Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's fun to look around the Mecum Spring Collector Car Auction, even if you can't afford anything

An event like the Mecum Spring Auction inside Kansas City's Bartle Hall attracts people for a couple of different reasons.

First and foremost, it is a sale. The goal is to sell vintage cars and trucks. And they were doing a pretty good job of that. Two cars sold for well over $150,000, including a fantastic, original '65 Corvette Roadster with a rare 396-c.i. big block that fetched a healthy final price of $188,000. 

In fact, six of the top ten sellers were Midyear Corvettes. So if you love those cars, and honestly, who doesn't, Downtown Kansas City was the place to be.  And it all took place on live, national television on the Discovery Channel's HD Theatre.
But some people don't have thousands and thousands of dollars to purchase their dream car. I walk among them. And for us, the reason to attend this event is that it is one strong car show.

What I really like about it is the diversity. There are some great entry-level type rides, and there are cars like that '65 Vette that break the bank. But they're all interesting to look at in their own ways.

There were several cars that I would have loved to take home with me. One of them was a 1975 Ventura Sprint Hatchback Coupe, with no air conditioning no less. It doesn't seem like something to get too excited about, but you kind of had to see the blue and white Pontiac to understand. It sold for $11,000.

Another one that I absolutely fell in love with was a 1963 GMC Suburban. Good luck finding another one like this. All three seats were original, and the Custom fabric was nearly pristine. It had at big old 305-c.i. GMC V6 with the correct plaid valve covers. All the Custom trim was in great shape around the windows. That thing would have been great to haul the crew through the Kansas Speedway infield during the Goodguys show this fall. It sold for $16,250, and I think it was probably worth it.

There was also a very cool '52 Dodge Coronet two-door. I really never was all that into those tall, narrow-looking early MOPARs, but this one could change a guy's mind. Finished in light yellow with a metallic red roof, this car was dazzling with it's period-correct Chrysler real wire wheels, and the addition of two carburetors, and a Vintage Air system didn't hurt either. It didn't sell with a high bid of $27,000.

Another interesting car was a 1960 Thunderbird convertible with a plaque riveted on the driver's door jamb stating it was a "1960 Pilot" and "Show Car." The baby blue Squarebird was in pretty rough shape, and no effort was made to clean it up (I guess they were going for the "barn find" look), but the history was neat. It was a no sale with a high bid of $24,000.

Those cars just scratch the surface, though. The place was loaded with Corvettes, Camaros, Mustangs, Thunderbirds, race cars, hot rods, pickups, and everything else you could imagine. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon, that's for sure.

But alas, the show is over. And if you weren't one of the thousands of people that braved the basketball crowds to hit this busy downtown event, it is an opportunity you will never get back. Or is it? In fact, I have the next best thing! The slideshow below has more than 300 pictures from the day's festivities, so you don't have to completely miss out on all the fun.

Of course, as nice as the pictures are, it wouldn't hurt if you actually attended the next one. Stay tuned to for all the latest information on the next Kansas City Mecum event, and auctions all over the country.

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