Mecum concluded its fifth annual sale in Houston on April 16 with $17.7 million in total sales. 500 lots of the 865 offered sold for a sell-through rate of 58 percent and an average price of $35,329. These numbers are well down from last year, when the Houston sale brought $24 million in total sales. This is largely thanks to 40 fewer cars on offer, a 10 percent lower sell-through rate and slightly fewer high-dollar cars. 2014 was Mecum’s most successful year in Houston, when they achieved $33 million in total sales, $7 million of which from a Ford GT40 prototype.
As for 2016, the top sale showed that Mecum continues to do well with Ford GTs. A 2006 Heritage Edition with 1,265 miles on it was by far the most expensive car of the auction at $425,000. Other big cars included a 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 at $270,000, an immaculately restored 1970 LS6 Chevelle with special order paint at $170,000 and a 1967 Shelby GT500 for $155,000.
One of the top 10 sales was also seemingly one of the biggest bargains of the auction. Lot F141.1 was a 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda coupe that sold for $120,000. The car was totally unrestored and a bit rough around the edges, but everything was there and remarkably well preserved. The Houston bidders did not give it the premium for originality that so many collectors are willing to pay these days, and it went to a new home at a project car price.
Another bargain of an entirely different variety was a 1975 Fiat El Sabry 850 that sold for $15,000. Like a Fiat Jolly, VW dune buggy and Mini Moke all rolled into one, it’s basically a fiberglass beach car body on top of Fiat 850 mechanicals, and only 80 of them were built. It’s not exactly a lot of car for the money, but it’s a lot of exclusivity and certainly a lot of fun per dollar.
Some of the bigger cars at the sale, including the most valuable one, did not meet reserve and failed to sell. The star car in Houston, a 1963 Corvette Z06 tanker, hammered not sold at a high bid of $490,000, while a 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster was bid to $325,000 and a 2003 BMW Z8 Alpina Roadster to $225,000.
Overall top 10:
1. 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition sold for $425,00
2.1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 sold for $270,000
3. 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren sold for $205,000
4. 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS6 Sport Coupe sold for $170,000
5. 1997 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster sold for $162,500
6. 1967 Shelby GT500 sold for $155,000
7. 1958 Chevrolet Corvette 283/290hp sold for $138,000
8. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427/435hp Convertible sold for $125,000
9. 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Coupe sold for $120,000
10. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427/390hp Convertible sold for $117,500
Mecum’s next collector car auction will be the Spring Classic in Indianapolis on May 17-21. The docket includes two real Shelby Cobras, a 1969 Yenko Camaro and several historic drag racing cars.