Mecum’s annual sale in Kissimmee, Fla., is the largest classic car auction, by number of cars offered, in the U.S. Describing its scope is difficult. The venue itself, which Mecum begins setting up weeks before the auction even starts, displays cars literally as far as the eye can see. Consider the following numbers, for instance. There were 2,757 vehicles offered in Kissimmee this year, including cars from 10 different private collections. There were four Mustang Cobra Jet Lightweights, four Boss 429 Mustangs, four Chevrolet Impala Z11 Lightweights, over 60 Porsche 911s, over 30 Ferraris and 10 Mopar wing cars (nine Plymouth Superbirds and one Charger Daytona).
Last year was Mecum’s highest-ever grossing Kissimmee sale by 17 percent at $84.4 million in total sales, so it was a high bar. Despite offering almost 200 more vehicles this year, this sale managed $78.6 million, with 1,839 vehicles sold for a sell-through rate of 68 percent. The difference is largely due to a few no-sales on some of the more expensive cars this year and the lack of seven-figure Hemi muscle cars that elevated last year’s total.
Quite a few of the high-dollar cars in Kissimmee were ones that had previously failed to sell at Mecum events last year. Many fared no better this time around, but one exception was the 1969 Maserati Ghibli Spyder that was the top sale of the entire auction at $1,012,000. Back in November, this car appeared at Mecum Dallas where it was hammered not sold at $860,000.
Other top sales included a gorgeous 1957 Corvette Big Brake Airbox Fuelie at $495,000, a 1980 BMW M1 at a relatively low $440,000, and two of the amazing vintage drag racers that were out in full force in Kissimmee this year. The 1963 Impala Z11 Lightweight racer sold for $577,500, while the 1963 Pontiac Catalina “Swiss Cheese” sold for $473,000. Some surprisingly high results further down the price spectrum included a 1988 Porsche 944 at $20,350, a 1965 Corvair Corsa Convertible at $42,900, a 1992 Porsche 968 Cabriolet at $49,500, a like-new ‘74 E-Type Roadster at $134,750 and a ‘93 GMC Typhoon (the very last one built) at a scarcely believable $68,200.
While many of the drag cars sold quite well, there were also quite a few that failed to meet reserve. A 1965 Plymouth Belvedere Hemi hammered not sold at $410,000, and a 1963 Impala Z11 Lightweight also failed to sell at a high bid of $225,000. Other big no-sales included a rare 2012 McLaren MP4-12C High Sport at a high bid of $825,000, a 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird at a high bid of $490,000, a ‘63 Corvette Z06 at a high bid of $525,000, a 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona at a high bid of $650,000 and a 1977 Porsche 935 race car at a high bid of $600,000.
Bidder presence was as strong as always in Kissimmee this year, but with almost 3,000 cars on offer there were bound to be a few relatively good bargains. A rather nice 1990 Corvette ZR-1 sold for $20,900, as did a 2006 Pontiac GTO for $10,450, a 1985 Toyota Supra for $4,400 and a slightly beat up but solid Suzuka Blue 2003 Honda S2000 for $8,800. A 2000 Ferrari 550 Maranello also sold for $96,800, and while that’s not exactly cheap, the car’s six-speed manual and attractive color combination of yellow over black leather with yellow inserts make it seem like a pretty good deal, especially when you consider the $200,000-plus MSRP the car would have had when it was new.
Overall top 10:
1. 1969 Maserati Ghibli SS 4.9 Spyder sold for $1,012,000
2. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427/435hp L71 Convertible sold for $852,500
3. 2005 Porsche Carrera GT sold for $687,500
4. 1963 Chevrolet Impala Z11 Drag Racer sold for $577,500
5. 1957 Chevrolet Corvette Big Brake Airbox sold for $495,000
6. 1963 Pontiac Catalina Swiss Cheese sold for $473,000
7. 1980 BMW M1 sold for $440,000
8. 1963 Chevrolet Impala Z11 sold for $374,000
9. 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition sold for $360,250
10. 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Resto Mod sold for $330,000.
Mecum’s next collector car auction will be in Los Angeles on Feb. 17-18. Featured lots include several more significant vintage drag racers as well as a 1968 Corvette L88 Convertible.