The collector car auctions started the year in full force with the 2021 Mecum Kissimmee Auction collecting $122.8 million in sales with a 90% overall sell-through rate. In Mecum’s 34-year history, it is the highest single-auction total they have ever achieved.
The 2021 Mecum Kissimmee Auction was held over 10 straight days from January 7-16 at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida. The auction saw 2,030 collector cars acquired by their new owners, having an 89% sell-through rate.
The highlight of the auction came on Friday, January 15 when they broke the largest single-day total in their companies history, totalling $34 million in sales.
Carroll Shelby’s personal 427 Cobra, CSX3178 (Lot F145) was the top seller during the event as well as breaking the record for the most valuable 427 Cobra ever sold at public auction generating a $5.94 million final sale price.
Coming in second to Carroll Shelby’s Cobra was the 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Roadster (Lot MG5) which brought in $2.5 million after it was offered from the special exhibition Mecum Gallery collection.
Five other vehicles breached the million-dollar mark: another 427 Cobra CSX3318 (Lot S161) which sold for $1.38 million, a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTS (Lot F164) which sold for $1.35 million, a 1965 Iso Grifo A3/C Bizzarrini (Lot S231) which sold for $1.18 million, and two Mercedes-Benz 300SLs which sold for $1.57 million (Lot S137) and $1.21 million (Lot S146).
Here’s a look at the 2021 Mecum Kissimmee top 10 Sales
1. 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra Roadster (Lot F145)
Sold for $5,490,000
The 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra Roadster, chassis CSX3178, is one of the most valuable examples in Carroll Shelby’s personal collection. From March 1966, the day it was assembled, until May 2012, when he passed, it was part of his collection.
There were only five 427 Cobras that had a beautiful Charcoal Gray finish, and like all the Cobras that came before, it was shipped to LAX without an engine and with a black interior.
The work order from Shelby America specifies “Build 427 Street Cobra CSX3178” was opened on January 7, 1966 and it was finished on March 3, 1966. It was then shipped to Carroll Shelby’s home with dual quads matched with a 4-speed Toploader transmission.
By 1972, Mike McCluskey, Carroll Shelby’s friend and famous Cobra specialist restored the CSX3178, giving it a Guardsman Blue finish with a gold nose.
Eventually, Carroll Shelby wanted more horsepower in the car, so he had an aluminum-head 427 side-oiler engine with automatic transmission installed.
In 2002, it was repainted in red by the Las Vegas Shelby American crew. The consigner purchased the car from Carroll Shelby’s estate in 2016, and it was then given a Concours restoration by famed Cobra restorers Legendary Motor Company. They returned the example to its original Charcoal Gray paint color as well as its original 427 configurations with a 4-speed transmission.
2. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Roadster (Lot MG5)
Sold for $2,500,000
This 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible was the inital Corvette constructed with the RPO L88 option package along with being the only Tuxedo Black 1967 L88 made in convertible form.
In 1967, one of the most successful Corvette racers in history, Tony DeLorenzo Jr.,m drove the car in competition.
The company literature for the Corvette L88 rated the L88 engine at only 430 HP, however, it was able to be tuned to about 560 HP at its 6,400 RPM redline.
This example is well-decorated in both its racing history and Concours appearances. It is arguably one of the most historically significant L88s to exist.
3. 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing (Lot S137)
Sold for $1,567,500
The impressive 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing example was completed on August 11, 1956.
This 300SL Gullwing coupe has its original matching-numbers engine, SWF windshield washer system, the original belly pans, factory-installed Becker Mexico radio, extremely sought-after color-matching fitted luggage, VDO gauges, and tool kit. It is extensively original and in Concours condition
4. 1967 Shelby 427 Cobra Roadster (Lot S151)
Sold for $1,375,000
This 1967 Shelby 427 Cobra Roadster with chassis CSX3318 was invoiced to Shelby American on October 11, 1966, making it one of the final-year examples that were produced before the AC-supplied body program was ended by Ford and Shelby American.
The example has benefitted from a recent original as-delivered restoration done by Drew Serb from Cobra Experience in Martinez, California.
The CSX3318 currently has the period correct 427 Ci side-oiler V8 engine matched with correct 4-barrel carburetor and intake, and 4-speed transmission. The engine was given Ford chrome components and displacement callout decals.
5. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTS (Lot F164)
Sold for $1,347,500
The 1966 Ferrari 275 GTS is one of only 200 units that were produced from 1965 to 1966, and been owned by a former Skip Barber Midwest series physician since 1983.
An extensive and photo-documented restoration was recently done and was completed in 2020.
They stripped the example to bare sheet metal and refinished it in Rosso Corsa base/clear coat. The interior was given a Nardi wood-rimmed steering wheel, Veglia instrumentation set into the wood-trimmed dash, gated shift plate, and new black leather upholstery from GAHH.
6. 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster (Lot S146)
Sold for $1,210,000
The 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster has been under the expert hands of Hjeltness Restoration in Escondido, California giving it an extensive nut-and-bolt Concours ready restoration to factory specs.
The example is finished in correct Silver Gray Metallic matched with red leather interior, black soft top, European-market sealed beam headlights, a Becker Mexico radio with Hirschman antenna, and the American-market exclusive special low 3.89-1 final drive. The example is equipped with a 2,996cc engine with Bosch fuel injection, 4-corner independent suspension, and a 4-speed gearbox.
The example was displayed at the 2013 Carmel Mission Concours, and at the 2014 Hillsborough Concourse d’Elegance it got a Second in Class, although the award will not be included in the sale. The example will be offered with the books and brochure, and the most valuable Mercedes-Benz Classic Certification.
Displayed at the 2013 Carmel Mission Concours, the car was awarded Second in Class at the 2014 Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance.
7. 1965 ISO Grifo A3/C Bizzarrini (Lot S231)
Sold for $1,182,500
Giato Bizzarrini only produced 20 copies of his racing coupe, the Bizzarrini A3/C with this example being one of them.
Serial no. B0213 was first seen on factory records in December 1964. Early records of the example are incomplete, but it shows to have been used as a test car in the Auto Motor and Sport Magazine in their April 1965 issue with legendary race driver Paul Frère.
In 1993, Salvatore Diomante, former Bizzarrini factory manager and then principal of Autocostruzione, acquired the example. He showed the B0213 unrestored at the Auto Moto Retro show in 2012 and then started a two-year restoration project on the example. The engine was rebuilt and the current finish on the Drogo bodywork was done.
The example was displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2013 in its beautiful Day One configuration.
8. 2018 Ford GT ’67 Heritage Edition (Lot S134)
Sold for $990,000
Following up the successful introduction in 2005 of the second-generation GT, in 2018, Ford released the ’67 Heritage Edition as a tribute to the 1967 Le Mans win of the Shelby-American Ford GT40 MkIV with Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt behind the wheel.
This 2018 Ford GT ’67 Heritage Edition is chassis no. 174. It is equipped with a carbon-fiber carbon-fiber monocoque and has a deployable rear wing that also acts as an air brake. It has a 3.5L mid-mounted DOHC 24-valve EcoBoost engine with twin turbochargers and intercoolers, 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and Akrapovic exhaust. It can produce 647hp and accelerate from 0 to 60mph in just 2.8 seconds with a top speed of 218mph.
The example is finished in glossy Race Red with white stripes and Frozen White No. 1 hood and door graphics that took inspiration from the Gurney-Foyt original.
The interior comprises of an Ebony Alcantara headliner and pillar coverings, ebony leather carbon fiber seats, with red accents stitched inserts, and red six-point seatbelts.
The instrument panel had Satin Dark stainless appliques, as well as the door register bezels, and seat X-brace.
1971 Plymouth Cuda Convertible (Lot F161)
Sold for $962,500
The example is one of only 17 440 6-BBL Cuda convertibles that were constructed in 1971 which ended up being the last year of production for this particular Plymouth body design.
It has long been established that the final-year 1971 Cuda convertibles are noted as the Ultimate Muscle Car.
Even though the seven Hemi Cuda convertible is considered the pinnacle when it comes to the most valuable engine option, the 17 Cuda convertibles fitted with the V-code 440 6-BBL engine are also as valued when looking at the rarity and exclusivity of the example, matched with unmatched driving experience.
This 1971 Plymouth Cuda 440-6 Convertible has been extensively restored. The engine bay is beautifully presented, with oval air cleaner, cast manifolds, OE-design black battery, and dual exhaust ending in chrome tips. The example was made with the A34 Super Track Pak code so it has the D32 heavy-duty A727 automatic transmission as well as a Dana 60 differential with 4.10 Sure Grip gears and B51 power front disc brakes.
10. 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra Roadster (Lot S170)
Sold for $935,000
The 1964 Shelby Cobra 289, chassis CSX2498, just finished an extensive nut-and-bold restoration to bring it to an as-new condition in 2020.
It was initially delivered to its first owner on April 16, 1965. The third owner was able to acquire the example in 1968, and it was in his care for the next 50 years.
The example was ordered new with Class A accessories like the landau hardtop, WSW tires, side curtains, and a luggage rack that is currently not installed.
It is equipped with a 289 CI V-8 engine with 4-speed manual transmission, aluminum intake and hollow-letter Cobra valve covers, Tri-Y exhaust headers, and disc brakes. The restoration brought the original white finish with black-painted wire wheels and a chrome spinner center.
Further information regarding the 2021 Mecum Kissimmee auction can be found on Mecum’s website.