2011 Mecum Kissimmee Auction - Auspicious Beginnings
More than 100 Vettes change hands at Mecum’s season-opener in Kissimmee
From the July, 2011 issue of Vette
By Walt Thurn
Photography by Walt Thurn
This numbers-matching Nassau...
This numbers-matching Nassau Blue '66 convertible featured a 427/425 (L72) and had undergone a complete frame-off restoration. Only 5,258 Corvettes were equipped with the L72 engine. This car sold for $83,000.
Buying or selling that special Corvette can be a daunting task. Multimillion-dollar cars like the original Grand Sport are rarely sold publicly. Instead, top collectors usually negotiate the buying and selling of these cars privately. While only a small percentage of Corvettes are worth millions, even the most common models consistently bring good money in the market. The challenge is selecting the correct place for these transactions.
You have many options to choose from, including the Internet, private owners, car dealers, and auto auctions. In the past, auctions were only available to authorized dealers, but this has changed thanks to organizations such as Mecum Auctions. Public auctions allow you to buy or sell a Corvette in person or over the Web. These events provide sellers with an opportunity to showcase their cars to potential buyers in a professional and largely worry-free environment.
Mecum accepts reserve pricing from sellers—critically important if you have a minimum selling price in mind. Many other auctions have a no-reserve policy, so no matter how high (or low) the maximum bid is, the car is sold.
Lot S149 was an NCRS Top Flight...
Lot S149 was an NCRS Top Flight '67 Sunfire Yellow convertible. It featured a 427/400 (L68), rare C60 factory air conditioning (3,788 total units), side exhausts, power steering, power brakes, a four-speed, bolt-on aluminum wheels, and headrests. It sold for $145,000.
On the other side of the sale, prospective buyers are given a chance to inspect all of the cars up close before submitting a bid. Each one has a sticker affixed to it showing its lot number, specifications, and the day and time it will be auctioned.
All participants must register and be pre-qualified prior to the event. This process confirms each car's ownership as well as every potential buyer's ability to pay for a winning bid. The auction company makes its money on registration fees and from commissions charged to the buyers and/or sellers.
Mecum is holding 10 events in 2011, six of which will be broadcast live on Discovery HD. We attended the first one of the year, held at the Osceola Heritage Park complex in Kissimmee, Florida. It ran for five consecutive days, and gross sales (excluding buyers' premiums) totaled $39.9 million. Mecum's unique "The Bid Goes On" feature allows buyers and sellers to continue negotiating prices of cars that didn't sell initially. Many additional sales result from this unique method, which will undoubtedly push revenue well past the $40 million mark once all is said and done.
Of the nearly 1,500 cars auctioned, 229 were Corvettes, representing approximately 15 percent of the Kissimmee inventory. An '89 convertible received the lowest Corvette selling price at $6,000, while the priciest sale was for a '55 V-8 car from the Bob McDorman collection, at $170,000.
Every seller dreams of seeing...
Every seller dreams of seeing this sign light up when the reserve price is met. Bidding on this '67 jumped another $10,000 before it closed. Notice the Euro, Pound, and Australian prices displayed on the video monitor for Internet buyers.
Five large tents covered all the cars, which were arranged according to the day they were to be auctioned. This made it easy for bidders to locate and inspect any cars on which they might have been interested in bidding. Third-generation ('68-'82) Corvettes were most numerous, with 85 cars for sale. The sixth generation ('05-'11) had the smallest number, at 10.
As for sale prices, a total of 21 first-generation Corvettes ('53-'62) sold for sums ranging from $52,000 to $170,000. Thirty-five second-generation Corvettes ('63-'67) sold, at prices from $30,500 to $145,000. Fifty third-generation Corvettes sold, at prices from $7,000 to $165,000. Twenty-seven fourth-generation Corvettes ('84-'96) sold, at prices from $6,500 to $35,000. Eleven fifth-generation Corvettes ('97-'04) sold, at prices from $14,750 to $80,000. (The $80,000 bid was for a '99 Fixed Roof Coupe converted by Classic Reflections to resemble a '62 model.) Of the 10 sixth-generation Vettes offered, nine sold. The lowest price was $28,000 for an '07 coupe, while the highest—$86,000—resulted from the court-ordered sale of a Cyber Gray '10 ZR1. A '63 Shelby Cobra Dragon Snake racer was the event's top-selling car, at $875,000.
As for which Corvettes brought the best money in Kissimmee, numbers-matching, highly optioned first- and second-generation editions were the winners. Unique restomod Vettes also brought good prices. Third- and fourth-generation daily drivers attracted the least money, while sixth-gen Z06s seemed to be holding their value.
Throughout the weekend, the Mecum crew was friendly and professional. The cars rolled through the block on time, and buyers were able to get a good view of all the proceedings. If you have a special Corvette to sell, or just want to see some spectacular examples of America's Sports Car, check out one of the upcoming Mecum Auctions events.
This Ermine White (with Rally...
This Ermine White (with Rally Red stinger) convertible (Lot S156) crossed the block for $60,000. The car was equipped with A/C, power steering, power brakes, and an LT1/automatic drivetrain. This older restomod was well bought.
This beautiful Cascade Green...
This beautiful Cascade Green '57 (Lot F215) with Beige coves came with a 283/250 fuel-injected engine (579A). Only 182 Corvettes were built with this option. In addition, this car has a two-speed Powerglide automatic. It sold for $71,000.
This '55 (Lot S198) carries...
This '55 (Lot S198) carries VIN 002, is equipped with a 265ci V-8, and shows 54 miles on its clock. It didn't sell on Saturday after a high bid of $150,000 failed to meet its reserve. It returned Sunday and sold for $170,000—the highest price for a Corvette at Kissimmee.
MY '82 Corvettes are not highly...
MY '82 Corvettes are not highly sought after, but Code 56 Gold paint was only applied to 648 cars that year. Lot W257 was fully loaded and had the same owner for 25 years. It sold for $16,500. That's a lot of money for an '82, but this is a very nice car and should bring its new owner plenty of joy.
Lot S109 was a '61 283/315...
Lot S109 was a '61 283/315 car that had been raced all its life. It's one of only 233 Vettes built with the RPO 687 Heavy Duty Brakes and Special Steering. Very well presented, it sold for $55,000. This car was well bought and ready to take to the track.
Lot S211 was a '59 restomod...
Lot S211 was a '59 restomod riding on a Street Shop Chassis and powered by an LS3/five-speed manual. Equipped with A/C, four-wheel disc brakes, and Forgeline wheels, it sold for $117, 500. A real work of art, it should appreciate in value if maintained properly.
Much like the '67 that crossed...
Much like the '67 that crossed the block at $145,000, this '66 convertible (Lot F230) was equipped with factory A/C, power steering, power brakes, a four-speed trans, knock-off wheels, and a 427/390 (L36) engine. Fresh from a frame-off restoration, the Laguna Blue C2 sold for $92,000.
This Monza Red/Saddle '69...
This Monza Red/Saddle '69 (Lot S121) had just undergone a complete restoration. It came with a 427/390 (L36), a four-speed, A/C, a tilt wheel, headrests, and power steering, brakes, and windows. Fit and finish were excellent, and the car was well bought for $52,000. This author paid $5,800 for a similar car in 1969.
This '91 Callaway Twin Turbo...
This '91 Callaway Twin Turbo Roadster (RPO 82K) sold for $33,000. The Turquoise Metallic Vette was one of 62 units produced and had only been driven 3,000 miles since undergoing a $25,000 restoration and upgrade at Callaway Cars. Powered by a 475hp/634 lb-ft engine, Lot W262 was extremely well bought.
This fully equipped, low-mileage...
This fully equipped, low-mileage '10 Grand Sport convertible (Lot W285) was clean and showed no visible road damage. This car carried a sticker of more than $80,000 when new, so it was well bought for $51,000.
Lot F115 was a low-mileage...
Lot F115 was a low-mileage '04 Z06 with a Group 5 Specter Werkes body package. The package includes special exhaust, C5-R headlights, a lower front valance, rocker panels, a rear fascia and flares, and Michelin PS2 tires mounted on Forgeline wheels. This car was well bought for $30,000.
This Greenwood-equipped '92...
This Greenwood-equipped '92 six-speed coupe was among the nicest standard C4s we inspected. Lot U56 sold for $13,750, meaning someone got a very nice car for the money.
This 50th Anniversary '03...
This 50th Anniversary '03 convertible features the model-specific Red Xirallic Crystal paint and Shale interior, along with a six-speed manual. The exterior and cabin were like new, and the car appeared to be very well taken care of. Lot F9 was well bought at $23,500.
A good example of Mecum's...
A good example of Mecum's “The Bid Goes On” process could be witnessed in the case of this '02 C5 convertible, Lot T67. This low-mileage, fully loaded car brought a high bid of $18,250, which didn't meet the owner's reserve price. However, the door was still open for a sale when the event ended on Sunday.