19 June 2014

Auction Recap: Mecum Seattle 2014

Mecum’s first-ever auction in the Pacific Northwest, June 13-14 in Seattle, was one of the most highly anticipated new sales of recent memory, if for no other reason than it featured a car that last made news nearly 15 years ago.

In all, only 305 of 606 vehicles sold (50 percent), but the sales total of $14.8 million, including buyer’s premium, can be considered a success.

Mecum engineered the Seattle auction in attempt to make lightning strike twice, and to great effect. In December 1999, in nearby Kenmore, Wash., the James G. Murphy auction company sold the only numbers-matching 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda convertible with 4-speed – and one of only 11 Hemi Cuda convertibles built that year – for a then-record $410,000. The colorful Cuda was restored and sold since its last auction appearance, and bidders embraced this rare opportunity to acquire one of only a handful in existence. The car not only topped the previous high-water mark for a Cuda at public auction, but it set a new record for any Mopar with a sale price of $3.78 million, including buyer’s premium, with at least five parties pursuing the car. As impressive as the Hemi Cuda was, a 1967 L88 Corvette would have been even bigger news, but it ran out of steam at a high bid of $3.7 million.

Muscle performed fairly well over the two-day sale, with a 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 selling for a strong $367,200 (the third sale above $350,000 in the past 18 months), a restored 1969 Boss 302 trading for a top-of-the-market $124,000, and a strong $124,200 being exchanged for a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T 440 Six Pack hardtop.

Affordable cars were abundant as well. A mildly modified 1992 Acura NSX was an interesting buy at $36,720 considering these cars have been trending upwards; a 30th Anniversary 1997 Camaro Z/28 coupe was shrewdly picked up for $8,100; and a rarely seen 1960 Studebaker Lark convertible sold for $17,820. All proved to be perfect examples of cheap and cheerful wheels that can still be found for less than $20,000.

Top 10:

  1. 1971 Plymouth Cuda 426/425 Convertible sold for $3,780,000
  2. 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback Coupe sold for $367,200
  3. 1968 Shelby GT500 KR Fastback Coupe sold for $172,800
  4. 1958 Buick Limited Convertible sold for $162,000
    1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454/450 Hardtop Coupe sold for $162,000
  5. 1937 Packard Twelve Victoria Convertible sold for $160,000
  6. 1958 Chevrolet Corvette LS3 Convertible sold for $143,640
  7. 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible sold for $140,400
  8. 1967 Shelby GT500 Fastback Coupe sold for $135,000
  9. 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T 440/390 Hardtop Coupe sold for $124,200

With the annual Bloomington Gold auction removed from the calendar, Mecum’s next scheduled event is July 24-26 in Harrisburg, Penn. The event is Mecum’s first sale in Pennsylvania and continues the company’s expansion.

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