Larry’s likes at Mecum’s Las Vegas auction

The hottest cars at Mecum’s Las Vegas auction | Journal
A bright yellow 2005 Porsche Carrera GT from the featured Les Quam collection greets attendees as they enter the inaugural Mecum Auctions collector car sale in Las Vegas | Larry Edsall photos

A couple of weeks ago, the upper level of the South Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center was packed from end to end with wheels, tires and other automotive aftermarket products being displayed at the annual SEMA Show.

This weekend, that same huge display space houses the nearly 1,000 vehicles being offered at Mecum Auctions’ inaugural Las Vegas collector car sale.

While this may be an inaugural auction, Mecum is familiar with the locale, having staged a private museum sale in Las Vegas a few years ago and each January, and now also each summer, also doing vintage motorcycle auctions just beyond the south end of the famed Las Vegas Strip.

The hottest cars at Mecum’s Las Vegas auction | Journal
A long row of Cadillacs

And while this is, indeed, an inaugural sale, anyone else putting on collector vehicle auctions in Las Vegas better not bring just its A game but it’s A-plus game because the quality of the cars at this event not only is outstanding, so is the way they’re displayed.

With nearly 450,000 square feet of room, cars can be properly showcased, and the several collections being offered at the auction each have their own display areas.

Quality seems to match quantity on this docket, to the point that I found so many cars I liked, I’m doing not only this Larry’s likes story, but another one that we’ll publish tomorrow morning, featuring station wagons and vans.

If you don’t see anything here to there that ignites your motor, it’s my fault, not Mecum’s. My tastes tend not to be drawn to muscle cars and exotics, of which there are plenty here from which to choose. I’ve also ignored the cars scheduled to cross the block today (Thursday), and focused instead on cars being offered Friday and Saturday.

The hottest cars at Mecum’s Las Vegas auction | Journal
Some of the Thursday cars

To view the full docket, visit the Mecum website.

1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster

The hottest cars at Mecum’s Las Vegas auction | Journal

Among the “Main Attraction” lots is this numbers-matching (chassis, body, engine, 4-speed manual transmission and differential) 300SL which recently received a fresh coat of Fire Engine Red paint. It also has gotten new saddle-tan leather interior and tan top. The car originally was delivered in Caracas, Venezuela, where it resided until being imported in 2014.

1956 Oldsmobile 88

The hottest cars at Mecum’s Las Vegas auction | Journal

Yes, it looks like this car needs some TLC, and it does. For example, it has not been driven in ages due to a transmission-seal leak. And it looks like it does because it had been put away in storage back in 1978 so it’s all original except for its tires and battery. The original 324cid V8 is under the hood, connected to an automatic transmission.

Take your pick: 1960 or 1963 Ford Thunderbird

I first saw the ’63 T’bird with its sportback tonneau over the back seats, and I’ve always been a sucker for that look. But then I saw the turquoise ’60 and wasn’t sure which one I wanted, so I’m offering them both for your consideration.

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1949 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

The hottest cars at Mecum’s Las Vegas auction | Journal

’49 was the first year for the Coupe DeVille. This hardtop is nicely presented, powered by a V8 engine and wearing Fiesta Ivory paint with a tan interior.

1954 Packard convertible

The hottest cars at Mecum’s Las Vegas auction | Journal

Packard built only 863 convertibles for the 1954 model year and this one has been owned by the same family for 54 years. In addition to its stunning blue over red-and-white colors and cream-colored top, it has its 359cid straight-8 engine, and the 53,000 miles showing on the odometer are believed to be the total distance it’s ever been driven.

1957 Pontiac Super Chief Catalina

Everybody has a ’57 Chevy, but how often do you see such a slick ’57 Pontiac, complete with a 347cid V8, automatic transmission, power steering and Vintage Air, as well as a Continental kit?

1961 Chevrolet Impala SS ‘bubble top’

The hottest cars at Mecum’s Las Vegas auction | Journal

One of only 142 produced, this first-year Super Sport has its numbers-matching 409cid V8 engine and 4-speed manual transmission. It even has its Chevrolet first-aid kit and comes with a matching die-cast scale-model car.

Barry Walston’s hot-rod collection

The hottest cars at Mecum’s Las Vegas auction | Journal

I could be happy with any of the four Ford hot rods being offered from the Barry Walston collection: a 1932 roadster, a 1933 5-window coupe, a 1934 street rod or a 1934 hot-rodded sedan, though given my choice, I’d take the purplish-red ’32 roadster for its color or the blue ’34 sedan for its stance and style.

1978 International Scout

The hottest cars at Mecum’s Las Vegas auction | Journal

Scouts are about as cool as you can get for vintage off-roading. This one has undergone a frame-off restoration and engine rebuild. It also has a new interior, removable hardtop, new bound mounts, and even power steering and power brakes to make off-pavement driving even more enjoyable.

1966 Plymouth Barracuda fastback

The hottest cars at Mecum’s Las Vegas auction | Journal

I’m a sucker for rear fender skirts and this ‘Cuda has them. It also has the fastback backlight, its original 273 Commando V8 engine, an automatic transmission and bucket seats.

1925 Dodge Brothers Roadster

The hottest cars at Mecum’s Las Vegas auction | Journal

What a blast for cruisin’ this hot rod would be with its 440cid Magnum V8 engine. The racer-styled hot rod has a hand-made Carson-style canvas top, an interior done in Burgundy leather, rides on a handmade frame and is packed with other custom or handmade features.

1927 Ford Model T boattail

The hottest cars at Mecum’s Las Vegas auction | Journal

Part hot-rod, part-speedster, part race car, this thing is just way cool. It has a modified 4-cylinder race engine and a manual transmission with 12 forward speeds.

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, 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.


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