Report and photos (unless noted) by Rick Carey, Auction Editor
Mecum Auctions put on its Kissimmee Auction on January 26-30, 2011 at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida. If there was any concern that Scottsdale might have been a momentary phenomenon Mecum Kissimmee definitively confirms that it was not.
This was a massive sale, with three out of four cars selling and a startling total of just over $41 million changing hands, up 57% from last year’s Kissimmee auction. There were ninety 6-figure transactions, with this top five:
— Riva Aquarama motorboat s/n 774 for $1,033,500;
— Shelby Cobra Dragon Snake s/n CSX 2093 for $927,500;
— Shelby Cobra 427 s/n CSX 3301 for $583,000;
— Another Riva Aquarama for $344,500; and
— Ford Thunderbird “DF” prototype s/n D7FH202138 for $265,000.
Even with those pricey transactions, however, the average sale was just $38,686 and the median $28,090, a consistent consignment of affordable, accessible collector cars running the gamut from classics to street rods.
This year’s Mecum Kissimmee auction moved to a new location at the shiny new Osceola Heritage Park just off Florida’s Turnpike only a half hour drive from the Orlando airport. The spacious facility had stadium seating for spectators and abundant room on the floor in comfortable seats for bidders and guests. Mecum’s lineup crew had the cars spotted and lined up expeditiously and the block crew moved quickly through the docket, generally keeping close to Mecum’s pre-determined block times.
The weather was Chamber of Commerce. The bathrooms were permanent, frequently cleaned and restocked and plentiful. If you’ve attended many auctions you know how important bathrooms are.
116 cars sold for less than $10,000, including the buyer’s commission, highlighting the consignment’s affordability. Despite that indication of affordability, however, prices were generally full retail. Bargains were thin on the ground, a further indication of strong demand and buyers’ liquidity.
Lot # S238 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala Convertible; S/N F58S113068; Black/Black vinyl; Black vinyl top; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $137,500 plus commission of 6.00%; Final Price $145,750 — 348/280hp, three two-barrels, automatic, P/S, P/B, pushbutton radio, dual rear antennas, continental kit, spinner wheel covers, whitewalls. Freshly restored in factory finishes but excellent paint, brilliant chrome and attractive interior. Highly impressive. This freshly restored Impala convertible is impossible to fault and the Kissimmee bidders accorded it a deserved premium price. Expensive by $20,000 or so, the new owner can be confident it won’t meet its counterpart soon, a confidence that induced equally confident bidding. (picture unavailable).
Lot # S258 1959 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible; S/N J59S101243; Red, White coves; Red hardtop/Red; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $47,500 — Two tops, Edelbrock 4-barrel, Powerglide, SW gauges, chromed 5-spoke 17’ wheels. Good paint, chrome and interior. Old engine compartment and chassis. An unattractive and neglected driver. Sold here last year for $58,300, the consignor has little hope of getting out from under this negligently prepared and presented Corvette whole. Now it will sit in the garage until the next auction, silently mocking the owner’s bad judgment. (picture unavailable).
Lot # S248 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible; S/N 194679S729269; Engine # ????LQ 19729269; LeMans Blue/Black leather; Black vinyl top; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $57,500 plus commission of 6.00%; Final Price $60,950 — 427/400hp, 4-speed, P/S, P/B, Rally wheels, trim rings, side exhausts, F70-15 Goodyear Wide Tread tires, AM-FM. Represented as matching numbers, documented with tank sticker. Restored to nearly like new appearance. Well restored and amply powerful, the buyer got full value for the money in this Corvette. This is a good time to buy ’68 and later Stingrays. (picture unavailable).
Lot # F320 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR Race Car; S/N None; Green ‘Interstate Batteries’/Dark Grey cloth; Competition car, original as-raced, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $22,500 plus commission of 6.00%; Final Price $23,850 — Joe Gibbs Racing, ex-Bobby Labonte. As raced, complete (less items like radios) and could be race ready after being thoroughly checked out. No racing history. Appropriate money for a used NASCAR Sprint Cup car from a major team without racing history or setup information. (picture unavailable).
Lot # S191 1957 Oldsmobile 98 Convertible; S/N 579M31379; Black/Black, White; Black cloth top; Older restoration, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $75,000 plus commission of 6.00%; Final Price $79,500 — 371 J-2 three two barrels, automatic, P/S, P/B, P/W, continental kit, Autronic Eye, skirts, spinner wheel covers, whitewalls, WonderBar radio. An attractive but well used older restoration, particularly the badly scuffed and scratched stainless door caps. Dusty chassis and underbody. Delaminating wind wing glass. Pitted speedometer bezel chrome. Good steering wheel. Good paint. Viewed under this number but reported sold Sunday as U138 for the same hammer bid. Previously run at Worldwide Hilton Head where it was bid to $55,000. An attractive car, it really needs (and deserves) attention to its details. This price fully values the car and overlooks its many shortcomings. In other words, it is no bargain. (picture unavailable).
Lot # S234 1966 Pontiac GTO Royal Replica 2-Dr. Hardtop; S/N 242176Z127695; Gold/Black vinyl; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $55,000 plus commission of 6.00%; Final Price $58,300 — 389/360hp, Tri-Power, 4-speed, Hurst shifter and line lock, Ram air hood and cold air pan, P/B, no P/S, Hurst wheels with trim rings, blackwall rear slicks, red line front tires, Sun gauges. Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Restored like new, but not real. An exercise in re-creating what has been lost, bought for a fraction of the value of the time and parts lavished on its creation and a good value at the price. (picture unavailable).