000.
Other notable sales during the auction, that took place from Nov. 17-19, include a 1959 Volkswagen Samba 23 Window Bus, which exchanged hands for US $106,000. A 1975 Porsche 911 Carrera RS sold for US $200,000, and a 2006 Ford GT, with only 2,500 miles on its odometer, crossed the block with no reserve and sold for US $245,000.
Despite those successes, Mecum’s Anaheim auction was not without its disappointments. The auction’s two “main attractions” (labeled as such before the last-minute consignment of the three aforementioned exotic sports cars) underperformed. The 1968 Pontiac Firebird Ram Air II—one of only 98 examples built with an M21, four-speed transmission—attracted a high bid of only US $90,000 and failed to sell. The other, a 1968 Pontiac Firebird Ram Air I, sold for only US $62,000. Mecum did not disclose the car’s pre-sale estimate, but one has to view a hammer price of less than six figures as a letdown.
Overall, 308 vehicles (and 221 pieces of road art) were sold over the three-day event for a total of more than US $11,000,000, which represents a moderate decline from the company’s results in Anaheim a year ago when 416 vehicles exchanged hands for almost US $14,000,000. Despite the additional 108 vehicles that were sold in 2015, that year’s auction only produced two more six-figure vehicles than were sold last week. What’s more, the top-selling lot this year—that one-of-a-kind Porsche 918 Spyder—eclipsed the top-selling lot in 2015 (a 2005 Ford GT) but more than US $1,000,000.
Like two prizefighters with distinctive styles squaring off, Mecum’s 2015 Anaheim auction landed more punches, but the 2016 sale earned the knockout with one unforgettable haymaker. Next up for Mecum is Kansas City from Dec. 1-3.
Photos courtesy of Mecum Auctions.