Mecum Auctions, Austin, Texas December 12-13, 2014
Mecum Auctions’ approach is unusual, even unique.
They troll around the country, trying locations, developing them – and along the way the collector car market in places where it’s been overlooked – bringing their high-energy Velocity TV production. Mecum has produced blockbuster results in unexpected places.
Kissimmee is front and center. Overlapping the headline sales in Arizona in January, among them Barrett-Jackson’s two decades of leadership and competing sales from Silver, Russo and Steele, RM Auctions, Gooding and Bonhams, Mecum went head-to-head with Scottsdale in 2010, roughly 1840 miles away as an high endurance crow flies.
There were plenty of winter collector car auctions in Florida and challenging Scottsdale was … ambitious. But today Kissimmee is nine days long and last year presented 2,743 cars, selling 1,754 and bringing in a total of $62,868,670.
The Mecum camel poked its nose under the Texas tent only three years ago, opening in Houston in 2012. A seemingly well-served market, Texas had two Leake auctions, Worldwide, Vicari and the occasional Dan Kruse sales. Now there are three Mecum auctions: in Houston in April, Dallas in September and Austin in December. Among them they offered almost 1900 cars and totaled $79.5 million in transactions in 2014.
More importantly, Mecum’s visibility has brought the whole collector car market to a higher plane in the Lone Star State. Everyone does better because of the heightened profile that Mecum brings to the marketplace.
Nowhere was that more clear than in Austin when Mecum arrived in early December 2014 [on the auspicious date of 12/13/14 – not gonna see a similar sequence for a little over 88 years, 32,161 days, until 1/2/2103.]
Mecum filled the Austin Convention Center with 654 cars and a steady stream of spectators to be part of the show. The location was filled to capacity for the inaugural event, centrally-located just two blocks from Austin’s 6th Street entertainment district and convenient to restaurants, bars and an adjacent Hilton that graciously and efficiently accommodated both the Mecum auction crowd and an IEEE convention at the same time.
My advice? Take a shuttle the six miles from the airport to downtown Austin. Stay at the Hilton for secure quality, convenience and good service or the Driskill on 6th for period ambience and elegance at more money. Use a taxi to get out to Driftwood for the barbecue at The Salt Lick.
The Mecum auction was solid, the barbecue was epic.
Mecum Austin 2014 – Auction Report