Top 10 best-selling classics at mammoth Mecum auction

| 28 Jul 2017

Dana Mecum is the king of massive muscle car auctions, and his firm’s latest sale in Denver was no exception with nearly 600 cars crossing the block, more than 400 of which found new homes. 

More than $11,400,000 changed hands during the sale, with the ten top selling lots dominated by Ford, Shelby and Chevrolet – but there were one or two European interlopers that also managed to draw plenty of interest.  


10. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette convertible – $85,000

This 1967 Corvette may have lost its original Ermine White paintwork, but it retained many factory features including its 427/400 Tri-Power engine with triple Holley two-barrel carburettors and its Muncie four-speed transmission. Coupled with that, the car came with a three-ring binder packed full of history and supporting documents. 


9. 1994 Land Rover Defender 90 – $86,000

Not a common sight in the United States, this rare North American specification Defender was recently refurbished by specialist East Coast Defender. It’s gearbox was inspect and resealed, while its matching numbers 3.9-litre Rover V8 was fully rebuilt. It had a number of more modern improvements, too, including Terra Firma suspension offering a two-inch increase in ride height, beefier brakes, re-trimmed leather interior, plus auditioning sound deadening. 


8. 1936 Autocar Car Hauler – $86,000

For those who like to make an impression, vehicles don’t come much more bold than this fully restored and modified 1936 Autocar transporter. The 502cu in V8-powered behemoth was built onto a motorhome chassis, complete with air conditioning, Air Ride suspension and a power winch for loading your chosen cargo. 


7. 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle LS6 – $87,500

One of the more purposeful looking classics in the sale, this 1970 Chevy Chevelle had been fully restored to a high specification. It retained its thumping 7.4-litre V8 and automatic transmission, and benefits from Mark Williams high-torque axles and alloys courtesy of hot rod and wheel designer Chip Foose. 


6. 1962 Chevrolet Corvette convertible – $89,000

Remarkably, this 1960 Corvette had covered just 26,435 miles. It had been painted in the past, but with matching numbers engine and transmission and original glass with the correct date codes, it looked honest. Even the distributor and generator were original. It came complete with its original owner’s protection plan and service manual, plus a raft of maintenance records from new. 


5. 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback – $95,000

Sticklers for originality may have baulked at the sight of this ’68 Fastback, but the more performance-minded enthusiasts saw much to admire. The SVO Ford Racing crate engine puts out a whopping 560bhp, paired with a 100bhp shot of nitrous oxide. Stopping comes via dinner plate sized discs and Wilwood four-pot callipers on each wheel, while the black leather interior is adorned with snake skin and ostrich accents. No half measures here. 


4. 1964 Shelby Cobra CSX7000 Series –$110,000

Shelby’s Cobra enjoys enduring popularity. So much so that the firm hasn’t stopped building them! This Viking Blue CSX4000 series model is fitted with a 289cu in V8 mated to Weber carburettors, and is one of only 50 of its type. 


3. 1965 Shelby Cobra CSX4000 Series – $115,000

Third top price was achieved by this British Racing Green Cobra with Wimbledon White stripes, which was built by Shelby American in June 2007. It’s fitted with a Ford 427 V8 mated to a Tremac five-speed gearbox, and is titled as a ‘Special Construction’. 


2. 1960 Volkswagen Samba Bus – $120,000

Volkswagen busses and campers have been performing well at auction, none more so than the ultra desirable 23-window Samba. This example was certainly a good one, owing to a thorough restoration at the hands of West Coast Restoration’s Lenny Copp. The 1600cc engine and speedometer were rebuilt, while a correct beige interior and new headlining were sourced from Volkswagen. However, it wasn’t enough to claim the top spot at the Denver auction. 


1. 2016 Ferrari California T – $165,000

In a sale that specialised in affordable, blue collar American classics, it was a one-year-old Ferrari California that claimed the top price paid accolade. However, unlike the classic metal on offer, the Italian sports car is not an appreciating asset, selling for nearly $100,000 less than it cost its first owner 6400 miles ago. Though the sharp, one-owner car appeared to be in fine condition, we find ourselves thinking about what we would have spent our $165,000 on...