Mecum Auctions, Kissimmee, Florida, January 18-27, 2013
Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor
No one ever accused Dana Mecum of lacking audacity.
As the Kissimmee entry list filled up in late November the decision was taken to extend the auction, not like last year when extra hours were added in the morning on several days, but on the calendar.
It would be the biggest single auction event ever, spanning ten days from the Friday of Scottsdale week through the following Sunday. Monday was set aside for “Road Art” to give groggy buyers time to fly in from Phoenix to join the extravaganza. “3,000 Cars Expected” was the buzz.
It didn’t make it, but it was sure big enough.
[You might read a slightly higher lot total elsewhere. These numbers exclude from the car count the second lot in a pair, e.g., a trailer sold with a boat or a scooter sold with a pickup. All the figures are for vehicles only, excluding Road Art.]
Here are the numbers:
Cars Offered / Cars Sold
Chg from prior year
2,592 / 1,797
2,158 / 1,564
1,411 / 1,062
1,071 / 701
In car count Kissimmee is far and away the largest collector car auction ever held. In total dollars it is surpassed only by the five largest Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auctions, 2007, 2013, 2006, 2012 and 2008 in that order.
With a median sale of just $27,560 Mecum Kissimmee is everyman’s auction. Almost 900 lots were sold for that amount or less (sometimes much less) which puts a huge number of possibilities in front of collectors of moderate means. Prospective buyers can ogle the bodywork in any light, get in, fondle the upholstery, open the hoods, crawl under and develop their own personal impressions of build quality and authenticity.
On a more analytical basis, though, the extra days were less than productive, which is why the table above shows the gross sales per auction day. Adding the extra four days (and there were actually five counting Road Art Monday) contributed negatively to the dollars/effort equation, cutting the sales/day by almost $4 million, a third less than 2012’s five-day auction. Overhead/day isn’t directly proportional to the number of days, but the lower sales/day figure probably had a negative effect on Mecum’s daily operating margins.
In other words, don’t expect this experience to be repeated once the bean counters get a hold of the results.
Still, for those who attended it was a wild and wooly marathon. The weather was great (unlike Scottsdale’s frigid opening days), and there’s always Disney World or Universal Studios for diversion if the procession of $27,560 cars wears thin.
And, while it is a marathon, it also is a car circus with something interesting, different, intriguing or valuable at almost every turn. Buyers won’t find historic Ferrari race cars or elegant seven-figure classics here, but there are plenty of very good cars worth serious consideration by any collector in an auction run with style, organization and flair.
Mecum Kissimmee 2013 was a nine-day smorgasbord of Corvettes, Mustangs, Road Runners and more, an audacious concept by any standard.