HomeMediaMecum’s January auctions add up to $130 million

Mecum’s January auctions add up to $130 million

Company also launches Gallery sales, adds North Carolina auction, and hires former Daytona and Indy speedway president


It apparently takes a long time to count up the receipts from the sale of 5,259 lots of collector cars, motorcycles, Road Art and vintage guitars, but Mecum Auctions has completed that task and reports sales of $130 million from its January 2020 auctions in Kissimmee, Florida, and Las Vegas, Nevada.

And while the company’s next auction isn’t scheduled until March 11-14 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, it is making news in the meantime, officially announcing the launch of the Mecum Gallery; the auction of the Eddie Vannoy Collection to be held June 3-7 in Jefferson, North Carolina; and the addition of former Daytona and Indianapolis speedway executive Joie Chitwood III to the Mecum management team.

Dana Mecum applies ‘Sold’ sticker to the Bullitt Mustang windshield | Mecum Auctions photo

Mecum announced in a news release that its collector car auction in Florida sent 2,140 vehicles to new owners for a total of $105.1 million, topped by the $3.74-million sale of the famed Bullitt-movie Ford Mustang “hero” car driven by Steve McQueen.

The sales total was just shy of the 2019 Kissimmee auction’s $107.5 million from 2,328 vehicles sold.

Camera man gets in close as 1922 Brough Superior Mark 1 crosses the block in Las Vegas. The bike topped the auction, selling for $308,000 | Larry Edsall photo

The Las Vegas motorcycle auction posted $22.6 million in sales with a 90 percent sell-through rate and 1,540 machines going to new owners. While the 2020 auction total was short of the $26.3 million figure from the 2019 event, that earlier event featured the stunning MC Collection from Sweden and nearly doubled the previous Las Vegas auction sales record.

Mecum’s January 2019 sales total was $133.8 million. Overall sell-through rates for 2019 and 2020 were 83 percent.

In 2020, the Road Art (automobilia) auction in Florida posted $1.5 million in sales and the new Guitar Search by Domino sale at Kissimmee did $779,489, with a 79 percent sell-through and with two guitars selling for more than $200,000 each.

The Muscle Car Room is just one part of the Eddie Vannoy Collection auction Mecum will do in North Carolina | Mecum Auctions photo

In other developments, after what might be considered a soft launch this past summer at Monterey, where it worked with Don Williams and the Blackhawk Collection to offer several cars for sale in a salon-style setting, and at Kissimmee, where 9 more cars were offered, Mecum will officially unveil its Mecum Gallery “exposition” sales program February 7-9 at the Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance in Florida.

“Monterey was a pre-cursor. Now it’s more formalized,” Dave Magers, Mecum’s chief executive, said during an interview at Las Vegas. 

Magers said offering a select group of vehicles for sale in a salon rather than a bidding environment will allow Mecum to have a presence at more events, including those where a full auction format might not be appropriate, such as the upcoming concours in Florida. He said Mecum also will offer Gallery sales at several of its own auction venues.

A Gallery advertisement in the Mecum Monthly magazine shows Dana Mecum’s own historic 1954/59 Ferrari 0432M as the featured vehicle for the Boca Raton exposition sale.  The car crossed the block at Mecum’s Monterey sale in 2019 and was bid to $20 million but that figure fell just short of the car’s reserve price. 

Gallery cars advertised on the Mecum website include a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster, a Pebble Beach class-winning 1951 Talbot-Lago T-26 Grand Sport coupe by Saoutchik, a 1965 Ford GT competition prototype roadster with Le Mans racing history, and a 1941 Willys custom pickup that was a Great 8 finalist at the Detroit Autorama.

Vannoy Collection also includes this Corvette Room | Mecum Auctions photo

The Eddie Vannoy Collection sale will include more than 5,000 items and is being conducted under the umbrella of Mecum’s Road Art division. 

Mecum reports that Vannoy’s collection, assembled over the course of more than 30 years, is “unparalleled” and “the world’s largest personal collection of Road Art ever offered to the public.”

Vannoy, who with his brother, Mark, operates a major construction company based in Jefferson, North Carolina, has housed his car and automobilia collection in a museum-style setting.

Magers said that rather than pack everything and ship it to an auction venue, the sale will be held on site at a facility that includes rooms devoted to Corvettes, Mopar, muscle cars, pedal cars and motorcycles, as well as a diner, country store, barber shop and an armory of vintage rifles.

Joie Chitwood III

Joie Chitwood’s name should be familiar to car enthusiasts. He’s the grandson of Indy 500 racer and famed thrill-show driver George Rice “Joie” Chitwood. Chitwood III has been president of Daytona International Speedway, president and chief operating officer of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and executive vice president and chief operating officer of the International Speedway Corporation.  

Mecum announced that Chitwood joins its Wisconsin-based management team as of February 10 and will serve as “Strategic Advisor.” Magers explained that Chitwood will be part of the full-time management team in the Wisconsin office and will oversee several Mecum divisions and will explore additional business opportunities for the company.

Top-10 sales, Mecum at Kissimmee, Florida, 2020

  1. 1968 Bullitt movie Ford Mustang GT, $3,740,000
  2. 2019 McLaren Senna, $1,430,000
  3. 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder, $1,430,000
  4. 2015 McLaren P1, $1,089,000
  5. 1967 Gone in 60 Seconds Eleanor Ford Mustang, $852,500
  6. 1968 Challenger 2 LSR streamliner, $561,000
  7. 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, $544,500
  8. 1932 Duesenberg Model J Tourister, $522,500
  9. 1966 Ford v Ferrari Superformance Ford GT40 MkII, $484,000
  10. 1967 Shelby GT350, $448,000

(Prices include buyer’s fee.)

Top-10 Road Art sales, Mecum at Kissimmee, Florida, 2020

  1. 1953 Litchfield Hardware store sign, $35,400
  2. 1922 Ford dealership sign, $25,960
  3. Eleanor cinema vehicle mold kits, $23,600
  4. 1950s Entrance arrow sign, $23,600
  5. 1950s Garden Inn Model sign, $23,600
  6. 1960s OK Used Cars sign, $22,400
  7. 1919 Chevrolet milk glass sign, $21,240
  8. 1907 Water Sprite outboard motor, $20,060
  9. 1930 Indian Silver Arrow outboard motor, $14,160
  10. Oldsmobile dealer sign, $12,980

(Prices include buyer’s fee.)

Top-10 sales, Guitar Search Kissimmee 2020

  1. 1959 Gibson Geddy Lee Les Paul Standard, $253,700
  2. 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard Scarface Electric, $212,400
  3. 1960 Gibson Geddy Lee ES-355, $49,560
  4. 1956 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop Electric, $44,840
  5. 1955 Fender Geddy Lee Stratocaster, $44,840
  6. 1960 Gibson Geddy Lee ES-345, $24,780
  7. Rickey Medlock’s boat, guitar & Lake Okeechobee fishing trip, $24,780
  8. 1990 Gold Warwick John Entwistle Buzzard customized bass, $20,060
  9. 1957 Gibson Les Paul TV Special electric, $22,800
  10. 1963 Gibson ES-175 DN, $8,260

(Prices include buyer’s fee.)

Top-10 sales, Mecum Las Vegas motorcycles 2020

  1. 1922 Brough Superior Mark 1, $308,000
  2. 1930 Brough Superior SS100, $239,250
  3. 1956 Harley-Davidson ‘Indian Larry Grease Monkey,’ $220,000
  4. 1940 Harley-Davidson EL Knucklehead, $220,000
  5. 1916 Militaire Four, $214,500
  6. 1974 Ducati 750SS, $198,000
  7. 1934 Harley-Davidson CAC Speedway, $181,500
  8. 2004 ‘Indian Larry Chain of Mystery,’ $165,000
  9. 1953 Vincent Black Shadow, $143,000
  10. 1924 Patria Ace-Henderson, $137,500

(Prices include buyer’s fee.)

Mecum’s next auction is scheduled for March 11-14 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
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.


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