Saturday, December 3, 2011

2011 Mecum Muscle Cars and More Grand Finale. Part 2: and More

Last month, I went to the SEMA show. Now as you probably know, that is one of the biggest gear head gatherings in the world, as nearly 2,000 wild automotive creations converge on Sin City.

That being said, car-for-car, I actually enjoyed looking at the selection in Bartle Hall over the weekend better than the cars at SEMA. The annual Mecum Muscle Cars and More Grand Finale took place in Kansas City this weekend, and some 750 vehicles packed into the big climate-controlled convention center downtown.

No, this wasn't a huge collection of the most radical (sometimes to the point of being ridiculous) cars ever conceived like I saw in Vegas. There were lots of normal, stock cars being sold to the highest bidder. But don't be deceived. Some of these cars were exceptional; a few were extraordinary.

Much of the Mecum Grand Finale auction was televised live on the Velocity channel. And the glitz and glamour of a national spotlight brought out some of the best cars from Kansas City and throughout the United States.

If you're a regular auction-attendee, some of these cars should be pretty familiar. We've seen several of them throughout the summer at places like the Adesa Classic Car Auction and other events. I think Wagner's Classic Car showroom in Bonner Springs had to be empty during this sale, and several of the Corvettes and others were straight out of the Vintage Vettes, LLC inventory in North Kansas City.

There were quite a few notable 1950s Chrysler products worth talking about at this sale. I was really taken aback by a '55 Imperial Newport. The black beauty with its fancy gold interior was a very impressive piece of machinery.  I mean, the thing had like a tractor beam that pulled your eyes in whenever you got close to it.

Virgil Exner's late '50s "Forward Look" was well-represented, with a great '59 DeSoto Firesweep rag top, a lavish '59 Imperial Crown Convertible, and my favorite, a '60 Chrysler 300 coupe. All three of these were white. You don't see all that many of these cars at the local cruise night, so it was fun to see them all on the same day. The Imperial (which I would have expected to have a leather interior, but seemed to be upholstered in red vinyl) sold for $75,000, which made it the number-nine top money earner of the entire weekend.

Corvettes; they had a few. It really didn't matter what year or style of Vette you liked best, because they were all there. The Midyears seem to bring the most interest (and why shouldn't they--they're just so damn cool), with the biggest money going to a blue '65 roadster with the rare 425-hp 396-c.i. big block. At $78,000, it was the seventh-highest selling vehicle of the entire sale.

The list of notable cars could go on forever. There was a stunning, supercharged 1937 Cord 812, an unusual (and also supercharged) '57 Studebaker Golden Hawk, a wild '49 Cadillac Sedanette custom, several really nice Thunderbirds (one '56 brought a cool $90,000), and a luscious black '58 Impala convertible. They even had an '81 Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer--when was the last time you saw one of those?

But the car I was most excited about seeing was a minty green '53 Buick Skylark. It's no secret that the special-edition 1953 Motorama dream cars are popular around here, and this was definitely a pretty one. I wasn't the only one who thought so, either. The guy who bought it must have liked it pretty well, too, because he was willing to pay $120,000 for it, making it the fourth highest selling vehicle of the entire sale.

There are more than 400 pictures from the December Mecum sale in Kansas City below. You'll see everything from Corvettes to classics. What you won't see is muscle cars. I split those out, and you can read all about them and see the pictures by clicking this link.


  1. Craig:
    It's ALWAYS refreshing to see such beautiful automobiles kept in such pristine condition over the decades.
    Auctions are the stuff of DREAMS for me...

    But I still have to admit there is plenty of motorhead-related EYE-CANDY there for the purists in us all.

    Nicely presented.

    Happy Motoring.

  2. Those look absolutely great, I really have a thing for old muscle cars. Thanks.