A strong selection of sports and racing cars are among the headline offerings at the 2014 Mecum Auctions Houston sale, scheduled for April 10-12 at the Reliant Center in Houston, Texas. Mecum’s third annual event will see 1,000 cars cross the auction block, ranging from American and European racer cars, to Pre-War Classics and Corvettes.
A 1964 Ford GT40 Prototype GT/104 (Lot S147.1) will be featured at the 2014 Mecum Houston Auction. As one of the few GT40 prototypes that remain today, GT/104 was the first to receive the lightweight chassis and one of two prepared and raced by Shelby American for the 1965 season. Its development involved such names as Lunn, Wyer and Shelby; it was driven by the top stars of the era at the most famous venues. As the first 1965 Shelby American-specification GT40, Mecum said chassis GT/104 is, “regarded as the most original and correct prototype Shelby American team car.”
A pair of Chevrolet Corvette will also play a big role, including the 1963 Corvette Styling Car known as the Bunkie Knudsen Corvette (Lot S119). One of four Corvettes produced with the factory custom side exhaust, the Bunkie Knudsen Styling Car was born September 1962 at the special request of Chevrolet Division General Manager Semon “Bunkie” Knudsen. Featuring a fuel-injected 327 CI V-8 engine and 4-speed transmission, the car was rediscovered in the early 1980s and subsequently restored by Werner Meier to its unique Crimson Firefrost metallic lacquer finish with full-length White stripe. This factory special has participated in multiple Bloomington Gold Special Collections and was displayed at the Meadowbrook Concours in 1988 and the Amelia Island Concours in 2012.
The headline 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe (Lot S128) was inducted into the Bloomington Gold Great Hall in June of 2012. This Corvette is likely one of the most well-preserved, lowest-mileage and original big block 1967 Corvettes in existence. Accompanied by unspoiled documentation, the odometer shows 2,996 miles and until its discovery in 2012 — hidden away in the garage of Don McNamara for decades — this car had been seen by only 12 people. It had only ever been driven by lifelong-owner McNamara. Only two other people were ever known to have sat in the driver’s seat, and no one ever occupied the passenger seat. It had never seen the rain or been washed with water. Numerous Corvette experts have documented the car with over 4,000 detail photographs, which along with the car itself serve as in-depth educational resources for Corvette restorers.
A 1974 Porsche 911S race car (Lot S100) will stir up interest at the 2014 Mecum Houston sale. This Porsche has a storied racing history, including a drive at the 1977 Sebring 12 Hours at the hands of Paul Newman and Bill Freeman. Accompanied by pictures and documentation of its numerous days on the track, the car has been restored by race-car experts to orange number two livery and is fully prepped to hit the track or the Concours.
The 1963 Shelby Cobra Dragonsnake CSX 2093 (Lot S93.1) was the 93rd Cobra built and is one of only eight cars modified with the Shelby-developed Dragonsnake package designed to maximize drag racing performance. Owned by Jim Costilow and piloted by drag racer Bruce Larson, later of USA-1 Funny Car fame, CSX 2093 dominated the NHRA’s A/SP, AA/SP, B/SP and C/SP classes in 1964. It set all new records in the 1965 season and won the NHRA Springnationals, Winternationals and U.S. Indy Nationals that year. The Costilow/Larson Cobra went on to win the 1966 Springnationals and U.S. Nationals. It also chalked up class wins at the 1967 Springnationals, Winternationals, U.S. Indy Nationals, and finished out the season with the World Points Championship. It continued to set records in 1968. All told, CSX 2093 held national titles in four separate classes. The Costilow/Larson Dragonsnake has been authenticated and certified by the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) as a true and correct original car and has also won that organization’s Senior Award and Race Car Certification badges. It has undergone a restoration by Ziegler Coach of Los Angeles, and is presented as competed. Offered with full documentation of its NHRA national records, this is not only the most famous and successful of the eight Dragonsnake-equipped Shelbys; it is also the winningest competition Cobra in history.
The Mecum auction in Houston also provides a platform for pre-war classics with examples from this category laying claim to top auction results in the last two years. The 1910 Locomobile Model 40 Type I Demi Tonneau (Lot S159.1) is the recipient of several awards, including First in Class at the 2010 Meadow Brook Concours and Second in Class at the 2004 Pebble Beach Concours. Chassis number 2376 features a 40HP 4-cylinder engine. The Model 40 Type I was the biggest and fastest vehicle that Locomobile produced during the early 1900s and was considered to be one of the most elegant automobiles available in the U.S. This four-passenger Demi Tonneau presents with freshly polished brass trim and brightwork.
The 2014 Mecum Houston event will make its way into nearly 80 million homes with portions of all three days of the event broadcast on the NBC Sports Network. Mecum’s website is updated daily with the most recent consignments including photos and descriptions of each vehicle. For more details on the Houston auction, to consign a vehicle or to register as a bidder, visit Mecum.com or call (262) 275-5050.
Mecum will also present the MidAmerica vintage motorcycle auction immediately following the classic and collector car auction on Sunday, April 13, also at the Reliant Center. The motorcycle offering will include more than 200 vintage and collector bikes.
[Source: Mecum Auctions; photos: David Newhardt / Mecum Auctions]