HomeCar CultureCommentaryCrane’s choices at Mecum’s LA auction

Crane’s choices at Mecum’s LA auction


Picking your favorite cars at an auction can be a daunting task.

Mecum Auctions stages its Los Angeles collector car sale this weekend in Pomona. There are more than 600 vehicles displayed in several giant halls of the of the Los Angeles County Fairplex. I wandered through more than half of them and they all seemed to be dream cars, virtually perfect and ready to drive off and enjoy for many year.

Picking just a few to feature isn’t easy, but here goes:

1963 Chevrolet Corvette convertible

Crane’s choices at Mecum Auctions LA | ClassicCars.com Journal

This one has its original 327cid V8 and 4-speed gearbox — and as-delivered air conditioning, One of the best extant. A fabulous restoration from 20 years ago that retains it excellence in fit and finish. The red interior looks unused save for the 20,000 miles of careful softening of the driver’s seat.

1993 Ferrari 512TR

Crane’s choices at Mecum Auctions LA | ClassicCars.com Journal

It looks just like a Testarossa, and the similarity ends there. The factory was very proud of its redesigned and re-engineered top-of-the-line super car. It feels lighter, the brakes were completely new, the gearbox is slicker, the big GT is much quicker, all the suspension is new for the 512 and the factory told us there are only a few bolts that are used in both cars. If you are looking for an easily useable “Enzo-era” Ferrari you cold comfortably drive across country, look no further.

1966 Plymouth Satellite Hemi

Crane’s choices at Mecum Auctions LA | ClassicCars.com Journal

If you are in the market for an American icon muscle car, nothing is more muscular that this dual-4-barrel treasure. One of only 503cid 4-speed Hemi Satellites from 1966. Its completely original sheet metal has been repainted its original color. It hooks-up through a Dana 60 Sure Grip differential and a set of correct American Racing alloy wheels. Factory documentation is included with the car. Be prepared to be the talk of Cars & Coffee, before you drive to the track for a touch of youthful vigor.

2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante 

Crane’s choices at Mecum Auctions LA | ClassicCars.com Journal

Aston’s best — and fastest —entry into its target “Super Sports Car” category. With its mighty 5.9 liter V12 delivering 565 horsepower through its 6-speed paddle-shifted transaxle the top-down entertainment is awesome — and NO ONE does a more elegant and luxurious interior as a place to enjoy driving — or traveling.

1963 Ford Thunderbird convertible

Crane’s choices at Mecum Auctions LA | ClassicCars.com Journal

Arguably the most beautifully of the 4-place “Rocket-Birds.” Freshly painted in a period-correct shade of turquoise and made sparkle with a fresh set of wire wheels. Standard on all these Birds was Ford’s 390, automatic trans, power steering and brakes, air conditioning and a set of dual exhausts carefully “tuned” for entertainment.

1958 Volkswagen Transporter

The Mecum catalog lists more than a half-dozen VW buses in varying degrees of restoration, modification and memory-ignition. While only original on the outside, this one (see top photo) offers a stunning redesign of its original primitive seating. A luxurious sofa wraps around one side of the interior allowing both easy access from the passenger side door and lots of seating to be shared — and both powerful sound and TV. The adjustable ride-height suspension offers varying degrees of cool and comfy.

Larry Crane
Larry Crane
Larry Crane has been an automotive literature aficionado from childhood. Car books and magazines represented most of his reading experience. He moved to Southern California in his early twenties to be close to his favorite cars. After a WestPac stint in the Navy, he was offered a position redesigning Motor Trend magazine. Then, for Steve Earle, he created America's first vintage road racing magazine as both editor and designer. FromVintage Racer he joined Road & Track and then David E. Davis Jr., asked him to help create a new kind of car magazine, Automobile. After 12 years, Crane took his family back to Los Angeles to create his dream magazine, AUTO Aficionado, which attracted an impressive cadre of the most influential members of the collector car hobby until the national economy made that one impossible to continue.


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