HomeThe MarketMecum’s first Seattle auction goes large with top-dog Hemi ’Cuda sale

Mecum’s first Seattle auction goes large with top-dog Hemi ’Cuda sale


The ’71 Hemi ’Cuda convertible is rolled off stage after its $3.5 million winning bid | David Newhart / Mecum Auctions
The ’71 Hemi ’Cuda  is rolled away after its $3.5 million winning bid | David Newhart / Mecum Auctions

The stunning, record-setting sale of a 1971 Plymouth Hemi ’Cuda convertible for $3.5 million was a strong highlight for Mecum’s inaugural Seattle auction this past weekend. Total sales reached $15,125,097 (including auction fees) with 322 of the 618 collector cars hammered sold.

Mecum Auctions inaugural Seattle sale at a glance

Total sales $15.1 million
Catalog 618 vehicles
Sell-through 52 percent
High sale $3.5 million for a 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda convertible
Next 9 price range $115,000 to $340,000
Next auction July 24-26 in Harrisburg, PA

The ’Cuda sale, which Mecum claims is the most ever paid for a Detroit muscle car at auction, was far and away the highest result of the Seattle event. The second-place car, a 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 fastback that was part of a Calypso Blue quartet of Boss Mustangs, sold for less than 10 percent of the top seller, at $340,000.

Individual results reflect the hammer prices and do not include auction fees. A car that shared the headline spot with the ’Cuda in Seattle, a rare and desirable 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 coupe, actually was bid higher on the block, topping out at $3.7 million. But that wasn’t enough to make reserve, and the Corvette went back home with the consigner.

Another anticipated feature was the auction of a 2008 Bugatti Veyron, also a no-sale despite a high bid of $975,000.

The top-10 sales list features an all-American lineup with a mix of serious muscle along with some classic beauties. They are:

      • 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda convertible at $3,500,000

      • 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 fastback at $340,000

      • 1968 Shelby GT500KR fastback at $160,000

      • 1958 Buick Limited convertible at $150,000

      • 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle LS6 hardtop at $150,000

      • 1937 Packard Twelve Victoria convertible at $150,000

      • 1958 Chevrolet Corvette convertible at $143,640

      • 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz at $130,000

      • 1967 Shelby GT500 fastback at $125,000

      • 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T at $115,000

“It was evident about an hour into the first auction day that the fine people of Seattle were glad we’d come to town,” said Dana Mecum, president and founder of Mecum Auctions. “The auction arena at CenturyLink Field Event Center quickly filled to capacity, and we had a great first auction.

“Our consignment docket exceeded expectations in both quantity and quality, and with the record-setting sale of the Hemi ’Cuda convertible, it instantly put Mecum Seattle on the map.”

Mecum Auction’s next sale is also an inaugural event held July 24-26 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. Around 1,000 cars are expected to cross the block.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


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