“The Indy 2020 auction is clear for takeoff!” Mecum Auctions announced in a brief statement Thursday, declaring the re-opening of the company’s annual live auctions that were halted by pandemic restrictions.
Like most other auction companies, Mecum has been conducting online auctions of collector cars and automobilia in place of live events because of the threat of COVID-19. The Indianapolis auction will be held live with sellers, bidders and spectators July 10-18, although under a set of rules in line with Indiana’s requirements for lessening transmission of the virus.
“In accordance with the current re-opening phase ordinances set forth by the governor of Indiana and the mayor of Indianapolis on July 2, the Mecum Auction in Indy will proceed as planned,” the company declared in its announcement. “We look forward to seeing everyone at the auction!”
The 33rd annual staging of the popular collector car auction will be held live on the grounds of the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis with an expected 2,500 vehicles offered, along with 100 motorcycles and nearly 20,000 pieces of Road Art memorabilia.
But it will look different from past events, with various actions taken for personal protection. Four safety protocols are outlined on Mecum’s website:
• Daily touch-free temperature screening will be required for all attendees and employees prior to entering the auction grounds. Anyone with a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees will not be permitted access.
• Masks will be mandatory for all Mecum employees and exhibitors and highly encouraged for all attendees. Masks will be available on-site.
• Hand-sanitizer stations will be conveniently located throughout the fairgrounds. Frequent hand washing is highly recommended.
• Auction floor seating will be arranged to manage adequate social distancing.
Mecum spokesman David Morton noted that the Indianapolis sale has been postponed twice, from its original May 12-16 date to June, then from June to the current July dates. Bidding days have been extended to nine from six and a few hundred more cars have been added to the Indy auction during the delay, Morton said.
He also pointed out that Mecum recently completed a smaller live auction, that of the Eddie Vannoy Collection held on site in Jefferson, North Carolina, with a live crowd present. The Indy auction will be the first of Mecum’s regularly scheduled annual auctions to go live since the shutdown.
While Indiana has not experienced the surge in COVID cases that have plagued some other states, there has been a recent uptick in caseloads, prompting Gov. Eric Holcomb to scale back the planned full reopening of the economy and recreational facilities. On Thursday, he postponed Phase 5 of the reopening and outlined how the state will proceed, which essentially gave Mecum the thumbs up for Indy.
The current Phase 4 of Indiana’s reopening plan, which began June 12, will be extended through July 17 with some relaxation of the rules, which Holcomb named Phase 4.5.
While the governor has come out strongly in favor of everyone wearing protective masks, the protection has not been made mandatory in Indiana, Holcomb said, “because I believe in Hoosiers,” according to a report in the Indianapolis Star.
For more information about the Indy auction, visit the Mecum website.