With an enticing docket of vintage American muscle cars, a sprinkling of prewar roadsters and high-performance exotics, Mecum had its sights set on wrapping up the 2016 season with some fireworks in their second go-around in Kansas City from Dec. 1-3.
On Friday, two classic Corvettes from the heyday of American muscle led all sales, while an unusual Japanese coupe built during the Carter administration commanded a surprising amount of money. A five-speed, 1964 Corvette convertible with a custom grille and headlights as well as a hidden stereo sold for US $65,000; while a four-speed Corvette convertible, circa 1967, with a matching-numbers engine sold for US $75,000.
Despite those strong sales, it was a 1977 Datsun 280Z, boasting its original drivetrain, paint job and interior, that raised the most eyebrows. The car sold for US $40,000, almost three times greater than any previous 280Z sold through Mecum Auctions.
Vintage Corvettes again led the way on Saturday, with a 1967 coupe selling for US $130,000—the only vehicle to pass the six-figure threshold during the three-day event. Demand for the car was driven by the fact that it was equipped with all of its original, date-stamped components, including a big-block 427/400 hp engine and four-speed transmission.
Another ‘Vette, this one a 1963 Split Window coupe, attracted a lot of attention for its meticulous restoration. “Everything is done, and everything is right,” the auctioneer said as the car rolled onto the block. The bidding started at US $50,000, but it took only a matter of seconds for the leading bid to climb US $20,000 above that starting point. “The reserve is off in that Texas car, and the air is ice cold,” the fast-talking auctioneer exclaimed once the bidding reached US $80,000, which ultimately marked the car’s final price.
The resonating smack of the gavel didn’t punctuate every vehicle’s time in the spotlight. Bidding for a Candy-Apple Red 2005 Ford GT was aggressive at first, starting at US $100,000 and jumping to US $200,000 in about the same amount of time that it takes the car to sprint from zero to 60 mph (that’s 3.4 seconds, if you didn’t know).
When the bidding stalled at US $250,000, auctioneer Matt Moravec told the audience, “Folks, we’re that close,” suggesting the reserve could be lifted after another couple of US $5,000 bids. Given that Mecum has sold 28 other 2005 Ford GTs for an average price of US $251,071 over the past six years, the presumed value of this car’s reserve seemed to be fairly set; after all, the car’s sole owner had driven it only 4,800 miles. In the end, however, the car failed to sell.
The same fate also befell a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS. Although the car featured a big-block 396/375 hp engine, bidding stalled at US $60,000—at least US $10,000 below the classic Camaro’s reserve.
There were other noteworthy sales, however. A 1934 Ford Cabriolet street rod crossed the block with no reserve and exchanged hands for US $29,000; while a recently restored 1974 Ford Bronco with a freshly rebuilt engine set a new house record, selling for US $62,000.
In the end, Mecum’s second auction in Kansas City accounted for more than US $8,000,000 in sales, with 357 vehicles changing ownership. Mecum will be taking over Kissimmee, Fla. from Jan. 6-15, 2017.
Photos courtesy of Mecum Auctions.