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Multi-Record-Smashing Mecum Auction in Kissimmee

10-Day Auction Approaching $70 Million in Sales

WALWORTH, Wis. – At the epicenter of central Florida in the land where dreams come true and lifelong memories are made, Mecum Auctions made history with its first collector car auction of 2015. Total sales for the 10-day event approach the $70-million mark, currently standing at $68,801,987. Of the 2,404 vehicles that crossed the auction block, 1,772 hammered sold for a commanding sell-through rate of 74 percent.

One of the most memorable moments not only in Kissimmee history, but in Mecum’s 28 years of auctioneering, came late Saturday afternoon when rock ’n’ roll cornerstone “The Killer” Jerry Lee Lewis took to the stage and electrified the bidding arena while offering his 1959 Harley-Davidson FLH (Lot S157) that he had owned since new, having received it as a gift from Harley-Davidson. Intense bidding action quickly took the price to $300,000, and as the reserve was lifted, Lewis proceeded to sing “Great Balls of Fire” before a standing-room-only crowd. Bidding continued and the hammer fell for an astounding $350,000.

The highly anticipated Wellborn Musclecar Museum Collection electrified the crowd as owners Tim and Pam Wellborn, of Alexander City, Ala., rode onto the block in their 1969 Dodge Hemi Daytona. After a brief introduction by Frank Mecum on the podium, the bids came in hot from start to finish sparking one of the most exciting hours of auction action the Kissimmee event has ever experienced. In a span of less than 60 minutes, the Wellborn Museum Collection hammered at an unprecedented $4,228,000 with multiple record-setting prices achieved in the process.

“This previously unobtainable collection, being offered to the public for the very first time in Kissimmee, served as an excellent way to help set the tone and take the pulse of the collector car market for 2015, as we predicted it would,” comments Mecum Consignment Director Frank Mecum. “I think it’s safe to let the enormous results speak for themselves.”

The first car from the collection to go under the hammer was the 1969 Dodge Hemi Daytona (Lot F180). Featuring a Roger Gibson restoration, this one-of-one example of Dodge collectors’ most sought-after prize achieved a record-setting hammer price of $900,000.

The unrestored 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 (Lot F184) from the Wellborn Collection that sported an extraordinarily low 4,770 miles took the auction’s fifth-highest sale at $425,000 setting the benchmark for an original 1970-model Boss 429.

A phone bidder after the 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A (Lot F185), also a Wellborn car, was relentless in his efforts to secure the car, determined to place the winning bid. Shortly after selling for an unprecedented hammer price of $185,000, it was revealed that the resolute phone bidder was, in fact, the original owner who purchased the Challenger T/A new back in 1970. Mecum and the Wellborns were elated to reunite the car with its original owner more than 44 years later.

The very antithesis to that occurred the following day as a 1971 Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T (Lot S136) crossed the block being sold by its original owner. With just 1,871 miles since new and presented in original and unrestored condition, this treasure for connoisseurs of the unrestored was rightfully recognized as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to obtain a car of this caliber of originality. The price reflected that realization hammering sold for an astonishing $640,000.

“The people in the crowd and the energy they brought coupled with such an astounding lineup of vehicles this year made this one of the best Kissimmee auctions to date,” says Mecum President and Founder Dana Mecum. “Then you add to that a collection like the Wellborns’, a live performance by Jerry Lee Lewis, and all of the other once-in-a-lifetime auction moments, and you truly have the most memorable Kissimmee auction in its 15-year history.”

The complete top 10 sales at the Mecum Kissimmee auction include (all individual sales reflect hammer prices):

1969 Dodge Hemi Daytona (Lot F180) at $900,000
1971 Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T (Lot S136) at $640,000
2006 Prevost 45′ Country Coach Silver Falls Edition (Lot K11) at $600,000
1965 Shelby GT350 Fastback (Lot S152) at $445,000
1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback (Lot F184) at $425,000
1964 Chevrolet Corvette Tanker Coupe (Lot S164) at $415,000
1969 Chevrolet Yenko Nova (Lot S146) at $380,000
1959 Harley-Davidson FLH Duo-Glide (Lot S157) at $350,000
1989 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary (Lot S169) at $350,000
2006 Ford GT (Lot S131) at $300,000

Mecum’s next classic and collector car auction will be the Rogers’ Classic Car Museum Auction in Las Vegas Feb. 27-28 with more than 230 cars to be offered at No Reserve; proceeds will benefit The Rogers Foundation. March 20-21 will see more than 200 American classic motorcycles from The E.J. Cole Collection offered in Las Vegas, followed by The Walker Sign Collection of more than 400 original double-sided porcelain neon signs to be offered March 27-28 in West Memphis, Ark. April will bring Mecum’s Houston auction with 1,000 classic and collector cars set to cross the block at the NRG Center April 9-12. For more details on an upcoming auction, to consign a vehicle or to register as a bidder, visit www.mecum.com or call (262) 275-5050. For access to complete auction results and other member benefits, signup for the free InfoNet service offered at Mecum.com.

About Mecum Auctions

Nobody sells more than Mecum. Nobody. The Mecum Auction Company is the world leader of collector car, vintage and antique motorcycle, and Road Art sales, hosting auctions throughout the United States. The company has been specializing in the sale of collector cars for 28 years, now offering more than 15,000 vehicles per year and averaging more than one auction each month. Established by President Dana Mecum in 1988, Mecum Auctions remains a family-run company headquartered in Walworth, Wis. For further information, visit Mecum.com or call (262) 275-5050.

Source: Mecum Auctions

Stephen Cox: Ford’s Mexican 302 Engine

January 28th, 2015 • By: Auto News Log Muscle Car Spotlight, Stephen Cox, Stories

The Stephen Cox Blog presented by McGunegill Engine Performance: Ford’s Mexican 302 Engine

After a Mexican 302-equipped Ford Torino crossed the block at Mecum Auctions recently, I’ve received a boatload of questions about these unique engines, their collector value, and how to identify them. Mexican 302’s are a bit of an oddity, so I thought I’d pass along the answers publicly for Ford enthusiasts.

What is a Mexican 302?

When Ford’s domestic plants were transitioning to the 351 engine in the late 1960’s, it became necessary to obtain V8 engines from other plants to augment supply. For a time, Ford relied a bit more heavily on their Cuautitlán Stamping and Assembly plant in Cuautitlán Izcalli, located in south central Mexico, about an hour north of Mexico City. A number of these engines were installed in vehicles destined for car dealerships in the United States primarily between 1969 and 1975.

Hence, a “Mexican 302” is an American term for a Ford 302 engine originating from the Cuautitlán facility during this period.

How can a Mexican 302 be identified?

Mexican blocks are distinguished by two iron knob-like protrusions just below each head on the front of the engine casting. The tips are circular and slightly larger than a half dollar. The left knob is not entirely circular, but usually has a flat bottom. Also, if the engine is disassembled, the designation “HECHO-EN MEXICO” will be visible and stamped into the block.

Is a Mexican 302 more desirable, and if so, why?

From a performance standpoint, the Mexican 302’s are perhaps a bit more desirable. They are said to have a higher nickel content in the iron used to cast the blocks, although some debate this claim. What is known is that the main bearing caps are wider and the block is thicker, forming a stronger base. The Mexican blocks weight a bit more than their northern counterparts, although the difference is negligible (usually 7-10 lbs).

The Mexican blocks offer no advantage over modern aftermarket short blocks, but they are a low-cost alternative for purists who want original Ford factory parts with a bit more overall strength.

How likely am I to find a car with an Mexican 302 engine?

Not very. Many of the Mexican 302’s were installed in non-collectible vehicles and saw their eventual demise in a junkyard. Most of the junkyard Mexican 302’s have long ago been salvaged by backyard mechanics looking for a bit more performance and strength from an engine that was available at second-hand prices.

If you do find a Mexican 302-equipped car, it is likely to be a late 60’s or early 70’s Torino or Ranchero, both of which were occasionally outfitted with such engines and have some collector value. Most of the vans and trucks so equipped are long gone.

Does a car’s value increase it if it was originally equipped with a Mexican 302?

No. The few Mexican-equipped cars that have crossed the block at Mecum Auctions recently have carried the same collector’s premium as any other similar vehicle.

Budget-minded performance enthusiasts may find some advantages with the Mexican block, but it won’t bring any additional attention from collectors. The Mexican 302’s biggest value is simply as a fun, obscure curiosity that brings back the waning days of the muscle car wars.

Stephen Cox
Sopwith Motorsports Television Productions
Co-host, Mecum Auctions on NBCSN
#21 Boschett Timepieces stock car

Photo Credit: Mecum Auctions

Source: Global Media/Sopwith Motorsports Television Productions

Four-time ‘500’ winner Al Unser to be honored at Legends Day on May 23

January 28th, 2015 • By: Auto News Log Press Release, Racing News

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Firestone will honor four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser during the 45th anniversary of his first Indianapolis 500 victory on Saturday, May 23, 2015, at “Legends Day Honoring Al Unser presented by Firestone.”

“Fifty years ago I arrived at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a rookie, drove for some remarkable teams, raced with my son and brother, drank the milk and my life was forever changed by this special place,” said Unser. “I am honored to be named the 2015 Legend and look forward to seeing the race fans and being a part of the events leading up to the spectacular annual Indy 500 Race.”

Unser, a member of one of racing’s most exclusive clubs as a four-time Indianapolis 500 winner in 1970, 1971, 1978 and 1987, will receive special recognition from Firestone during the Public Driver’s Meeting and will participate in a question and answer session, which includes allotted time for autographs, with fans later that day on the IMS Pagoda Plaza Stage.

“One of the smartest and most competitive drivers in the history of auto racing, Al Unser’s amazing career as a driver places him among the greatest ever in his profession,” said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. “Al has become an iconic figure at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and is recognized worldwide as one of racing’s greatest ambassadors. We all look forward to honoring and thanking him for his endless contributions to our great sport during Legends Day on May 23.”

Unser holds the record for most laps led (644) in 27 career Indianapolis 500 starts. The 17-year span between his first and last Indianapolis 500 victory (1970-1987) is also an event record. He is one of five drivers to win two consecutive Indianapolis 500-Mile Races and is the oldest driver to win the “500” at 47 years, 360 days old in 1987.

Unser’s 39 victories in IndyCar competition rank fourth all-time, ahead of his brother, Bobby Unser (35), and son, Al Unser Jr. (34), who rank fifth and sixth, respectively. Unser’s 10 wins in 1972 are tied with A.J. Foyt (1964) for the most wins during a single Indy car season.

“Legends Day celebrates the storied history of Firestone, the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the great drivers who solidified their place in history by winning the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” said Lisa Boggs, director of Bridgestone Americas Motorsports. “The Unser name is synonymous with IMS and the Indy 500, and we are honored to recognize Al and his legendary career.”

Other featured events on Legends Day include the annual Public Drivers’ Meeting on pit road adjacent to the Tower Terrace grandstand, autograph sessions with the Indianapolis 500 starting field of 33 drivers and former Indy 500 drivers, a Indianapolis 500 memorabilia show and it is highlighted by the second annual Legends Day presented by Firestone Concert featuring a yet-to-be announced artist.

Admission to IMS on “Legends Day Honoring Al Unser presented by Firestone” will be $10 for adults, with children 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult.

The 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 24.

Source: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Ford Celebrates Official Launch of All-New Mustang Going Global – Iconic Pony Car En Route to Asia

Ford celebrates the official launch of export of the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang to customers around the world

Mustang is available in more than 100 markets in both left- and right-hand-drive configurations

Ford is a top U.S. exporter of automobiles, which supports American jobs

The iconic Mustang is officially going global.

For the first time in its 50-year history, Mustang will be available to customers around the world in more than 100 markets. First shipments of the highly anticipated Mustang are headed for Asia, with vehicles arriving in Europe midyear.

The all-new Mustang – assembled in Flat Rock, Michigan – now joins other Ford and Lincoln vehicles exported to countries abroad. In 2013, Ford Motor Company shipped more than 380,000 vehicles from the United States, making the automaker a top U.S. exporter of vehicles.

“Henry Ford exported the sixth Model A assembled in 1903 and we continue this legacy today,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “The success of our One Ford plan presents opportunities for growth in global markets. Exporting Ford and Lincoln vehicles to Asia Pacific and beyond is an important part of Ford’s global growth story. Mustang is just one more example of the international demand for Ford cars and trucks.”

Going global means jobs

Making Ford vehicles available to global consumers supports thousands of jobs across the United States. The all-new 2015 Mustang is supported by U.S. suppliers in 25 states. In 2013, Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan, the car’s production home, celebrated the 1 millionth Mustang built there. The facility has approximately 3,000 employees working two shifts at full capacity to produce Mustang and Fusion. In addition, 100 jobs at the Port of Portland have now been added to support Ford exports bound for Asia Pacific and other markets.

“Serving as a gateway for exports of new Ford vehicles to China and Korea has helped boost employment and bolster our local economy,” said Bill Wyatt, executive director for the Port of Portland. “Auto exports and imports support more than 500 jobs at our marine terminals, and they have been an important part of our diverse cargo portfolio since 1953.”

Preparing Mustang for export

Mustangs exported from the United States undergo a series of steps to ensure compliance with vehicle standards in the destination countries. At each port’s homologation center, Ford and Lincoln vehicles receive finishing touches that follow specific engineering work completed in production at the plant. Vehicles undergo proper customs documentation and tracking so Ford can ensure their progress and delivery. Certain vehicles receive an underbody coating and documents in the destination country language.

“Preparing these vehicles for shipment to their final destination is critical to satisfying both customer and regulatory requirements for our markets around the world,” said Gerald Schoenle, director, Ford Trading Company. “We want our customers globally to know that their Ford vehicles will meet emissions, safety and road-worthiness requirements.”

The addition of a right-hand-drive Mustang to Ford’s global vehicle lineup will allow the iconic pony car to be exported to more than 25 of these markets around the world, including the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa.

American-made Ford vehicles travel the world

Mustang joins a lineup of Ford Motor Company vehicles produced in the United States and exported around the world.

Ford Explorer is largely produced at Chicago Assembly Plant in Illinois and exported to a number of markets, including China. In 2012, Ford exported just 200 Explorers to China; in 2014, that number increased to more than 9,000.

In September 2014, Ford Motor Company began shipping Lincoln vehicles from the Port of Portland to China, marking a significant milestone for the brand globally. The shipment, which included Lincoln MKC vehicles made in Kentucky, is part of Ford’s commitment to offer a unique experience designed to revolutionize the way premium cars are sold in China. By the end of 2014, there were a total of eight Lincoln dealers throughout China.

Source: Ford

Historic Highs for the 44th Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction

It’s a wrap. The biggest auction in Barrett-Jackson history concluded at WestWorld, reaching historic highs and resulting in some truly unforgettable moments. During the 10-day auction, Barrett-Jackson recorded more than $130 million in sales of 1,611 vehicles (unaudited) and a world-record $6.55 million in automobilia sales (unaudited), making it the highest sales result to date. The highly regarded Ron Pratte Collection alone brought in over $40.44 million in vehicle and automobilia sales.

“This year’s Scottsdale auction was on a scale unlike anything in our 44-year history,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “From sales and consignments to our ratings on Discovery and Velocity, we smashed records at every level. Our week kicked off with a gala and continued to build excitement with our largest vehicle consignment in history, including the sale of the Ron Pratte Collection on Tuesday. Everyone who attended this year’s Scottsdale auction was a part of automotive history.”

TOP TEN

A record number of bidders attended the auction for a chance to purchase from the wide range of American muscle, European classics, exotic sports cars and one-of-a-kind customs. Here are the 10 cars that finished on top in Scottsdale:

1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake (Lot #2509) – $5.1 million

1950 GM Futurliner Parade of Progress Tour Bus (Lot #2501) – $4 million

1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama Concept Car (Lot #2500) – $3.3 million

1949 Talbot-Lago T-26 Grand Sport Franay (Lot #5087) – $1.65 million

1965 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster (Lot #5090) – $1.595 million

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing (Lot #5075) – $1.1 million

1937 Mercedes-Benz 320B Cabriolet (Lot #5086) – $1.045 million

1936 Delahaye “Whatthehaye” Street-Rod (Lot #2515) – $671,000

1991 Ferrari F40 (Lot #5071) – $643,500

1953 Mercedes-Benz 300S Cabriolet (Lot #5076) – $643,500

RECORD SALES

The auction saw a number of benchmark sales, including Italian, German and domestic marques. While record auction results are typically the domain of restored originals, one car—the Ringbrothers Pantera—proved that a fully customized car can hold top spot in terms of value. Here are overviews of record sales from the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction:

1972 De Tomaso Pantera by Ringbrothers (Lot #5072)

As Italian supercars go, two things are true about the De Tomaso Pantera. First they are quite affordable relative to other classic Italian Supercars from the era. Top prices for restored steel bumper Panteras hover in the $80,000 to $100,000 range. The second truth about Panteras is that modified examples often sell for more than original examples. The Pantera community, as a whole, embraces upgrades. Ringbrothers, a custom car building shop owned by Mike and Jim Ring, created this one-of-a-kind custom that rocked the industry when it was unveiled in 2013. At the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction, the radical custom attracted the attention of fans and bidders alike. When the gavel dropped, the Pantera sold for a record $330,000 at No Reserve.

1952 Alfa Romeo 1900C Sprint Pininfarina (Lot #5042)

Coachbuilt examples of the 1900C, the first production Alfa Romeo made after World War II, are in very short supply. Legendary coach builders such as Ghia, Zagato, Bertone, Pininfarina and others produced cars with bespoke bodywork between 1952 and 1959. Recently, a Zagato-bodied barn find, in non-running condition, sold for $1,000,000. Also at the top of the sales spectrum, a Ghia-bodied car sold a few years ago for $649,000. Conversely, standard cars with standard Touring coachwork trade for approximately $125,000 to $150,000. In the case of the Pininfarina 1900C Sprints, there is little or no public data available. While a private sale in Europe is said to have transpired at approximately $325,000 valuation the car before had some watchers holding their breath in anticipation. Would the little Alfa sell for $125,000 or $1,000,000? Sold at No Reserve, the market truly decided the value of this car. Under the bright lights of the legendary Barrett-Jackson stage, the Alfa Romeo 1900C Sprint Pininfarina sold for $550,000. This is a world record sale.

2005 Ford GT Serial #003 First Production Car (Lot #2508)

It’s no secret that 2005-2006 Ford GTs are appreciating. With a top speed of 205 mph and docile street manners, the Ford GT is easy to own and to collect. Typically the most valuable examples are the Heritage Edition cars with their “Gulf Racing” inspired livery. A Heritage Edition Ford GT sold here at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2015 for $473,000. There is one car, however, that tops them all. Ron Pratte’s Serial #003 Ford GT is the first production car sold to the public. In 2006, Pratte paid $530,000 as a charity sale in West Palm Beach. Eight years later, that purchase has proven to be a wise investment, as the same car sold here in Scottsdale, Saturday night for a record $605,000.

1937 Mercedes-Benz 320B Cabriolet (Lot #5086)

Few cars at the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale sale captured the attention of onlookers and bidders as much as this 1937 Mercedes-Benz 320B Cabriolet. Perhaps it’s black and deep navy-colored bodywork combined with exquisite red leather interior. Sparkling wire wheels and gleaming chrome add to the car’s panache. For every reason, the crowd loved this car, chassis #172436. It sold for a record $1,045,000 which is quite a bargain for this near concours-ready beauty. Between the 190SL record set in 2014 and cars like this sedan, Barrett-Jackson has been setting the pace for classic Mercedes Benz collectibles, as of late.

CROSSING THE BLOCK FOR CHARITY

“It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Ron and building his collection over the years,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “Ron took great pride in the cars and automobilia. He painstakingly restored many of the vehicles, making them truly outstanding collectibles. It’s wonderful to see ownership of some amazing vehicles pass along to new collectors.”

Led by the 1950 GM Futurliner that raised $4,650,000 ($4 million bid and $650,000 in additional pledges) on Saturday evening, a total of 10 cars crossed the Scottsdale auction to raise $8,735,000 to benefit local and national charities. The Futurliner was donated by Pratte, a Vietnam veteran, to benefit the Armed Forces Foundation. The other nine charity auction cars were:

2015 Jeep Wrangler Custom SUV (Lot #3001), donated by SEMA to benefit Child Help and Victory Junction – $85,000

2015 BMW M5 (Lot #3002), donated by BMW to BMW Car Club of America Foundation
and Tire Rack Street Survival Program – $800,000

2016 Cadillac CTS-V (Lot #3003), donated by GM to benefit College for Creative Studies – $170,000

1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Hurst (Lot #3004), donated by Joe Riley for Cancer Research Fund
at TGen in memory of Russ and Brian Jackson – $140,000

1939 Cadillac LaSalle C-Hawk Custom Roadster (Lot #3005),
donated by Bubba Watson for Birdies for the Brave – $410,000

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible “1st Retail” (Lot #3006), donated by GM for United Way – $800,000

1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR Busch Series Stock Car (Lot #3007),
donated by Jeff Gordon and Ray Evernham for Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation – $500,000

Ford Shelby GT350R VIN #001 Coupe (Lot #3008),
donated by Ford for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation – $1,000,000

2014 Victory Cross Country 8-Ball Motorcycle (Lot #3009),
anonymously donated to benefit Ride 2 Recovery – $180,000

The 2015 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction was a star-studded extravaganza and included celebrities from the movie screen and TV, as well as from the sports industry and corporate world. Some of the biggest stars included four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson and Hollywood stars Sharon Stone and Tim Allen. Other popular luminaries included pop music artist CeeLo Green, country music artist Rodney Atkins, country music duo Thompson Square, rock music artists Alice Cooper and Michael Anthony, MLB Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, and actor Steven Seagal.

Barrett-Jackson’s new relationship with Velocity and Discovery Channel premiered with a spike in ratings for the channel during auction coverage in Scottsdale. Throughout 2015, Velocity and Discovery Channel will broadcast more than 100 hours of coverage that will include auctions in West Palm Beach, Fla., as well as Reno and Las Vegas, Nev., in 2015.For the first time, the Big Three automotive manufacturers—Ford Motor Company, GM and Dodge—were together at Barrett-Jackson, showcasing their latest models and offering exciting interactive activities for auction guests.

Source: Barrett-Jackson