Amongst all of the auctioneer’s chatter and numbers crunching last weekend’s Mecums Austin Auction, held in the Austin Civic Center in Austin, Texas, managed to take in some heavenly high bids. Despite having some projected key sellers roll away, a pair of Ford GTs, a Plymouth ‘Cuda, and my personal favorite, a COPO Camaro helped to “keep the lights on.”
The 2006 Ford GT sold for $310,000, the 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda for $275,000, the 2005 Ford GT went for $269,000, and the 1969 Chevrolet COPO Camaro was stolen for $170,000. I would love to see more of the older cars in the top spots, instead of the Ford GTs; not because I have anything against the Blue Oval, but because the sale prices of the GTs skew the results due to their already astronomical selling price when new ($275,000 to $500,000, depending upon equipment). So, you wind up with a GT that was new in ’06 and cost around $350,000 selling for $310,000 in first place and a 1970 Plymouth that sold for about $4,000 in ’70 in second place, drawing a final bid of $275,000.
Mecum is in the auction business and therefore would like to see every car that takes the gavel sell for a great price. Unfortunately, between reserved and non-reserved bidding, there will likely be a few that fall between the cracks. Here are four very special cars that took the gavel on Saturday night in Austin and departed the stage in differing conditions of ownership. The first two were bid upon and sold, while the final two entries each took potentially record setting bids and chose to “roll” right out of the side door, into the parking lot, and eventually back onto the car carrier.
Lot S125 1970 Plymouth Barracuda Hemi 426/425 HP $275,000 SOLD!
Black on black, this is believed to be one of only seven ’70 black Hemi cars in existence. It is an A34 Super Track Pak car that features numbers matching powertrain and body, the original broadcast sheet, the original VIN tag, and the original fender tag. Additionally, after a no expense spared frame off rotisserie restoration in 2009, the Black exterior paint has a mirror finish and every piece of stainless-steel and chrome trim are immaculate. The car has 44,000 original miles, comes to a halt using power disc brakes, and uses a four-speed manual transmission (with a pistol grip shifter) to place the hoof prints on the pavement.
Lot S121 1955 Chrysler C 300 $76,000 SOLD!
This is the Hemi powered car of which many enthusiasts have never heard. Could it be because it is one of only 1,725 produced? Or could the fact that it was manufactured 10-years prior to the GTO, Camaro, or Mustang? It is equipped with a 331cid Hemi engine with a racing camshaft and two-four-barrel-carbs. The exterior is skillfully sprayed in Tango Red, after a body-off restoration that also yielded soft and supple tan leather interior (factory) that more closely resembles that of a New Yorker than a muscle car but it works. It rides on chrome wire wheels and Goodyear whitewall tires and stops using power brakes.
Lot S130 1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 coupe $850,000 ROLLED!
This prime hunk of Chevrolet rolling-stock is powered by a numbers matching powertrain that includes a 427cid engine (capable of conservatively 430-horsepower) mated to a Muncie M22 Rockcrusher manual four-speed transmission. It is one of only 116 L88 cars built for the 1969 model year and has won many awards and certifications including the National Corvette Restorer’s Society (NCRS) award in 2004. Despite being restored by the world famous Naber’s Brothers in 2005, the odometer has only slightly over 2,000-miles. Rally wheels with trim rings and center caps, wrapped in Firestone Super Sport black wall tires, add the perfect compliment to the rare Tuxedo Black exterior and black interior.
Despite being one of Hollywood’s most recognizable cars, after all this 1967 Ford Mustang is number 7 of 11 “Eleanor” versions built by Cinema Vehicle Services of North Hollywood, California, for the 2000 remake of the original 1974 cult classic “Gone in 60 Seconds.” The car is one of only three used in scenes involving the cast of Gone …, which included Nicholas Cage, Giovanni Ribisi and Angelina Jolie, and it incorporates the now-famous design features originally penned by famed hot rod designer Steve Stanford. In this one-of-a-kind “resto-modification” the front grille was opened up and filled with simple horizontal bars; this treatment was repeated below in the front valence, which is also fitted with trim tabs and twin driving lights, the latter reminiscent of the 1967 Shelby.
There is more Shelby influence in the prominent hood bulge, dual racing stripes, upper and lower side scoops, quick-fill fuel tank filler cap, integrated rear spoiler and Thunderbird-style tail lights. The Eleanor styling package is brought home with bold fender flares and side exhaust (the latter added by Cinema Vehicle Services after filming was complete), Halibrand-style Schmidt 17-inch wheels and distinctive two-tone Silver and Charcoal paint. A Ford Racing 351 CI crate engine with Holley 700 CFM 4-barrel carburetor and high-volume fuel pump, 4-speed manual transmission and Positraction rear end combine for Eleanor-grade performance. A Fluidyne Racing Products aluminum radiator and Total Control front reinforcement braces were critical performance additions. The car is further equipped with air conditioning, 4-wheel disc brakes, a Lecarra steering wheel and Auto Meter Sport Comp tachometer. Designated by CVS as car number 7 in the series, this trend-setting movie star car comes with a letter of authenticity from Cinema Vehicle Services founder and president Ray Claridge.