Mecum Houston 2014 – Auction Report

Mecum Houston 2014 – Auction Report Page Six

1957 Ford Thunderbird Convertible

Lot # S122 1957 Ford Thunderbird Convertible; S/N E7FH395459; White/Red leather; Recent restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $75,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $81,000. 312/270hp, dual quads, automatic, factory hardtop, whitewalls, push button radio. – Strong paint and chrome. Tidy engine bay. Small stains on passenger’s seat, but otherwise excellent interior. Properly restored E-code car that was among the very best Thunderbirds at the sale. – Supercharged F-birds can be cranky but dual quad E-birds sing when all 8 venturis are open. This is a representative result for a quality if aged example.

1969 Shelby Mustang GT500 Fastback

Lot # S125.1 1969 Shelby Mustang GT500 Fastback; S/N 9F02R481028; Acapulco Blue, , White stripes/Black vinyl; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $82,500 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $89,100. 428/335hp, automatic, BG Goodrich Radial T/A tires, P/S, P/B, wood shift knob, dash clock, push button radio. – Strong paint and chrome. Very good interior. R-code car. One of 210 examples finished in this color in 1969. Older restoration that still presents very well. – Bought right on the money, a perfectly ordinary ’69 Shelby GT500 SportsRoof automatic that would be better with air.

1967 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

Lot # S128 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe; S/N 194377S118237; White, , Red stinger/Red; Unrestored original, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $725,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $783,000. 427/390hp, 4-speed, side exhaust, Daytona Thorobred thin whitewalls, wood-rimmed steering wheel, dash clock, push button radio. – Excellent original paint and phenomenal original interior. One small bit of touch up paint on the rear. Original owner’s belongings still in the glove box. Put away by its eccentric original owner just a few months after buying it. He claimed to have sold it, and it was not until after he died in 2011 that the car was discovered in his garage with under 3,000 miles on it. Looks and smells like new. The very cautious consignor wore gloves even just standing near the thing. A perfect car for the current preservation and originality craze. Exhaustively documented. – This is an amazing, eye-watering, premium for originality and low miles, a staggering result for an otherwise ordinary Corvette, about 6x comparable Corvette values. Even originality and diminutitve miles can’t make up for the half million dollars paid in excess of similar cars’ values.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette FI Coupe Race Car

Lot # S129.1 1963 Chevrolet Corvette FI Coupe Race Car; S/N 30837S102899; Red/Black vinyl; Competition restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $275,000. 327/375hp, fuel injection, 4-speed, competition drum brakes, side pipes, Dunlop Racing tires, Plexiglas rear window, dash clock. – Very good paint and exquisite interior. Built as a sort of mock-Z06 and campaigned by Harry Mann Chevrolet. Used in the Elvis film Viva Las Vegas and restored to as-raced condition just last year. – Offered by RM at Monterey last August with a reported high bid of $325,000, the result here is homing in on the real value of this highly modified Corvette.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette FI Coupe

Lot # S133.1 1963 Chevrolet Corvette FI Coupe; S/N 30837S114530; Engine # 3114530 F0419RF; Daytona Blue/Red vinyl; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $150,000. 327/360hp, fuel injection, 4-speed, knock off wheels, Firestone bias ply tires, P/B, push button radio, dash clock. – Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Some light scratches on the rear glass. There were five Split Window Coupes at this sale, but this freshly restored example was the most desirable of them, other than the 7 11 race car. Engine number doesn’t match the VIN. – A highly satisfying Corvette, but devoid of any independent evaluation of its quality and correctness. The seller should have recognized its shortcomings and taken the money.

1967 Shelby Mustang GT350 Fastback

Lot # S136.1 1967 Shelby Mustang GT350 Fastback; S/N 67210F3A00117; Black/Black vinyl; Unrestored original, 3- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $150,000. 289/306hp, automatic, competition handling package, Magstar wheels, Goodyear Speedway tires, red marker light in each upper scoop, roll bar, wood-rimmed steering wheel, push button radio. – Found in a shipping container, where it had been for 20 years. Really rough paint with chips, scratches and cracks everywhere. Surprisingly clean interior, engine bay and frame. With a repaint could still be a remarkable preserved car, but the paint is too far gone and miles too high to be exceptional. – Offered by Mecum at Kissimmee in January with a reported high bid of $140,000, a ratty GT350 of no particular distinction except its rattiness. Think of driving this peeling, scabrous GT350 and trying to explain it as exceptionally preserved? It doesn’t compute.

1964 Ford GT40 Coupe

Lot # S147.1 1964 Ford GT40 Coupe; S/N GT/104; Blue, , White Le Mans stripes/Black; Competition restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $7,000,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $7,560,000. RHD. No speedometer. Halibrand centerlock alloy wheels, Goodyear Blue Streak tires. Lightweight tub from new, 289, Weber 48IDA carbs, Colotti 4-speed, Halibrand knock off wheels, Dunlop Racing tires with Goodyear script. – DNF at LeMans (Schlesser/Attwood) in 1964, same result at Nassau. Raced by Shelby in 1965, 3rd at Daytona (Bondurant/Ginther), dnf at Sebring. Later restored by Ford with some different body details and used as a show car. Later restored by Paul Lanzante with a correct Colotti gearbox and Le Mans spec 289 with the correct Colotti gearbox belhousing pattern and liveried as at Daytona in 1965. Restored better than new with excellent cosmetics and no evidence of use. – Sold at Gooding’s Pebble Beach auction in 2012 for $4,500,000. Why, two and a half years later, it should be worth 50% more is hard to fathom. Other than Sebring 1965 it has no significant results, but it will get its new owner into any number of prestigious events. An expensive ticket.

1934 Cadillac 370-D V-12 All-Weather Phaeton

Lot # S153 1934 Cadillac 370-D V-12 All-Weather Phaeton, Body by Fleetwood; S/N 570370; Engine # 410303; Grey, , Black fenders/Red leather; Black cloth top; Older restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $165,000 plus commission of 8.00%; Final Price $178,200. 368, 3-speed, chrome hubcaps, wide whitewalls, dual enclosed sidemounts, front suicide doors, matching luggage trunk, Goddess radiator mascot, roll-up rear glass division, white Jaeger gauges, wood window trim. – Beautiful paint, chrome and interior.The second of three V-12 All-Weather Phaetons. Former AACA winner. A magnificent automobile that was restored 20 years ago and has been carefully used since and is still in nearly like new condition. – The quality of this restoration shows in its exceptional longevity, quality deserved by its chassis and engine. Full Classic ™ in CCCA terms, this is the essence of the era and affordably priced, a good value by any standards.

1954 Buick Roadmaster Convertible

Lot # S154 1954 Buick Roadmaster Convertible; S/N A1031821; Titan Red/Burgundy leather; Older restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $90,000. 322/200hp, automatic, chrome wire wheels, Coker Classic whitewalls, P/S, P/W, power top, antenna and seats, dash clock, push button radio. – Very good paint, chrome and interior. Lightly used, very clean engine bay. Tidy frame. A very good but not exceptional example. – Good, but not as good as the reported bid it brought. This Roadmaster should have been loose and selling several thousand dollars before the reported bid.

1910 Locomobile Model 40 Type I Demi Tonneau

Lot # S159.1 1910 Locomobile Model 40 Type I Demi Tonneau; S/N 2376; Engine # 2376; Blue, , Black and Red/Black leather; Black cloth top; Older restoration, 2+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $450,000. T-head four cylinder, artillery wheels, brass hubcaps, BF Goodrich Silvertown tires, dual sidemount spare tires on driver’s side, brass Rushmore acetylene headlamps, kerosene sidelights, brass Gray & Davis tail lamp, brass controls, instruments and steering column, wood dash, door trim and seat trim, Locomobile gauges. – Winner at Meadowbrook Concours. Shown at Pebble Beach. Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Still a beautiful example of one of America’s finest early motorcars. – The Locomobile Type 40 was lost on the Mecum Houston bidders, a relic of another age among Corvettes and Shelbys. It was reported bid to $400,000 at Mecum’s Monterey auction last August. If, however, the consignor is insistent and the car could be bought for anything close to the reported bid here or in Monterey it would be a great value. Keep hoping.

Comments

  1. David a. Warr says

    I wish I could go to some of these auctions. Almost all of the cars look great in the pictures. I do know that cars generally look better in pictures than when you see them up close and personal, however, the reviewer seems to be overly critical. Often he claims a car is a scruffy driver but the car looks like a show winner around here. What is a show car anyhow. I see lots of scruffy barn finds at shows and some of these are bringing big money and in many cases bigger money than the same car that has had a restoration. A car is worth what some one is willing to pay for it. As for myself there are some cars in this group that sold for 100,000 that I wouldn’t want to have for 10,000 except for the opportunity of making a dollar. So, is it about the enjoyment of the car or just the speculation? For me it is the enjoyment of the car.

    • Rick Carey says

      David,
      I appreciate the observation, and the difference you note — between a shiny showpiece in pictures and a car that’s had, as my mother would have said, ‘A lick and a promise’ — is exactly what these reports are for.
      How many times do I see a shiny car, walk up to it, look at the trim, the gauges, open the hood and shine my flashlight down into the recesses of the chassis, and say to myself, ‘What were these guys thinking?”
      It happens more times than is good for the hobby. Look for what I sometimes call an ‘auction car.’
      I’ve made the observation before, attributed to my friend John Apen, that what we do is a ‘game of attributions.’
      We see what we can, and then attribute the care and attention observed superficially to the things we can’t see.
      There is, as you’ve noted, a huge difference between restored cars and the real unrestored barn finds, but that doesn’t extend to cars that have been superficially treated to some paint and upholstery, or left to moulder in some dank storage facility until their threads are rotted and their engines’ are gripped with grime.
      Is it about enjoyment or speculation? At this point in the collector car market the answer to both is ‘yes’.
      I’m always trying to figure out the difference, with the emphasis on enjoyment.
      Rick

      • David a. Warr says

        Thanks for the reply Rick. I understand your view of the hobby. I’d hate for you to judge my cars for they have many flaws. I don’t have much money for top quality cosmetics but I can drive my cars anywhere and not worry too much about them. I bought an E-Type for $3000 in 1985 and have put about $10,000 in it since. It was all I could afford at the time and it will never be a top quality car. I am sure the people that sell at RM, Mecum, Barrett-Jackson and all the great international auctions are millionaires.
        Your comments on tv coverage of the auctions and of racing is spot on. We lost Speed on May 1 here in Canada with nothing to replace it. There is no more Moto GP or Tudor Sportscar Series anywhere that I can find. The other series are all over the place. The Monaco GP was televised by NBC with the crew from Speed. TSN covered the race as well with the BBC crew. The NBC coverage was excellent in my opinion. Indy was covered by ABC and was also excellent.
        I have asked Bell Satellite to carry Velocity and/or Fox’s replacement for Speed. Change isn’t always good.
        David

  2. Jim Mick says

    One minor quibble, on page 3 Lot F225 is described as a 1956 Chevy convertible but the photo is of a 1958 Ford Fairlane convertible. And actually I’d like to read about the Ford if possible, it’s a more unique car.

    • Rick Carey says

      Did we do that?
      At least we were close in year, and they’re both convertibles.
      I apologize, and will see if I can find the right picture.

      • Jim Mick says

        Thank you, Rick. No worries, mistakes happen. The ’58 Fords are the redheaded-stepchildren of that era. Ford put all their marketing energy into Edsel, there was a recession that year, and the the GMs – Chevys & Pontiacs – and Chryslers – Plymouth/Dodge/DeSoto – were strong & attractive in the 58 model year. Cars like this Ford convertible were & are an afterthought to most. That’s why I’m curious as to what it went for, and what you saw as its strengths or weaknesses. Plus, I think it’s gorgeous. – Jim

  3. Matt says

    I realize that you’re at these auctions not watching on TV but the switch from Velocity to NBCSN has been a disaster for fans. There were only two hours of live coverage on Saturday, usually the biggest day of the auction and other coverage was aired in the wee hours of the morning. Last year Velocity offered eight hours of coverage every day at Indy. I’ll be curious to see how the reduced coverage affects Mecum auctions and maybe even the hobby.

    • Rick Carey says

      Matt,
      The emphasis is all on the number of homes reached. NBC/SN has immense market power, far more than Velocity, which is why Mecum and Auctions America both tout the ’80 million homes’ reach.
      If you think you’re disappointed by the NBC/SN auction coverage, and the flipping and flopping from NBC/SN to more obscure related cable channels when NBC/SN wants to show some stick-and-ball sport, you have nothing on Formula One fans when NBC/SN deep-sixed SPEED’s F1 coverage. The first few races were disasters, but they’ve recovered and are spending the bucks to bring it up to a level of quality, and extended coverage, that SPEED could never manage.
      This weekend’s Monaco coverage, with the comment team on-scene, has been excellent. The supporting feature on the Ferrari factory was good, if a bit contrived.
      One observation, though, for NBC/SN — no disrespect to the comment team — but having two Brits and an Aussie on US tv is too much accent. Bring Varsha back.
      The ‘Drive’ program that followed qualifying this morning on going to Monaco in a Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and McLaren was the best of its kind I’ve ever watched, so much superior to ‘Top Gear’ stunts contrived to show how clever Jeremy Clarkson thinks he is.
      [An aside: I hope the video we'll be capturing next week of my trip to the Pur Sang factory in Argentina will be half as good as 'Drive's Monaco feature. And 'Drive' captured it and put the show together in a week after the last scenes were shot! Amazing.]
      Mecum and Auctions America are not limited to NBC/SN but also continue on related, if obscure, outlets that NBC muscles onto your cable carrier’s offering. Look further, and keep watching to build up the numbers so when conflicting long term commitments come up for renewal NBC/SN knows they have eyeballs on their auction coverage and can give it priority.
      Rick

  4. Jim says

    Rick,
    Thank you for an excellent view of the auction, I applaud your honest description of the featured lots. I have attended a few auctions and for the most point been disappointed in he quality ( or lack of) in the vehicles offered. It does not seem to matter which house is holding the sale, the descriptions and the vehicles for the most part are sub par. I am not saying all the vehicles are marginal but I can assure you that it would be unlikely that you would see me waving a bidders paddle any time soon.
    Please keep your reports and honest descriptions coming.

  5. Anonymous says

    I have always wondered: What about the critical “test drive”?? Just can’t see spending the money without one.

  6. Rick Carey says

    Anonymous,
    Yes, the lack of a drive in a car at auction is the format’s most egregious shortcoming.
    In some cases it’s possible to arrange a test-drive during the preview. It happens frequently at the catalog sales of Bonhams, RM, Worldwide and Gooding.
    The consignment sales of Mecum, Auctions America and others, however, do not lend themselves to that degree of individual attention.
    In many cases the cars arrive only hours before the auction begins and are barely slotted into their preview positions before they’re picked up and brought to the lineup and the block. Prospective bidders can, if they time their attendance carefully, observe this process, but a slow speed rumble across the grass in the hands of a super-cautious auction driver isn’t much of a real world experience.
    It’s cold comfort, but that’s about all there is.

    Rick

  7. John Kaye says

    I think that these beautiful cars would look much better if they were photographed with their hood and trunk closed completely. Many of these cars had slightly or completely open hoods detracting from their beauty.

  8. Rick Carey says

    John Kaye,
    I picture the cars as I find them, hoods open, closed or ajar. Personally I prefer them open so I don’t have to mess with them and risk the wrath of the owners.
    Consider it this way: if the owner is proud enough and confident of the underhood presentation to display the car hood up it is a good sign.
    These aren’t ‘beauty shots’, but documentary evidence of how the car is presented at the auction in support of the narrative comments. If the tire is flat, I’ll picture it that way.
    Rick

    • John Kaye says

      Thanks for your response. I understand what you are staying but feel that for me, the viewer, I would much prefer seeing the car as it looks and as it was intended to look. They weren’t built to have the hood slightly raised, not fully closed or wide open. The design depends on having the hood and trunk completely closed. When I watch The Mecum auctions on TV and notice that half the time the hood it not completely closed. If a car going for $50,000 or $100,000 has problems with lifting or closing the hood, it must be a very rare case. When I see the hoods and trunks left open on TV, I want to yell, “close the hood!!!”

      I’m asking “Rick, please close the hood completely before shooting. Let the car shine, PLEASE. (And please ask Dana Mecum to do the same.)

      Thank you

      John Kaye

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