Mecum Auctions, Kansas City Spring, April 23-25, 2015
Kansas City, whether spring or December, has never been a high-roller sale for Mecum Auctions. It is, however, a steady performer in high seven- or low-eight figures that mines the enthusiasm of a notable car collecting market.
The Spring 2015 Kansas City auction continued that track with a solid $8,955,661 sale and a consistent offering of similarly solid, and sometimes unusual, cars.
The numbers speak for themselves:
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Not surprisingly, one of Mecum’s ever-present Ford GTs was the top seller, albeit at a modest price of $275,400 reflecting its unusually high 8,200 miles. Second top sale, though, was very much out of the ordinary, a beautifully restored 1970 Mustang Twister Special with 428 Cobra Jet power that brought Shelby Mustang money, $243,000.
This auction report – as well as the one from Mecum’s Houston auction two weeks earlier and the Spring Classic in Indianapolis three weeks later – is deluged with pretty ordinary cars described at the auction as ‘believed to be’ some modest mileage on the odometer.
Fifties, Sixties and Seventies cars tended to be used up and unreliable about the time their five figure odometers rolled over. Bought new or used, they were driven ’til reliability became an issue, then passed on to a succession of new owners who drove them, and drove them, and then drove them some more. A hundred thousand mile car was done. These cars didn’t get put away for low mileage.
What’s with this flood of ordinary cars like ’78 Trans Am, ’53 Pontiac Chieftain, ’63 Galaxie convertible claiming ‘believed to be actual miles’? None of their consignors seem to be willing to sign a mileage disclosure statement.
Stating ‘believed to be actual miles’ should be discouraged in the absence of a signed mileage disclosure or a series of old titles with logical mileage progression signed by prior owners. In the absence of documentation and sellers’ certification the ‘believed to be actual miles’ claim becomes another obfuscation designed to mislead buyers. While most are not fooled, it entices the gullible and sets the stage for creating a bad experience which does the collector car hobby no favors.
Let’s make ‘believed to be actual miles’ a thing of the past.
[Andrew C. Newton contributed the on-site observations for this auction; the editor is responsible for the comments.]
Mecum Kansas City Spring 2015 – Auction Report
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Lot # S090.1 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Twister Special Fastback; S/N 0F05R1158862; Grabber Orange, Black stripes/Black vinyl; Recent restoration, 1- condition; Hammered Sold at $225,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $243,000. With Reserve. 428/335hp Cobra Jet, 4-speed, external oil cooler, 3.91 Traction-Lok, power front disc brakes, shaker hood, steel wheels with hub caps and trim rings, Goodyear tires, tinted glass, Hurst shifter, AM radio. – A rotisserie restoration completed last year. Excellent paint and interior. Gorgeous detailed engine bay and undercarriage. One of just 24 Mach 1 Twister Specials equipped with a 428 CJ. Several show wins and Muscle Car Review cover car in November of last year. A shortage of these engines meant that the remainder of the 96 Twister Specials built for sale in the Kansas City region had to make due with 351 Clevelands. – Twister Specials are rare, but 428 CJ Twister Specials a super-rare and that along with the quality of the restoration and the awards it has won explain the Shelby Mustang price.
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