As Mecum Auctions’ flagship event in Kissimmee, Fla., approaches, anticipation and excitement builds, and for good reason—after all, this is no ordinary Mecum sale. Spread out over 10 days (from Friday, Jan. 6 to Sunday, Jan. 15) the auction will see more than 3,000 vehicles offered for sale.
With so many collector cars crossing the block over that period of time, Block Chaser has broken up the auction preview into three parts, helping you to keep track of all the notable cars that will roll onto Mecum’s center stage at Osceola Heritage Park. Here is our preview of the three middle days:
Sure, the middle three days of Mecum Auctions’ Kissimmee event—the company’s flagship annual auction—are similar to the first three days of the auction. By that, we mean they include a generous smattering of aggressively powered American muscle cars, equal measures of modern exotics and domestic sports cars, a dash of mid-century American classics, and a pinch of vintage street rods. It’s the recipe for every successful Mecum sale.
However, the middle three days are unique in that they feature a handful of unusual automobiles, not to mention almost half of all of the vintage street rods and hot rods that are a part of the week-and-a-half-long event.
First, the automotive oddities…
On Tuesday, Jan. 10, Mecum’s team of quick-talking auctioneers will introduce not one, but two 1986 Mercury Tiffanies, vehicles that can best be described as neo-classics for their coach-built bodies that draw parallels to Mercedes-Benz Special Roadsters and Duesenberg Model Js. The first Mercury Tiffany to cross the block, a white and beige example, is powered by a 5-liter engine and features a late-model driveline and a CD-player-enhanced sound system. The second example, painted red with black accents and a red interior, is equipped with an overdrive-bolstered automatic transmission.
The following day, a 1970 Volkswagen Beetle will cross the block; except that this is no ordinary 1970 Volkswagen Beetle. Rebuilt as a West Coast style street rod, the car features a chopped and channeled body, a bespoke interior, new tires and wheels, and a chrome engine and exhaust system. It wasn’t long ago that this specific vehicle last crossed the block, selling for US $10,000 during Mecum’s Indianapolis auction in May. At that time, the car was offered with no reserve. It is not being offered without a reserve in Kissimmee, which means interested bidders should expect to pay more than US $10,000 for it this time around.
On Thursday, a few more curiosities will cross the block, beginning with a white-and-orange 1987 Mercedes-Benz Race Car that—excluding its black racing spoiler, racing wheels, Sparco racing seat and harness, and roll cage—looks very much like the original 190E model from which it was modified. A very similar—though possibly the same—vehicle crossed the block of a Barrett-Jackson auction in 2013 and sold for US $11,000 with no reserve.
Next up is a 1989 Johnson Phantom Coupe, a car that shares similar styling cues as the Mercury Tiffany in that it is modeled after a 1936 Mercedes-Benz roadster. The copper-colored vehicle, complete with T-tops and a one-off leather interior, has had only one owner since new. That owner, who drove the car less than 3,000 miles, reportedly spent US $65,000 to have it built. When that owner last offered it for sale (during Mecum’s Louisville auction in September), it achieved a high bid of only US $20,000, which suggests that the car—should it sell in Kissimmee—is unlikely to recoup the owner’s original investment.
Finally, about three-quarters of the way through the docket on Thursday, a 1914 Ford Model T Fire Truck is scheduled to cross the block. This one-of-a-kind build has been upgraded with an electric starter and underwent a complete 1,600-hour, show-quality restoration. Built as a tribute to New York City firefighters, this rare Model T is expected to sell for between US $45,000 and US $60,000.
And then there are the street rods….
Over the course of Wednesday and Thursday, 19 street rods from the mid-1920s to the early 1940s will cross the block. Whether it’s a 1928 Ford Hi-Boy Roadster Street Rod (offered at no reserve), an aggressively styled, open-engine 1930 Ford Model A Hot Rod, or a 1935 Chevrolet Sedan Street Rod (estimated to sell for between US $55,000 and US $70,000), there’s a hot rod for every sensibility.
Photos courtesy of Mecum Auctions.