7 sweet surprises from the Mecum Eddie Vannoy auction
Online auctions are the new normal in the collector car world, but this week Mecum successfully pulled off something of a hybrid—limited number of bidders and guests at a live venue combined with an online platform that opened for bidding four days earlier. Held in North Carolina, the auction featured 83 vehicles (mostly muscle cars and trucks) from construction CEO Eddie Vannoy, along with hundreds of pieces of automobilia and a few motorcycles.
Total sales amounted to $7.15M, and there were absolutely no bargains to be found. Of the vehicles with a presale estimate, over 60 percent sold above their high estimate, and Mecum wasn’t exactly stingy with its predictions. While not a huge group of cars, this sale was packed with strong sales and surprises. Here are the ones that surprised us the most.
2007 Dodge Magnum SRT-8
Sold for $40,700
Presale estimate: $25,000–$35,000
HPG #1-condition value: $33,200
Despite the 32,210 miles and significant performance mods, this Magnum SRT-8 looks like a surprisingly clean car that has led an easy life; at the end of the day, however, it’s still a modified Dodge Magnum. That’s why this price, which could buy you a brand-spanking-new 485-hp 2020 Charger Scat Pack, still has us scratching our heads. The even stranger thing is that this sale was no fluke. This example was part of a trio of modified Magnums out of the Eddie Vannoy collection. Two sold for $40,700, and the other brought $36,300.
1988 Chevrolet K5 Blazer Silverado
Sold for $82,500
Presale estimate: $25,000–$40,000
HPG #1-condition value: $43,400
The second-generation Blazer was so successful that GM built it all the way from 1973 to 1991, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a better one than this well-optioned, unrestored, 2900-mile 1988 Blazer Silverado. That only goes most of the way in explaining this crazy price, though. The final number is nearly twice our current #1-condition (Concours) value and over twice Mecum’s high estimate.
That being said, don’t start thinking your 30-year-old SUV in the driveway is about to make you rich. Both this Blazer and the Bronco below are exceptional vehicles bought for even more exceptional prices.
1995 Ford Bronco XLT
Sold for $79,200
Presale estimate: $25,000–$40,000
HPG #1-condition value: $33,000
This ’95 Bronco is a desirable XLT model with the larger available 351-cubic-inch V-8, but what really sets it apart are the 457 miles on the odometer. Mecum didn’t say whether the truck ran or whether it had been started regularly over the past quarter-century, but we doubt anyone bidding would actually plan on driving this thing anyway. It sold at a GAA auction three years ago for $37,450, which was itself huge money for any fifth-gen Bronco. This result, well over twice our #1-condition (Concours) value, is even crazier.
2013 Chevrolet Corvette 427 Collector Edition 60th Anniversary
Sold for $110,000
Presale estimate: $50,000–$70,000
HPG #1-condition value: $70,200
For the first part of its existence, the Corvette Z06 was a coupe only. Technically, there wasn’t a droptop Z until the C7 generation Z06 added one to the lineup in 2015. For 2013, however, Corvette celebrated its 60th birthday with a car called the 427 Convertible, which was essentially a C6 Z06 with the hydrofrmed steel frame from the base Corvette (instead of the aluminum structure from the Z06) and without the roof.
The 427 Convertible carried a base price of less than 80 grand when new and Chevrolet sold about 2500 of them. They’ll likely be quite collectible in the future and this one has the added bonus of the optional 60th Anniversary design package, but today this price is expensive. Both Mecum and the Hagerty Price Guide put the high end of these cars’ price ranges around 70 grand.
1996 Chevrolet Corvette GS Coupe
Sold for $74,250
Presale estimate: $50,000–$74,250
HPG #1-condition value: $66,000
Chevrolet only built 1000 Grand Sports (810 coupes, 190 convertibles) in 1996, the final year of the C4 generation. Given their unique color scheme, limited production, and combination of a 330-hp LT4 V-8 with a six-speed, Grand Sports had the ingredients for future collector status right out of the box. As a result, many have led easy, low-mile lives. Even among Grand Sports, this car’s 177 miles make it a standout, but this price seems way ahead of the curve. The previous lot in the auction, a rarer Grand Sport Convertible with an even lower odometer of 162 miles, brought $68,750 although, in theory, it should have outstripped the coupe.
1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 Sport Coupe
Sold for $99,000
Presale estimate: $60,000–$70,000
HPG #1-condition value: $77,700
In the hierarchy of first-gen Chevelles, the 396-cubic-inch, 350-hp L34-powered cars are near the very top and right below the 375-horse L78. But even giving this seemingly very good ’67 car the usual 15 percent premium for its factory four-speed, this is a massive result. This kind of money could typically buy a more valuable convertible in the same condition and with the same equipment.
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Coupe
Sold for $187,000
Presale estimate: $125,000–$150,000
Hagerty Price Guide #1 condition (Concours) value: N/A
We’ve gotten used to certain high-performance Porsches defying the laws of depreciation and getting pricier as soon as they hit the second-hand market, but a Corvette? Live bidding for this ZR1 opened at 110 grand, then quickly soared past its original $125,000 sticker price and even its $150,000 high estimate. A white 2019 ZR1 (Lot V85) with a whopping 3389 miles sold later in the day for a much more sensible $129,250.
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