Saturday, December 3, 2011

2011 Mecum Muscle Cars and More Grand Finale. Part 1: Muscle Cars

For old car fans, December can be a bleak time in Kansas City. The car shows are over. The race tracks are silent. The weather is starting to become cruising-prohibitive. The party, as they say, is over.

But then, Mecum Auctions brings in their annual Grand Finale event, and suddenly things aren't that bad after all.

Mecum uses the term "Muscle Cars and More" in their logo, so we'll split the coverage of this event up into muscle cars and everything else. In case you haven't noticed, you are in the muscle car episode.

Kansas City may not be what some would consider a major car market, but if you judge it by the prices some of the muscle cars were bringing in Bartle Hall, you may change your mind. Recession? What recession?

The top seller of all cars during the three-day event was a '69 Shelby GT500 convertible. Someone really wanted that big ol' 428 with a four-speed, because when the smoke cleared and the hammer dropped, the winning bid was a whopping $165,000. Gulfstream Aqua was a pretty color and all, but $165,000--holy moley!

BHo, my dad, and I were standing at the roll-out area for the number-two seller of the entire weekend, which was a 1970 Superbird with a 440 six-pack. Superbirds are always good for some spirited bidding, and this one went to a new home for $122,500. It was quite exciting. Plus, we went back home and watched the replay on TV and saw ourselves standing there. We were not, however, involved with the bidding.

Last year when we went to this event, there were, oh, about a million late-'70s Trans Ams on the floor. This year, there were fewer mythical flaming birds in attendance, and the muscle car de-jour seemed to be Chevelles. You almost couldn't turn around without hitting one of Chevy's popular intermediates. Many of them were very nice, some of them were mediocre, but they were all pretty interesting to check out in their own way.

Firebirds were not completely shut-out, though. One particularly notable example was a 1969 Trans Am. Now, just the fact that it is only one of 689 '69 T.A. coupes makes it an exceedingly rare and valuable car. But while every one of those cars was finished in white with bright blue stripes, this was the only one that left the factory with a red interior. OK, the red guts were a bit at odds with that blue stripes, but still, we're talking one-of-one. It was bid up to well over $100K, but ultimately didn't bring enough for the seller to let it go.

The slideshow below contains 200 pictures of many of the muscle cars that were in Bartle Hall for December's 2011 Mecum Muscle Cars and More Grand Finale event. If you like big engines in midsized or pony cars, this is for you. If you're looking for hot rods, '50s cars, classics, or Corvettes, don't worry.  They were covered in a second story, which you can see by clicking this link.


  1. Love your articles and your picture galleries. Wish i could get around to all the events you manage to do. Continue to do such awesome coverage as i always look forward to them.
    On a personal note I've been looking at all your pic galleries for a couple of yrs. and i've only recall seeing one other vehicle similiar to mine.
    I am the original owner of a 1970 Ply Duster 340 with all the options. It has 63,000 miles and is only changes are radial tires, electronic ignition conversion and a Pioneer am/fm cassette player. You have pictured it in our local Basehor car show before.

  2. Basically, I hyperventilated after about the 6th or 7th photo ; will try again later... :)

  3. Anon - I doubt you would see too many cars like yours! Pretty cool that you've been able to hang on to it this long--that's some great history. Thanks for visiting!

    john - Breathe slowly into a paper sack?

  4. OK, like I can breathe slowly after seeing that Marina Blue Nova, that Chevelle and then that RO23 Dodge? It's all a blur after that... ;)

  5. Those classic cars look awesome, I'm sure that people also loved driving them back in the day.

  6. Yes, they look awesome and seems like it's very comfortable driving them. I do wonder if there is also a car show for classic cars in new york chevrolet dealers .

  7. The Mecum muscle cars are becoming grander and you have shared excellent information about it

  8. Amazing post and picture gallery, This is really nice. thanks for sharing.