Even with multiple buildings and a couple big tents, there’s still not room for every car to be under cover | Larry Edsall photos
Yesterday, I shared my favorite cars available this weekend at Dana Mecum’s 29th Original Spring Auction taking place at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. But I also noted that I hadn’t gotten out to the tents that housed some of the vehicles. Well, I did that Wednesday morning, and I also discovered two more buildings full of other cars, of which there are some 1,800 on the grounds.
So I’m back today with some more cars at the auction that I’d be eager to add to my personal collection, had I the money, the storage space and the knowledge or staff to maintain them so I could just jump behind the wheel and head out on the road when the whim strikes.
1980 Toyota Celica Sunchaser Here’s another top-down vehicle that looks like a lot of fun. It’s a 58,000-mile Targa-topped Toyota Celica built for the Japanese automaker by Griffith conversions. The engine is a 2.2-liter four but it’s linked to a five-speed manual to enhance the fun factor.
1936 Cadillac Series 70 Fleetwood convertible coupe Being sold in Indianapolis but wearing a historic Arizona license plate, this big green machine is a full CCCA classic that looks like it would be fun to drive here, there or anywhere.
1961 Volkswagen 23-window Samba bus This recent restoration (using original and NOS parts) in the bus’s original pearl gray and white colors seems the ideal vehicle for a road trip with the grandchildren (and, yes, I suppose there’s even room for their parents to come along… as long as they don’t spoil our fun!).
1954 Ford Ranch Wagon Stock-looking on the outside, but there’s a Ford 5.0-liter V8 with Ford motorsports bits added for good measure under the hood. The resto-mod effort included disc brakes, Ford Positraction rear end, power steering, windows and doors, heat and a/c, red leather interior, updated electrical system, etc.
Circa-1940s Studebaker midget racer Art Abrahams was sitting next to this Studebaker-powered midget racer that he’s selling after a seven-year restoration effort. “When was the last time you raced it?” I asked. “Last year,” he said, “on the (fairgrounds’ famed 1-mile) oval across the street.” Why are you selling it?” I inquired. “Because I’m 81 years old and it’s time to stop racing,” he replied. Maybe it’s time I started.
1966 Plymouth Barracuda resto-mod Notice the scoop on the hood? Beneath it is a blueprinted 408 cid stroker V8 engine with a Mopar six-pack intake manifold, Holley carbs, ceramic-coated headers, and other assorted goodies that make this a fast fish out of water.
1963 Volkswagen 'NASCAR Herbie' Beetle A collection of Herbies and its movie co-stars is being offered at Mecum’s Indy sale. If I had to pick one, it probably would be the 1970 Lancia Scorpion “Giselle,” but really, could I really drive Herbie’s “love interest?” So I’ll opt for this NASCAR version that cost nearly a quarter-million to build and actually did laps during a NASCAR race at California Speedway so they could be included in the 2005 movie.
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.