Auction Preview: Mecum’s 2014 Houston sale

Now in its third year, Mecum’s spring Houston auction acts as an official start to the season for those in the Lone Star State. The sale is slated for April 10-12, 2014, at The Reliant Center, and is advertised as featuring 1,000 vehicles, making it one of the single biggest venues in the country. Here are five cars that we will be paying particularly close attention to this year:

1966 Chevrolet Corvette 427/425 Coupe
Lot S124
Hagerty Price Guide: $41,200-$124,600
The 1966 Corvette is a landmark among Chevy enthusiasts, as it marked the introduction of Chevy’s 427-cid big block V-8. This example ticks all the right boxes with a 425-hp tune of the legendary engine, side exhaust, 36-gallon fuel tank, heavy-duty brakes, and knock-off wheels. It is also well restored, fully documented and a Triple Crown winner. Mecum has earned a reputation during the past two years as the place to sell Corvettes, and we expect this car to attract a lot of interest.

1965 Ford Mustang GT 289/271 Fastback Coupe
Lot F124
Hagerty Price Guide: $28,800-$61,500
Few cars have gained the instant level of popularity as the Mustang — it only took two years for Ford to sell 1 million — and that popularity remains strong today. With the 50th anniversary of the Mustang in full swing, this well-equipped fastback should be in the spotlight for many buyers. No better time than this year to fully enjoy one of America’s most important cars.

1970 Plymouth Superbird 440/375 Hardtop Coupe
Lot F274
Hagerty Price Guide: $84,400-$178-000
The Superbird is famously a product of Plymouth’s NASCAR homologation efforts, and the car was so successful in competition that it prompted NASCAR to heavily regulate aerodynamic designs. In the market, the Superbird has been remarkably successful, too, with the 440 ’Bird rebounding fully from 2009’s recession to hit a highwater mark in 2012. Prices have since relaxed a bit, but many pundits feel there is still a lot of upside on these cars. This example is equipped with an auto trans and dressed in white rather than a more popular “High Impact” color, which means its sale price is likely to remain within reach of more enthusiasts.

1960 Porsche 356B S90 Cabriolet
Lot S107
Hagerty Price Guide: $81,300-$237,000
After spending a good portion of its life in the 911’s shadow, the Porsche 356 has become one of the hottest cars on the market. The 1960 S90 Cabriolet, for example, has appreciated by 56 percent over the past five years. Such a quick ascension has plenty of hobbyists wringing their hands, but at the moment there appears to be no shortage of buyers at current prices. Still, we are watching this sale for signs of weakness.

1974 DeTomaso Pantera L GTS Coupe
Lot S130.1
Hagerty Price Guide: $50,000-$82,000
The DeTomaso Pantera was one of the most popular of a long line of Italian-American cars, entirely due to its wicked performance. It was so popular, in fact, that most were driven into the ground, heavily modified to wring even more horsepower out of their exotic package, and then driven into the ground again. Not so with this example, as it reportedly has only traveled a scant 763 miles from new. Low-mile examples are always appealing to collectors, but are doubly so on cars that have reputations like the Pantera.

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