Report and photos by Rick Carey, Auction Editor
Mecum Auctions “Spring Classic” migrated from the fields of Belvidere, Illinois to the vast complex at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis three years ago and has built upon Mecum’s reputation and financial strength to become one of the calendar’s great events. The Spring Classic (or Rockford or whatever it has been called over the years) is one of the auction calendar’s longest-running events and is the cornerstone of Mecum Auctions’ rapidly expanding schedule.
By my count 1,598 cars crossed the block, more than Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale and more even than the now sadly defunct Kruse Auburn Fall sale. That brings up an important distinction. The success of this sale in particular and Mecum Auctions in general is less due to the decline of Kruse than it is to the focus, efforts, astute management and sound business practices of Dana Mecum and his team. While some of Mecum’s recent growth benefits from collectors’ seeking a reliable alternative to Kruse sales, that is largely peripheral to this organization’s success.
There were no pre-WWII cars in Indy other than Fords (56), a few Chevys, some street rods, an Oldsmobile, a Buick and several farm tractors. The consignment list was packed with Chevys (648 of them, 40% of the run list), Fords (256), Pontiacs (161) and Mopars (89 Dodges, 84 Plymouths), mostly with healthy engines. Foreign makes could be counted on the fingers and toes of two couples; there were nearly as many farm tractors.
It is a celebration of the postwar American automobile, particularly the Muscle Car era. The auction pace moves as fast as most of the lots crossing the block do on the street and there are a few wonderful finds to be discovered among the acres of covered display space.
The following is a selection of some of the more notable – and occasionally intriguing – lots that crossed the block. The first letter of the lot number indicates the run day with “U” for Sunday.
[Source: Rick Carey]