Mecum Auctions makes history with nearly $70 million in sales

(January 29, 2015) 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 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.

A phone bidder after the 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A, 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 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 unrestored 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 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.

“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.