Story and photos by Jeffrey Ross
KISSIMMEE, Fla. – This year’s 2017 Mecum Kissimmee auction was a grueling 10-day event, so it’s OK if you missed some of the hundreds of exotic, classic and collectible vehicles that crossed the auction block.
The world’s largest collector-car auction, held Jan. 6-15, at Osceola Heritage Park, achieved more than $86 million in total sales. Of the nearly 2,700 vehicles to cross the auction block throughout the 10 days, a total of 1,981 vehicles were sold, accounting for a 75-percent sell-through rate. The Road Art side of Mecum Kissimmee 2017 saw similar success with a 93-percent sell-through rate, a 5-percent increase over last year’s Kissimmee auction. A total of 1,260 pieces of Road Art and rare parts were sold during the auction for a total of $2.5 million.
There were plenty of high-dollar cars such as the 1969 Maserati Ghibli 4.9 Spyder that had the highest selling price of the auction at $920,000. But there were plenty other interesting sales and deals to be had. Here are 25 cars from the final weekend that stood out either due to price, condition or rarity:
1958 Dodge Power Wagon
With 10 days worth of cars, it was practically impossible to not find a vehicle that fits your taste in Kissimmee, and this gorgeous 1958 Dodge Power Wagon W100 was my personal favorite. Making this Power Wagon special is the fact that it is one of only 290 produced in 1958, and it underwent a ground-up restoration to put it in its excellent No. 1 condition. Its condition and rarity are backed up by its $62,000 sale price.
1963 Chevrolet Corvette ‘split window’ coupe
The 1963 Chevrolet Corvette “split window”commands top dollar regardless of condition. This numbers-matching 340-hp, 327-cid ’63 ’Vette almost seemed like a bargain with a $95,000 sale price considering it is a No. 1 car after a body-off restoration.
The Sebring Silver paint job looked spectacular under the bright lights, and the four-speed, Posi car is sure to win its new owner many awards down the road.
1987 Pontiac Trans Am GTA
Cars and trucks from the ’80s and ’90s are accounting for a growing number of sales at Mecum and other major auctions, and this 1987 Pontiac Trans Am GTA is proof that there are still good deals to be found. The Trans Am has the sportier GTA package and the iconic honeycomb wheels, and its overall condition and quality make it a solid No. 3 car. With less than 44,000 actual miles and including an original window sticker, this 1987 GTA is sure to go up in value in the future, making this $9,000 hammer price seem like a great deal.
1965 Ford F-100 shortboxTrucks are another area where buyers can drive away from Mecum with a great deal, and this 1965 Ford F100 restomod is proof. The frame-off restoration alone is probably worth the $25,000, but this truck adds to its very good No. 3 quality with a 4.6-liter V-8 out of a Crown Victoria Police Interceptor and a custom paint job with a custom matching interior. The body style isn’t the most desirable, but with earlier F100s still commanding top dollar, expect to see more of these ’60s and ’70s Fords become more popular.
1952 Chevrolet 3100 shortboxAnother great example of a high-caliber resto-mod. Unlike the F100 above, this Chevy body style is extremely desirable, and the $45,000 price tag still seemed like a good deal for the truck.
This truck combines the classic look with a modern powertrain that includes a fuel-injected 5.3-liter V-8, four-wheel disc brakes, air conditioning and power steering. The interior has been fully customized, too.
Realistically, this is a No. 3 vehicle, but it’s still going to be a head-turner wherever it goes.
1978 International Scout
This big, blue 1978 Scout International showed that you definitely don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a customized truck. With a sale price of just $11,500, it could either be a daily driver or an off-road beast with a 350-cid V-8 and a 6-inch lift. It was a solid No. 4 condition truck that the buyer is going to a get a lot of attention in.
1932 Chevrolet ConfederateSome observers think prewar cars are dropping in popularity, but there were still plenty of cool examples at Mecum. This 1932 Chevrolet Confederate sedan seemed to be a survivor or an older restoration, but its sale price of just $9,000 meant that there is still plenty of life left in this car.
1934 Ford dragsterThere are almost as many mind-blowing custom cars at Mecum as there are all-original cars, but this 1934 Ford three-window dragster might have been the craziest thing on the menu. As one of the many racecars sold off from the Jackie and Gary Runyon collection, this ’34 Ford was a monster with a 354-cid Hemi V-8 producing around 650 hp. This is definitely a high-quality No. 2 car, and its sale price of $59,000 seemed like a good buy, as tamer Ford hot rods are still commanding similar prices.
2007 Chevrolet Impala race car
Speaking of race cars, this 2007 Chevrolet Impala stock car was easily one of the loudest cars to cross the block. Sure, this NASCAR racer isn’t very old, but boy does it have a story to tell as it was raced by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Set up as a road course car, this Impala stock car is in great shape and sold for just $32,000.
1973 DeTomaso PanteraWith the new Ford GT putting Ford’s supercar program in the spotlight again, it’s easy to forget about another beautiful supercar once sold by Ford Motor Co.: the DeTomaso Pantera. This Italian beauty with American muscle was a remarkable car in its day, and this particular car is about as showroom fresh as you will find with just 10,450 original miles. Its overall quality is easily No. 1 after being stored properly for the last 28 years, and its sale price of $60,000 shows that these cars are obtainable classics.
1968 VW Beetle convertiblePeppered among the muscle cars and rare sports cars were everyday classics such as this 1968 Volkswagen Beetle convertible. Making this car stand out is its Gene Berg-built 2006cc engine with a list of engine upgrades. A show winner at the Florida Bug Jam in 2014, the VW underwent a body-off restoration in 2002, putting it in solid No. 1 condition. It was a steal on the auction block with a sale price of $14,000.
1968 Ford Mustang coupeLike the Volkswagen Beetle, the Ford Mustang was built in such large numbers that you can still find them in great shape for a great price, such as this 1968 Ford Mustang coupe. While the V-8 Mustangs are the most desirable, cars like this 200-cid six model show that you can get a beautiful first-gen Mustang without spending a lot of money. It took just $11,500 for this ’68 coupe to find a new home, and while it won’t win any drag races with its six-cylinder engine, it will still look just as good parked at a car show with its strong No. 3 condition.
1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351 Small-body Mustangs are generally more sought after than the bigger ’Stangs, but this beautiful 1971 Boss 351 fastback shows that there is still plenty to love with this body style. Of course, it does help that this two-owner Boss 351 has just 19,721 original miles and was fully restored to No. 1, so it isn’t really a big surprise that this car sold for an even $100,000.
1972 Ford Mustang Mach 1On the opposite end of the spectrum, Mecum also featured a 1972 Ford Mustang Mach 1 fastback “barn find.” This car might be rough, but it has quite a story to tell as it is just one of 366 H.O. “R Code” fastbacks built in 1972 as documented by the Marti Report. It still has the original paint and interior, which definitely shows. This Mach 1 ended up selling for $17,500 with all proceeds donated to Curing Kids Cancer.
1968 Olds Cutlass S convertibleThis 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S convertible is another example of how affordable some great cars can be. With a sale price of just $16,000, this Olds was in excellent No. 2 condition, and it combines features that many people desire among vintage cars: a V-8, drop top, power steering and power brakes.
1971 Dodge Charger R/T HemiIt is common to see a ’60s Dodge Charger command a six-figure price tag, but this 1971 Dodge Charger R/T Hemi shows that the later cars are also worthy of such price tags when equipped with a hot powerplant. This 1-of-63 1971 Hemi Charger R/T sold for $220,000 at Mecum Kissimmee. It has just 9,800 original miles and it’s a numbers-matching car. Even though the car had been babied its whole life, it was given a professional repaint in the original B5 Blue in 2016 to make it a No. 1 condition car and a stunner in every sense of the word.
1969 Plymouth SatelliteThis Satellite is another example of how a high-quality tribute car can give buyers a lot of bang for the buck. Built as a replica to the rare Hemi Road Runner, which can command huge money, this 1969 Plymouth Satellite looks the part and sold for just $50,000. A project Hemi Road Runner would probably cost the same amount of money, but this fully restored, No. 2 Satellite should whet the appetite of most MoPar enthusiasts.
1966 Plymouth Belvedere IIMecum showcased and sold plenty of awesome cars and parts from the lifelong collection of Don Fezell, but this 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II Hemi may have been one of the most understated. This car was fully restored and still has the original 426 Hemi under the hood, but even with its No. 2 condition and well-documented history, this car still sold for a reasonable price of $72,000.
1967 Chrysler 300Showing that not all ’60s MoPars are budget-busters, this 1967 Chrysler 300 sold for just $9,000! The No. 3 condition surely played into that price, but it’s hard to find too many faults with this big coupe. Under the hood is the 440-cid V-8, and this ’67 300 comes with air conditioning, bucket seats and, yes, an 8-track player.
1956 Olds Starfire convertibleThis Ninety-Eight convertible sold for $42,000. The classic ’50s lines of the exterior and interior make this Olds a beautiful car, and its two-tone paint job, white wall tires and continental tire kit are icing on the cake. Making this Starfire even better is its drivable No. 3 condition.
1958 Pontiac Chieftain convertibleAnother shining example of GM’s design capabilities from the ’50s. Hammering “sold” at $50,000, this Pontiac was a looker with its white and blue exterior paint, the big whitewall tires and the continental tire kit, and it was in excellent No. 2 condition. Under the hood is the 370-cid V-8 with Tri-Power, making this 1958 Pontiac Chieftain a perfect cruiser and show car.
1956 Chevrolet Bel AirAmong the Tri-Five Chevys, the ’56 is usually the least popular, but this 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air is an amazing example of how affordable these cars can be. In No. 3 condition, this ’56 Bel Air would be a great driver or weekend show car with its two-tone paint job, white wall tires and fender skirts. It changed hands for $30,500.
1940 Ford street rodThere were plenty of restomods for sale at Mecum this year, and this 1940 Ford coupe was probably one of the most unique. Hidden beneath its curvaceous body, this Ford is powered by a late-model 5.0-liter Mustang Cobra engine and has a modern interior with power seats and air conditioning. Overall quality is a No. 2, which makes the selling price of $63,000 seem very reasonable.
1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe station wagonThis woodie wagon underwent an extensive three-year restoration to make this No. 1 car worth every penny of its $72,045 sale price. This car has been well documented in its lifetime, and perhaps the only thing better than its wood exterior panels is the abundance of wood (including mahogany) on the inside.