Mecum Auctions, Kansas City, Missouri December 5-7, 2013
Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor
The Mecum Auctions machine rolls through Kansas City twice a year.
They had 695 cars cross the block in April. (See Full Report).
How do they do that and still find 791 collector cars to sell in December?
The answer probably lies somewhere in the fact that they sold 63.6% in April and 62% in December, racking up $9.4 million in April sales and $11.4 million in December. Success breeds success.
This is Middle America car collecting, even on a cold, breezy December weekend. The cars are average, but with exceptions – both good and bad. It is car collecting writ large, affordable cars, many with potential to be better and looking for a caring new home.
A sizable contingent come in to kick tires and remember the cars they, or their dads or grandpas, had or wished they’d owned. From there it’s not hard to reach into low five figures (the median transaction for a sold car in the December sale was only $17,120) and make dreams real.
Mecum has figured out the process, too. It takes minutes to check in a consigned car. Checks are waiting minutes after the sale is concluded – after the fall of the hammer on the block, not after the last hammer falls late on Saturday evening. Want to bid? Fog a mirror, hold a couple thousand dollars on a credit card, and you have a good chance of getting a bidder number.
This is the way auctions should be conducted: inclusive and welcoming.
Mecum Auctions is far and away the fastest growing organization of its type in America. They’re a steamroller, inevitable and inexorable. It’s only six weeks until Mecum reprises its system in Kissimmee, Florida with another 2,000 cars.
And now, having made its reputation on Discovery HD and fostering Discovery HD’s metamorphosis into Velocity TV, Mecum Auctions takes its show to NBC for 2014. The schedule starts off with Kissimmee in January (due to prior time commitments) with days on The Esquire Channel (remember the magazine ‘Esquire’?), some coverage on NBC Sports Network and a tape-delayed segment on Big NBC, the network of ‘The Today Show’, ‘Nightly News’. Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ and the Winter Olympics.
It’s the latest evolution of a Mecum juggernaut.
I don’t know how Mecum Auctions’ staff does it. It’s hard enough for me to cover a few of Mecum’s auctions. Putting them on week after week is a no-letup marathon.