Mecum Auctions, Austin, Texas December 12-13, 2014
Mecum Auctions’ approach is unusual, even unique.
They troll around the country, trying locations, developing them – and along the way the collector car market in places where it’s been overlooked – bringing their high-energy Velocity TV production. Mecum has produced blockbuster results in unexpected places.
Kissimmee is front and center. Overlapping the headline sales in Arizona in January, among them Barrett-Jackson’s two decades of leadership and competing sales from Silver, Russo and Steele, RM Auctions, Gooding and Bonhams, Mecum went head-to-head with Scottsdale in 2010, roughly 1840 miles away as an high endurance crow flies.
There were plenty of winter collector car auctions in Florida and challenging Scottsdale was … ambitious. But today Kissimmee is nine days long and last year presented 2,743 cars, selling 1,754 and bringing in a total of $62,868,670.
The Mecum camel poked its nose under the Texas tent only three years ago, opening in Houston in 2012. A seemingly well-served market, Texas had two Leake auctions, Worldwide, Vicari and the occasional Dan Kruse sales. Now there are three Mecum auctions: in Houston in April, Dallas in September and Austin in December. Among them they offered almost 1900 cars and totaled $79.5 million in transactions in 2014.
More importantly, Mecum’s visibility has brought the whole collector car market to a higher plane in the Lone Star State. Everyone does better because of the heightened profile that Mecum brings to the marketplace.
Nowhere was that more clear than in Austin when Mecum arrived in early December 2014 [on the auspicious date of 12/13/14 – not gonna see a similar sequence for a little over 88 years, 32,161 days, until 1/2/2103.]
Mecum filled the Austin Convention Center with 654 cars and a steady stream of spectators to be part of the show. The location was filled to capacity for the inaugural event, centrally-located just two blocks from Austin’s 6th Street entertainment district and convenient to restaurants, bars and an adjacent Hilton that graciously and efficiently accommodated both the Mecum auction crowd and an IEEE convention at the same time.
My advice? Take a shuttle the six miles from the airport to downtown Austin. Stay at the Hilton for secure quality, convenience and good service or the Driskill on 6th for period ambience and elegance at more money. Use a taxi to get out to Driftwood for the barbecue at The Salt Lick.
The Mecum auction was solid, the barbecue was epic.
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Mecum Austin 2014 – Auction Report
Lot # F017 1956 Ford Customline 2-Dr. Sedan; S/N U6RG174046; Maroon, Black/Dark Gray cloth; Cosmetic restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $17,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $18,360 – 272/176hp, later Holley carb, automatic, chrome reversed wheels, hubcaps, narrow whitewall radials, air shocks, rear antenna, cassette stereo, dual outside mirrors. – Fair recent paint and good interior. Major chrome is older but sound. Stainless has been polished. Paint is poorly detailed and masked, body seals haven’t been replaced. Underbody is old and hasn’t been addressed. Engine compartment is orderly but only superficially redone with a lot of matte black. A mixed bag of goodies, but still an enjoyable Christmas present. – While this is a Ford of unrelieved ordinariness it has been treated unusually well for what it is and brought an unusually strong price for a mundane Customline 2-Dr. Sedan.
Lot # F108 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad 2-Dr. Station Wagon; S/N VC56F024671; Nassau Blue, Harbor Blue/Blue, Grey vinyl; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $50,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $54,000 – 265/170hp, Powerglide, P/S, no P/B, wheel covers, bias ply whitewalls, pushbutton radio, heater, grille guard. – Bright, shiny metallic clearcoat paint, brilliant chrome, good interior, dash and gauges. Underbody is better than new, as is the engine compartment where the bright, shiny paint still smells. A very showy Nomad with the gaudy trophies to show for it. – Despite being restored without custom touches the overly bright clearcoat paint on this Nomad do it no justice at all. The paint makes it look like a pig with lipstick, which does no justice at all to the car’s underlying quality of presentation. At this price, however, the new owner can strip the chrome and trim and give it a repaint in something approaching its original hues, taking advantage of its otherwise competent and thorough restoration to re-create its original style and panache.
Lot # F116 1951 MG TD Roadster; S/N TD11734EXLNA; Red/Parchment leather; Brown cloth top; Older restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $18,500 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $19,980 – No Reserve – Body color steel wheels, narrow whitewall bias ply tires, wood dashboard, aluminum engine dressup covers. – Sound old restoration done in 1980 with some paint cracks and patches peeling off the driver’s door. Thin windshield frame chrome. Dirty chassis. Surface cracked but sound leather. A usable driver that will be better with a thorough detailing. – This TD’s problems are easily addressed, mostly by painting the driver’s door, and it is a sound value at this price – although it would have been a better value at something less than this.
Lot # F127 1969 AMC AMX 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N A9C397X137235; White, Maroon stripes/Red vinyl; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $22,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $23,760 – 390/325hp, automatic, P/S, P/B, tach, gauges, Magnum wheels, trim rings, redline radial tires, pushbutton radio, fat woodrim Grant GT steering wheel. – Sound but wavy repaint, good interior and major chrome, dull stainless. Paint cracks at upper windshield corners. Underbody quickly sprayed chassis black over old undercoat. The presentation doesn’t live up to the performance of the high compression V-8. – This AMX deserves better but the approach is exemplified by the incongruous fat woodrim steering wheel. A quick cosmetic redo, the Austin bidders saw through it and appropriately discounted its price. A car with potential and with room at this price to find at least some of it.
Lot # F128 1957 Chevrolet Corvette FI Convertible; S/N E57S102295; Engine # F131EL; White, Silver coves, White hardtop/Red vinyl; White vinyl top; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $105,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $113,400 – 283/283hp fuel injection, 4-speed, two tops, WonderBar radio, spinner wheel covers, whitewall bias ply tires. – Represented as matching numbers engine, two owners, 63,257 miles from new. An NCRS Top Flight award winner but it was long ago. The presentation is sound but not fresh. – It is rather odd to call an NCRS Top Flight 283/283 FI Corvette a ‘driver’, but that’s what this one is after years sitting in a collection surrounded by its old trophies. The 4-speed, like many of them in ’57 Corvettes, is probably a later update but one accepted by collectors and experts. This is a sound and usable high output ’57 FI Vette bought at a modest price.
Lot # F161 1964 Oldsmobile Starfire 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 864T015171; Yellow/Olive Green vinyl; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $15,000 – 394/345hp, automatic, P/S, P/B, P/W, A/C, console tach, tilt steering column, power trunk release, wire wheel covers, narrow whitewall radial tires, pushbutton radio. – Quickly repainted, window pockets coated in body shop dust and detritus, old cracked body seals not replaced. Engine compartment superficially detailed with flat black. Underbody given the same treatment. Good interior, decent dash and gauges. Fair old chrome, some stainless repolished but not all of it. A mediocre but sound driver with generous options. – Offered at the Spring Branson auction in 2013 with a reported high bid of $13,750, then sold two months ago in Branson for $11,000, the seller should have been fabulously happy to realize this bid for a below-mediocre Olds.
Lot # F164 1949 Hudson Hornet Convertible; S/N 49178709; Maroon/Maroon leather; Beige cloth top; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $46,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $49,680 – 262/121 hp, Twin-H, 3-speed, power top, pushbutton radio, heater, chrome wire wheels, whitewall bias ply tires, skirts, grille guard. – Sound but only fair repaint, weak trim rechrome, scuffed old stainless, cracked steering wheel hub and sun cracked rim. Decent upholstery with sound old interior trim and interior chrome. Orderly but not restored engine compartment. Ugly chassis, underbody and antique wiring. A disappointing old cosmetic redo of sound Hudson Hornet. – While the dual carburetor ‘Twin-H’ package is highly sought … it wasn’t made available by Hudson until 1952. This Hornet’s many oversights and superficially treated features give no confidence at all in the way it has been done and make this price highly generous. It will take a full and expensive restoration to make much more out of this Hudson, and at this price that isn’t going to happen.
Lot # F207 1966 Chevrolet Suburban Carryall; S/N C1466S221424; Blue, White roof/White, Blue vinyl; Modified restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $23,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $24,840 – Later 350 V-8, automatic, P/S, P/B, A/C, cassette stereo, rally style wheels, trim rings, narrow whitewalls, two-row seating, sliding rear windows. – Restored nearly like new with decent paint, chrome and good interior. Engine compartment is orderly but not up to the standards of the cosmetics. Later engine and accessories. Unusual two-door Suburban body. – Reported sold on Friday with this number, then re-run Saturday as S243, a no-sale at $19,000. A sound and attractive vehicle with abundant utility, its sale history here is difficult to comprehend.
Mecum Austin 2014 – Auction Report Page Two
Lot # F236 1953 Henry J Corsair 2-Dr. Sedan; S/N 355066; White/Brown vinyl, cloth; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $7,500 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $8,100 – No Reserve – 134/68hp four, 3-speed, hubcaps, blackwall tires, no radio or heater. – Orange peely paint with edge chips, good interior, dash, gauges and chrome. wheel wells painted body color over old, cracking underseal. A quick cosmetic redo to Henry J standards but makes a good first impression. – Henry J. Kaiser thought he could translate his success in cement, steel and shipbuilding into a new generation of automobiles. The Henry J was an honest attempt at an inexpensive, practical economy car. Priced at $1,399, over $300 less than the cheapest Chevy two-door sedan, it aimed at an underserved market segment, but one that America’s postwar prosperity rendered illusory. People didn’t want practicality, they wanted flash and performance and it was too soon to find a niche as an economical second car. Introduced in 1951, the Henry J passed into oblivion in 1954. The condition of this Henry J reflects its obscurity, as does its price.
Lot # S093 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe; S/N 194377S102607; Engine # T0921JF; Rally Red, Black stinger/Red vinyl; Older restoration, 2 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $210,000 – 427/400hp, 4-speed, A/C, AIR smog equipment, AM-FM, Rally wheels, red line tires. – 1967 GM display car at the Riverside Raceway Grand Prix. Very good older NCRS Duntov Award restoration showing only display use and some age since. Documented with tank sticker, dealer order and Protect-o-Plate, known history from new. Bloomington Gold certified. – This is a $130,000 Corvette. Its display at GM at Riverside may substantiate that value and even increase it to $135,000 or $140,000, but it is otherwise of little significance and doesn’t make it a $210,000 car, or even close.
Lot # S095.1 1969 Chevrolet Camaro COPO 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 124379N640918; Hugger Orange/Black vinyl; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $170,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $183,600 – 427/425hp, automatic, 4.1 Positraction, steel wheels, hubcaps, F70-14 Wide Tread tires, spoiler, radio and heater delete. – Excellent clearcoat paint, chrome and interior. Engine compartment and underbody are better than new. Represented as a ‘complete numbers matching original COPO Camaro’ but qualified by specifying that ‘date codes, casting numbers. and part numbers … are 100% correct.’ COPO Connection and Protect-o-Plate documented. – After making the Mecum Tour this year (bid to $120,000 at Houston in April, $115,000 at Indy in May and $120,000 at Harrisburg in July) this COPO Camaro finally hit its sweet spot in Austin with a healthy result that is difficult to argue with.
Lot # S096 1962 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Convertible; S/N 622C07273; Red/White vinyl; White vinyl top; Cosmetic restoration, 3- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $22,000 – 394/280 HP ultra high compression Skyrocket V-8, Roto Hydra-Matic, custom dual exhaust, power steering, power brakes, Vintage Air, pushbutton radio, underdash CD stereo, hubcaps. – Given a fresh and superficial cosmetic redo, so fresh the paint is still setting up. The first look at the engine compartment is promising, but a closer look is disappointing. A look under the body is even more of a letdown with some fresh chassis paint erratically applied to look good at that first casual glance. Chrome and stainless are similarly erratically treated. An auction car. – There are ‘3’ condition cars, and there are other ‘3’ condition cars. This one is not very good, superficially redone to look good at auction and not at all reassuring. The seller should be very happy that the dress-up work produced such a good result; the new owner not so much.
Lot # S098 1967 Mercury Comet 202 2-Dr. Sedan; S/N 7H01R544086; Onyx Black/Beige vinyl; Unrestored original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $169,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $182,520 – 427/425hp, dual quads, 4-speed, P/B, bench seat, AM-FM, tach, steel wheels, hubcaps, Wide Oval narrow whitewall tires, original jack, spare, owner’s manual and sales brochure. – Represented as an original, unrestored car with 2,005 miles and looks like it. Shiny paint with a few scrapes and swirls but very presentable. Old undercoat in wheel wells. Stainless has been polished to an unusual matte finish. Upholstery is lightly soiled. An artifact, not a car, with the unfortunate fate of being preserved like this into the next century. – A Mecum regular, offered at Monterey in 2013 ($160,000), Kissimmee last January ($185,000) and Indy in May ($175,000) without selling. This is a very special piece, even more rare than a COPO Camaro or Yenko Chevelle, one of 22 built and 6 known to survive. A colorful history, fabulous performance and exceptional originality make this a highly desirable true Muscle Car and more than support the price it brought, after much exposure.
Lot # S107.1 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350H Fastback; S/N SFM6S1893; White, Gold stripes/Black vinyl; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $110,000 – Mark IV A/C, automatic, pushbutton radio, chrome rim Magnum wheels, Blue Streak tires. – Really bad old paint, dull, orange peeled and microblistered. Sound interior and chrome. Dirty old underbody. Unusually unattractive for a GT 350. – Not much of a surprise, Mecum has been traveling this GT350H around for some time this year without much if any interest. It was bid to $120,000 at Kissimmee, then the same amount at Houston in April. Face it, the car doesn’t look at all good, the paint is seriously flawed and it is neglected and aged. ‘Originality counts’, but the originality of this GT350H is compromised. It will take an unusually perceptive and accommodating bidder to want it, and they’ll probably want it at or less than the bid it brought here in Austin. It’s time for the seller’s expectations to have an adjustment, or keep pouring transport and entry fee money into it hoping for lightning to strike.
Lot # S110.1 1960 Porsche 356B Cabriolet, Body by Reutter; S/N 154195; White/Black leather; Black cloth top; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $110,000 – Blaupunkt AM-FM, chrome wheels, Pirelli blackwall radial tires. – Replacement engine with unnumbered case, Weber carbs. Good paint over filled lower body. Sound older leather, slightly butt polished and creased. New top and boot cover. Cracked old window pocket seals. New but crudely cut and fit door seals. Neat engine compartment showing age and use. Dust on old undercoat. A sound driver quality Porsche. – Reported sold at Motostalgia in Houston in May for $93,500, a result that is all this crudely assembled Porsche is worth, even on a good day. It was offered at Mecum’s September Dallas auction where it also brought a bid of $110,000. The owner is apparently holding out for that much money, a faint hope.
Lot # S114.1 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition; S/N 1FAFP90S16Y401469; Heritage Blue, Orange stripes/Black leather; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $400,000 – 5.4 L, 550hp, 6-speed, CD stereo, A/C. Heritage Edition paint. – Still like new, even with 5,718 miles. – Ford GTs are on a roll, particularly the Gulf/Wyer painted Blue/Orange Heritage editions. But they made 343 of them (out of 2,011 ’06 GTs) and there is really no shortage. This one has become a duck in search of a gullible hunter after selling for $360,000 at Auctions American in Auburn this September and $405,000 at Mecum Anaheim a month ago. Have the buyers wised up? By this result it would appear so.
Mecum Austin 2014 – Auction Report Page Three
Lot # S116.1 1955 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster; S/N 1210425500559; Engine # 1210215500550; Black/Parchment leather; Black cloth top; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $125,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $135,000 – Weber carbs, Becker Europa radio, whitewall radial tires. – Good older paint and more recent leather interior. Clean, orderly engine compartment freshly detailed on top, not so much down deep. Dusty wheel wells but with good undercoat on the panels. A good little 190SL that is more honest than most these days. – Offered by Auctions America at Ft. Lauderdale in March with a reported bid of $100,000, then reported sold at Motostalgia’s Houston auction in May for $129,250, there is no profit left in this 190SL, perhaps even the indication of a realization (finally?) that values of these sedan chassis, indifferent performance boulevard poseurs has peaked. Who in his right mind would trade two D-code ’57 T-birds and an Isetta 300 for one of these? But this is what 190SLs are worth today.
Lot # S117 1967 Ford Mustang Eleanor Fastback; S/N 7R02C173895; Grey, Black stripes/Black vinyl; Modified restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $380,000 – Woodrim steering wheel,245/40ZR17 tires, cassette stereo, A/C, column mounted Super Comp tach. – Good older paint, chrome and interior. Old undercoat peeling off fenderwells. One of 11 Eleanors built by Cinema Vehicle Services for the indifferent Nicolas Cage 2000 re-make, one of three so-called ‘hero cars’ used in scenes with the principal actors. Documented by CVS. – The Eleanor fad is history and so is the maximum value of this car. There was a time when Eleanor fakes brought this much, but now even the real(?) thing doesn’t. It is still appreciated by fans of the movie, but they don’t have enough money.
Lot # S117.1 1954 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster; S/N E54S004207; Polo White/Red vinyl; Older restoration, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $82,500 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $89,100 – No Reserve – Carter carbs, Siamesed air filters, spinner wheel covers, wide whitewalls, WonderBar radio. – Sound and presentable old restoration, with emphasis on the ‘old’. Dirty engine, grimy chassis. A driven quality early Corvette. – Sold by Mecum in Dallas in September 2012 for $61,480 and not getting any better with age, this is a superior price for a ’54 Corvette, especially one in this aged and grimy condition, a car that should have been on its way to the new owner’s hauler at $55,000. The result will be used by Mecum to show the advantage of offering an indifferent car without reserve to get the bidders excited and keep them in the game, an argument with much merit.
Lot # S118 1961 Chevrolet Corvette FI Convertible; S/N 10867S102346; Engine # F1017CS; White/Red vinyl; Black vinyl top; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $85,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $91,800 – 283/315 hp fuel injection, 4-speed, 4.11 Positraction, WonderBar radio, spinner wheel covers, whitewall bias ply tires, two tops. – Fresh 2014 NCRS Top flight restoration with all that indicates. – Bought for just $2,700 more than the grimy ’54 sold right before it, this is so much more Corvette, in so much better condition that the comparison is almost ludicrous. It is, in fact, a bargain, a car that could have brought well over $100,000 without being overpriced.
Lot # S118.1 1968 Chevrolet Camaro SS 396 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 124378L314798; Yellow/Black vinyl; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $53,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $57,240 – 396/295hp, 4-speed, Hurst shifter, Rally wheels with trim rings, red line tires, aftermarket gauges, pushbutton radio, smog delete. – Represented as original numbers matching engine and transmission, factory smog delete, documented with original Protect-o-Plate. Very good older paint with some light orange peel, good chrome and interior. Minor stainless trim dents. Overall a satisfying and attractive Camaro – Sold by Mecum at Indy in 2012 for $36,040, it is impossible to argue with the value the Austin bidders put on this no-smog 4-speed SS 396. The few details noted are easily corrected and will make this a show-quality Camaro. Left alone it will be a star on cruise night or on the highway.
Lot # S119.1 1968 Ford Mustang GT Convertible; S/N 8F03S127397; Acapulco Blue/Two tone Blue vinyl; Black vinyl top; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $54,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $58,320 – 390/325hp, automatic, P/S, P/B, A/C, chrome rally style wheels, narrow whitewalls, AM-FM, gauges, tach. – Well documented with original registration, bill of sale, owner’s manual package and Marti Report. Good paint, chrome, stainless and interior. Restored like new and kept that way. – Not exactly rare (Ford put the 390 in over 11,000 ’68 Mustangs) but highly desirable, this should be considered something of a bargain in one of them so well restored and documented. It is a good value at the very least.
Lot # S121 1955 Chrysler C-300 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 3N551301; Tango Red/Beige leather; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $76,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $82,080 – Automatic, dual quads, batwing air cleaner, P/S, P/B, chrome wire wheels, wide whitewalls, remote spotlight, Town & Country radio. – Clean and orderly underhood, very good paint and chrome. Interior is lightly worn and surface creased. Stainless window still trim is lightly scratched. Good dashboard and instruments. Underbody is clean and orderly. – Sold by RM in Arizona in 2009 for $82,500, then in 2014 for $77,000, this C-300 has by prior description a replacement ’55 Imperial block with all the C-300 performance bits retained. That wasn’t mentioned here.
Lot # S125 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda Hemi 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N BS23R0B257824; Black/Black vinyl; Older restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $275,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $297,000 – 426/425hp Hemi, 4-speed, Hurst pistol grip shifter, P/B, Super Track Pack, Rallye wheels, Polyglas GT tires, Grey shaker hood. – Represented as numbers matching engine, documented with Broadcast sheet and owner history, 44,656 miles from new. Very good paint, chrome and interior. Restored like new some time ago and still in showroom condition. – Sold at Mecum Indy in 2010 for $174,900, this highly unusual matching numbers 4-speed Hemi ‘Cuda brought a resounding price in Austin that offsets the frequently disappointing recent prices of these fabulous old big block Pony Cars. It is probably accurate to regard this result as an outlier on a generally disappointing Mopar Hemi price trend, enhanced by the originality of its drivetrain, the 4-speed and the Black/Black livery.
Lot # S129.1 1967 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III Phase 2 Convertible; S/N HBJ8L39179; Ice Blue/Blue vinyl; Blue leatherette top; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $85,000 – Silver painted wire wheels, blackwall tires, heater, no radio. – Restored like new with very good cosmetics. .Clean and sharp underbody. Like new and a Healey concours winner. – The recent auction history of this Big Healey mirrors what is happening with these formerly avidly sought cars. It was offered at Kissimmee in 2013 with a reported high bid of $115,000, then at Kissimmee this year where it bid to $97,000. It’s time to take the money and run.
Mecum Austin 2014 – Auction Report Page Four
Lot # S130 1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Coupe; S/N 194379S728007; Tuxedo Black/Black vinyl; Older restoration, 2+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $850,000 – 427/’430’hp, open chamber heads, 4-speed, P/B, Rally wheels, Super Sport tires, tank sticker. – 2,021 miles from new. Quality older Nabers Brothers restoration with excellent paint, bright chrome and good interior. Clean, crisp engine compartment. Underbody is still nearly like new. Represented as the original drivetrain, Bloomington Gold and NCRS Top Flight in 2004, – An unusual history with the first owner specifying the car not receive its dealer delivery service and apparently never driving it to any extent while also never completing a conversion to racing specs. Put away, then restored by the Nabers Brothers to like new condition a dozen years ago, undoing the incipient modifications. It was offered by Barrett-Jackson in 1992 (yes, 22 years ago) with Hooker headers, chrome side pipes and Centerline wheels where it brought an unsuccessful high bid of $86,000. It is a much better Corvette today, but is it good enough to decline $850,000? Not even close given its history and the modifications that have been undone. The 2,021 original miles claim implies originality, but this L88 is far from original and should have been off and away to a new home at $500,000 or so.
Lot # S130.1 1957 Ford Thunderbird Convertible; S/N D7FH293574; White, White hardtop/Red, White leather; No top; Cosmetic restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $27,500 – 312/245hp, automatic, P/S, P/B, engine dressup, Town & Country radio, porthole hardtop only, power seat, power windows. – Paint, interior, chrome and engine compartment are restored like new but the underbody is not done to the same standard. More than good enough to drive and then show at the end of the day, but far from the best ’57 T-bird. – A good but not exceptional ’57 T-bird, it is worth more, but not a lot more, than the bid it received in Austin.
Lot # S133 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N VC57N115012; Engine # T308EC; Black/Red vinyl, black cloth; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $39,500 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $42,660 – 283/220hp, Powerglide, P/S, spinner wheel covers, whitewalls, cassette stereo, rear antenna, skirts, continental kit. – Restored a while ago with good paint, chrome, stainless and interior. Chipped steering wheel repaint, lightly stretched upholstery, orderly but dusty engine compartment. Not the best but more than good enough except for cheap aftermarket door handle fingernail guards. – Sold eleven months ago in Kissimmee for $43,200, the best thing about this Bel Air has been subsumed somewhere during its life when it got the EC-coded engine block, originally built for a 3-speed overdrive transmission, for which Powerglide is a poor substitute. Two transactions within eleven months and $600 of each other substantiate its value.
Lot # S137.1 1965 Sunbeam Tiger Convertible; S/N B9470832LRXFE; Carnival Red, Black hardtop/Black vinyl; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $80,000 – 260/164hp, 4-speed, LAT alloy wheels, red line Tiger Paw bias ply tires, hardtop only, walnut instrument panel. – Orderly, well maintained four owner car with a fair older repaint showing expected nicks and scratches. Good lightly worn replaced seat upholstery. Fair chrome. An honest old car that needs no excuses. – Another Mecum regular, offered at Kissimmee in 2013 with a bid of $110,000, then at Kissimmee in January of this year where it bid to $95,000. Peddle it a few more times and on this trend it could sell for an Alpine price. That’s not going to happen, but the owner needs to reset his expectations.
Lot # S146 1956 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible; S/N E56S002201; Venetian Red, Beige coves/Red vinyl; Beige vinyl top; Older restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $70,000 – 265/240hp, dual quads, 3-speed, WonderBar radio, power top, heater, spinner wheel covers, wide whitewalls, electric wipers. – Represented as matching numbers engine. Restored like new two decades ago with very good cosmetics. The engine compartment isn’t to the same standards but is clean and orderly. – This Corvette has many things going for it: high lift cam (one of 111 built) 265/240hp dual quad engine, 3-speed manual transmission and power top. Is it worth more than the reported high bid? Yes, but not a lot.
Lot # S152.1 1968 Shelby Mustang GT500 Fastback; S/N 8T02S143353-01354; Gold/Black vinyl; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $90,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $97,200 – 426/360hp, automatic, P/S, P/B, 10-spoke alloy wheels, E70-15 tires, pushbutton radio, console gauges. – Very good older paint, chrome and interior. Engine compartment shows some age but is clean and orderly. Underbody has been more recently sprayed chassis black. – If any GT500 can be called ‘just a car’, this is it. Thoughtfully restored some time ago and nicely maintained, it needs nothing, but nothing stands out from the period when Shelbys were more Ford than Shelby American. This result is spot-on for GT500s.
Lot # S168 1953 Jaguar XK 120SE Roadster; S/N S673394; Engine # W7014-8S; Grey/Red leather, Biscuit piping; Grey cloth top; Recent restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $80,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $86,400 – Silver painted wire wheels,6.50-16 bias ply tires, woodrim steering wheel, fender mirrors, original tool kit included. – Head and block numbers match the JDHT certificate. Sharp, clean car restored to nearly like new condition but with reversed upholstery colors (originally Biscuit with Red piping.) Thin chrome on windshield frame. Very clean engine compartment with polished cam covers. Pretty colors. – At least as good a Jag as the price it brought, and arguably better with good documentation and attractive colors. XK 120 values fit neatly among other quality sports cars of the Fifties, affordable and usable, especially not that their well known reliability issues have been dealt with after years of experience and the development Jaguar didn’t give them.
Lot # S214.1 1966 Fiat 2300S Coupe, Body by Ghia; S/N 114BS187995; Metallic Grey/Lipstick Red vinyl; Cosmetic restoration, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $31,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $33,480 – 2,279cc/150hp, dual Weber inline six, 4-speed, Nardi woodrim steering wheel, old Clarion multiband stereo, Vredestein blackwall radial tires on steel wheels with trim rings and hubcaps, dual Weber carbs, dual brake boosters. – Fair clearcoat repaint with erratic masking, faded but legible gauge faces, steering wheel rim needs new varnish and a good polish on the spokes. Windshield wiper arms and one washer nozzle are missing. Good new vinyl interior. Erratic chrome. Engine compartment has been refinished with a few rattle cans of flat black. An unusual car, but not a particularly good example. – Bonhams sold a 2300S Coupe at Scottsdale in January for $16,500. It was tired and had rust bubbles but a leather interior. This 2300S is erratically cosmetically restored, which doesn’t support double the price.
Lot # S222.1 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 138378B230576; Yellow, Black vinyl roof/Black vinyl; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $41,000 – 296/325 hp, tube headers, automatic, P/S, P/B, A/C, pushbutton radio, buckets and console, Rally wheels with trim rings, red line radial tires. – Represented as matching numbers original engine and a factory SS. Chrome valve covers, air filter and alternator. No windshield wiper arms. Good older paint, interior and chrome. Engine compartment has been recently touched up with some oversights. Underbody is good. A handsome better than driver quality Chevelle with US13 Dragway pass slips from ’81-82. – Sold at Kissimmee earlier this year for $41,040, then at Motostalgia’s Houston auction in May for a reported $46,200, it’s not surprising it didn’t get let go here in Austin although based on its history, configuration and condition it could have been without hurting anyone’s feelings but the owner.
[Source: Rick Carey]
Mecum is no linger on Velocity TV as you mention in the opening. Barrett=Jackson is now on Velocity TV adnd Mecum has moved to NBCSports.
True, but that’s from Kissimmee 2015. Austin was Mecum’s final Velocity appearance.
Thanks for the great report Rick. One point, there must have been two red Tigers at the auction as the one pictured is not the one in your description of it.
Look closer, it’s an Alpine.
Yes, I noticed that after posting the comment. Here is the actual car Rick describes – https://www.mecum.com/lot-detail.cfm?lot_id=AU1214-205455
“Peddle it a few more times and on this trend it could sell for an Alpine price.” …is this why y’all have a picture of an Alpine in the article?
Sorry, guys, for the posting error.
The car pictured is F131, and Alpine that I photographed but didn’t write up.
The description is correct for S137.1 which is correctly labeled in the batch of photos send to SCD-Central in Charlotte.
I’ll see if we can get it corrected.