Mecum Auctions, Kansas City, Missouri, April 25-27, 2013
Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor
Mecum Auctions holds two sales each year in Kansas City, a reflection of several things, notably the supply of quality consignments in the region and a particularly good urban venue with abundant indoor display space (you could overhaul a couple of 747s in here after their wings were removed) and convenient downtown accommodations and amenities.
A little while ago Jack Reynolds commented on the Leake Oklahoma City auction report, “Patina seems to be the “in” thing at auctions these days. However, I don’t see any owners of muscle cars bragging about patina. Any thoughts?”
The broad answer to Jack’s inquiry is that unrestored original muscle cars are surpassingly rare. When they were new they got hammered. Then they passed downstream to less well-heeled owners who thought nothing of hammering them further, replacing their engines and supplanting their original intakes, exhausts and just about anything else that would bolt on or in with newer, better, freer-flowing parts.
I’ve seen salvage yards filled with original intake manifolds and carburetors set aside for high flow Holleys on Edelbrock Performer intakes. The original parts were, by the second or third owner’s standards, “junk.”
Muscle cars that survived even partially original eventually came into the hands of later owners who appreciated them for what they were in the Sixties and Seventies and took on the task of re-creating the cars’ as-new configurations. And that is what we see today.
But original, unrestored muscle cars survived and they are, despite or maybe on account of their rarity, appreciated by discerning collectors.
There were two at Mecum Kansas City:
And maybe this S-code Mustang:
All three of these results show that muscle car collectors do, in fact, appreciate originality. Perhaps not as much as the rarity of good original muscle cars should support, but the incremental value is reflected in these and other results.
If you find a choice original 4-4-2 convertible or 440 Six Pack Road Runner in a barn, DON’T give it a quick cosmetic redo, please. There are collectors who will appreciate it for what it is, even if it has a high flow Holley quad on an aftermarket high rise intake manifold. There are lots of original intakes hanging up in salvage yards that will bring it back to original configuration.