Mecum Auctions set a resounding world record in Kissimmee, Florida, reaching total sales of $217 million that made it by far the highest result achieved for a single collector car auction. The 90 percent sell-through rate also was impressive for such a massive event, which included reserve sales.
“The record-setting auction claims title as the first collector car auction ever to surpass $200 million in sales for a single event,” the auction company said in a news release. “What has long been known as the world’s largest (collector car auction) continues to be the world’s most successful as well.”
The previous record for the highest auction total was set in 2015 by RM Sotheby’s 3-day Monterey, California, sale that reached nearly $173 million. Mecum’s Kissimmee auction was 11 days long, each day setting records for the annual event, the company said.
Mecum said it sold 2,954 vehicles at Kissimmee, the most ever for a single auction. Sales on the block were more than $213 million; some post-block sales handled privately added to the results. Road Art automobilia sales of 1,261 pieces of collector items also added $2.66 million to the total. All reported results include auction fees.
Mecum’s results are emblematic of a very strong collector car market worldwide, according to Andy Reid, ClassicCars.com Journal marketplace analyst and East Coast editor.
“The total sales numbers and the 90 percent sell-through speak to the market in general, a market that looks to be moving its money into hard assets in this inflationary time,” Reid said. “We are in the hottest collector car market I have seen in my more than 20 years of covering collector cars. It seems anything, no matter what kind of car it is, will sell for considerably more money than it would have 18 months ago.
“This is likely to continue for the near term, but it is anyone’s guess as to how long it will last. I would guess that this is a trend that may well continue through Monterey Car Week (in August) and into the fall.
“If you have an interesting car to sell, now might be the time to do so.”
Mecum’s top-selling vehicle was a significant piece of motorsport and Shelby history, the 1965 Shelby GT350 Prototype, known as the “Flying Mustang,” and considered to be the most important Shelby Mustang — and the most expensive as well — selling for $3.75 million. Still, that was $100,000 less than what the car realized when sold by Mecum in July 2020.
Right behind the historic Mustang was a rare modern exotic, a 2020 McLaren Speedtail driven just 194 miles that sold for $3.3 million. Following that was a 1992 Ferrari F40 sold for $2.75 million and a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing at $2.64 million.
The fifth spot was taken by the remarkable sale of the renowned 1951 Hirohata Mercury Custom, an iconic “lead sled” classic built by Sam and George Barris. It sold for $2.145 million.
In all, 13 vehicles reached seven-figure prices at Mecum. Two unexpected top-10 sales were for a 1936 White Model 706 tour bus that carried tourists at Glacier National Park, which reached $1.43 million, and the 1994 Porsche 911 Turbo featured in the film Bad Boys, which also sold for $1.43 million.
“Of all these amazing high sales, the ones that most surprised me were the Glacier National Park bus and the Bad Boys Porsche Turbo,” Reid said. “These are both interesting, but a bus and a 1994 Porsche at almost one-and-a-half million seems pretty crazy.”
The top-10 highest-selling lots at Mecum’s Kissimmee auction were:
1. 1965 Shelby GT350R Prototype at $3.75 million
2. 2020 McLaren Speedtail at $3.3 million
3. 1992 Ferrari F40 at $2.75 million
4. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing at $2.64 million
5. 1951 Hirohata Mercury Custom at $2.145 million
6. 2016 Pagani Huayra at $2,117,500
7. 1967 Shelby 427 Cobra roadster at $1.43 million
8. 1936 White Model 706 Glacier National Park tour bus at $1.43 million
9. 1994 Porsche 911 Turbo at $1.43 million
10. 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster at $1.375 million
(All results include auction fees)
Mecum’s next auction is the annual Las Vegas motorcycle sale January 25-29, followed by its collector car auction in Glendale, Arizona, on March 16-19. For more information about those auctions and a complete list of Kissimmee results, visit Mecum’s website.