Auction Results: Mecum’s 2013 Chicago sale

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1963 Chevrolet Corvette

Mecum moved its annual Fall Premier auction 20 miles northeast from St. Charles, Ill., to the more convenient Schaumburg Convention Center. The Oct. 10-12, 2013, event showed strong gains, with $17.6M in total sales off of 590 vehicular lots sold. This is up from $11.6M in 2012 and $12.5M in 2011. Largely responsible for the increase was a boost in the sales rate, from 47% two years ago to 62% this year.

Most impressively, Mecum managed to sell a million-dollar Corvette for the second time in two sales. In Dallas it was a $3.424M 1967 L88 convertible, whereas in Chicago it was Harley Earl’s own 1963 convertible that earned $1.605M, including commission. The car carried a number of unique design features — appropriate for America’s preeminent design figurehead — and the amount paid was truly remarkable.

Some of the sale’s other top consignments were not as fortunate, as the four-car Hurst “Hemi Under Glass” collection was bid up to $750,000 but didn’t find a new home; the 1968 “Desert Rat” Yenko Camaro fell short at $440,000; and one of the 1967 Eleanors from the 2000 movie “Gone In 60 Seconds” stalled at $245,000. A 1970 Ford Boss 429 Mustang also missed reserve at $200,000

The Earl Corvette wasn’t the only high-profile car to impress, however, as a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 sold for $535,000 — a price that acts as a counterpoint to those who would point to the previously mentioned no-sales as proof that top-tier American muscle is still lost in the wilderness. Mecum also set a world record of $72,760 for possibly the best 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am in existence. On the lower end of the spectrum, a 1948 Willys Jeepster with an older restoration and the desirable 6-cylinder motor traded for a bargain $11,770.

Top 10

  1. 1963 Chevrolet Corvette 327/300 Convertible sold for $1,605,000
  2. 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 COPO Coupe sold for $535,000
  3. 2005 Ford GT Coupe sold for $256,800
  4. 1965 Shelby Cobra Anniversary Edition CSX 4000 Series Roadster sold for $149,800
  5. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427/435 Convertible sold for $144,450
  6. 1968 Dodge Dart 426/425 Lightweight Coupe sold for $133,750
  7. 1969 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am 400 RA III Coupe sold for $126,260
  8. 1962 Chevrolet Corvette 327/360 Convertible sold for $117,700
  9. 2013 Chevrolet Camaro COPO sold for $112,350
  10. 1951 Willys Overland Pickup sold for $107,000

Mecum’s next car sale is scheduled for Nov. 21-23, 2013, in Anaheim, Calif. This marks the second installment of Mecum’s Los Angeles area presence, with last year’s auction earning $15.0M.

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