Mecum has done an impressive job of establish a successful mid-market auction in Monterey over the past five years. Other companies have tried to capitalize on the sheer number of enthusiasts that descend upon the Monterey area in August — most of whom cannot afford the average price paid at the high-line auctions or to place a competitive car on the lawn at Pebble Beach — but none has grown their operations to the scale that Mecum has.
This past Aug. 15-17, 2013, the company slipped a bit in overall sales but capitalized on a wave of post-block activity to end up selling slightly fewer than half of their 726 automotive lots for a total of $30.6M. This was $1.7M less than 2012 despite consigning nearly 200 more lots to sell. Debate about the results basically divided into two camps, with one speculating that Auctions America’s Burbank sale and Barrett-Jackson’s Reno event (both held a few weeks earlier) had poached some local in-market buyers, while the other simply noted that one or two more bids on two or three of the marquee cars would have overcome the deficit entirely. Few observers felt the lower numbers suggested weakness in the middle of the market.
Billing itself as the “Daytime Auction,” part of Mecum’s success is bringing some heavyweight cars into the mix, while parading accessible cars across the block for 10 hours a day outside of the primetime slots. The top seller was a terrific 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder that sold for $4.0125M. A zero-mile Ferrari F40 scored a record-setting price at just under $1.42M, and an all-original 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 also set a world record for the model at $588,500. A 2006 Ford GT with Heritage Edition paint sold for a notable $403,925, continuing to illustrate that these are not following the typical trend of “yesterday’s supercar.”
On the more affordable side, a rare and unusual Crosley Super Sport convertible bucked the recent microcar craze and sold for an attractive $8,293. A fun-looking 1973 Plymouth Scamp with auto sold for $6,955, and a 1962 Chevrolet Corvair Greenbrier camper van with a correct but not original engine block seemed like a bargain at $9,630.
Overall Top 10 Sales:
- 1955 Porsche 550 1500 RS Spyder sold for $4,012,500
- 1961 Chevrolet Corvette Gulf Race Car sold for $1,498,000
- 1990 Ferrari F40 Coupe sold for $1,417,750
- 1930 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton sold for $1,016,500
- 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 Independent Competition Roadster sold for $989,750
- 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible sold for $856,000
- 1913 Packard Model 1-38 Runabout sold for $668,750
- 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Sportsroof sold for $588,500
- 1963 Porsche 356B Carrera Coupe sold for $411,950
- 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition Coupe sold for $403,925
Next up for Mecum is its Dallas, Tex., auction, scheduled for Sept. 4-7, 2013. This sale usually packs a punch, with upwards of 1,000 vehicles scheduled to go under the hammer.