Each year Mecum Auctions kicks off its series of events at the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida. On those grounds over 3,000 cars head across the auction block over the course of the 10-day event, which was held from January 5-14, 2018. We dropped in the midst of the action to check out all the Blue Oval hardware and share some highlights with you.
“Mecum Kissimmee is our Super Bowl and the kickoff of the collector-car auction year. Our customers can attend the world’s largest collector-car auction in a 60-plus degree temperatures and leave behind the snow and ice at home,” David B. Morton, Manager of Communications and Event Marketing at Mecum Auctions, told us. “From 425 consignments in 2006 to more than 3,000 in 2018, the growth demonstrates the strength of the market, Mecum Auctions’ reach to draw consignments from 40 states and registered bidders from 49 states.
As we walked from the parking lot into the auction grounds, we spotted a ray of automotive sunshine. There was a Pantera perched on a transporter. We knew it would be a great day. The sun beamed between the clouds and while much of the nation was gripped by cold, the Florida sun warmed the park to nearly 80 degrees.
Among the cars up for sale we saw everything from the latest Ford Performance creations to some amazing classics from the ’60s. For your author, it was the clean Fox Mustangs that really stole the show, but there really was something for every kind of Ford fan on the property. And, unlike most car shows, you could actually buy these cars if you had the funds.
“Mecum Kissimmee 2018 demonstrated growth in consignments, registered bidders, and spectators, while providing enhanced entertainment on the expanded Mecum Midway. Our momentum in auction markets across the country continues to make Mecum Kissimmee the ‘bucket list’ item among collector-car enthusiasts,” David said of this year’s event. “The Retractable Roof Collection of 25 Ford-badged Crown Victorias, Fairlanes, Rancheros, and the lone Courier Sedan and Thunderbird provided an impressive array of color and 1950s technology attracted a lot of attention. As did the Ford-badged historical drag racing cars from The Nick Smith Factory Lightweight Collection, highlighted by the 1965 Ford Mustang A/FX Gas Ronda, that hammered sold at $324.500, and the 1964 Ford Thurnderbolt, that sold for $302,500.”
The next Mecum auction rolls into Los Angeles, California, from February 16-17, 2018, so be sure to check it out if you are in the area. You never know what you might see.
10. 2017 Shelby GT350
One day this one might really make a splash when it crosses the auction block. With only 27 miles on the clock, this 2017 Shelby GT350 is literally still in the wrapper. It was never dealer prepped and is optioned up with the Technology Package, so it commanded a good price from the dealer. In Kissimmee it went for $91,850 when the hammer fell.
9. 1966 Shelby GT350
A Fastback Shelby is cool enough in our book, but this one powered by a hopped-up 289. Not having the original engine could have hurt its value, but in this case it didn’t because the numbers-matching stock engine was on a pallet behind the car and sold as part of the package. The combo pulled a whopping $148,500 at the auction.
8. 1966 F100
It might be criminal to not appreciate a Coyote swap, especially if that modern 5.0 is under the hood of a 1969 F100 pickup called ‘The Felon.’ The short-bed truck features numerous custom touches, including a 2013 F-150 dash and a 6R80 six-speed automatic transmission. This one was projected to go for around $20,000, but it didn’t meet the reserve, so it is still on the market.
7. 1965 Mustang Restomod
Not an all-original rarity, but a rarity all the same was a 1965 Mustang that goes by the name Testbed Terror. According to the listing, this restomod is the “Documented test car for the 1967 Ford Mustang Eleanor for Cinema Vehicle Services who built the original Eleanor Mustangs for the movie: Gone in 60 Seconds.” Apparently both the movie’s star, Nicholas Cage and several stuntmen practiced driving in this car at Bob Bondurant’s driving school in Arizona. It was expected to garner around $85,000, but it didn’t sell, so it’s still on the market.
6. 1968 GT500 KR Convertible
What better way to be the King of the Road than in a convertible 1968 Shelby GT500KR? Not only is this example extremely rare, being one of only 57 built, but it looks even better than it did when it drove off the dealer lot in the late ’60s thanks to a full resto job by Michael’s Auto Restoration in Winter Haven, Florida. This one was expected to bring nearly $300,000, but it didn’t make the reserve when it crossed the block. As such, it is still on the market if you want the ultimate hi-po cruiser.
5. 2016 Shelby GT-H
We were on the scene as three modern Shelby GT-H models rumbled up to the stage in Kissimmee, but this one commanded the highest bid of the bunch. “During the 2016 production run of Mustang Shelby GT-H rental cars, 16 were produced with a supercharger and six-speed manual transmission for Hertz executives,” said the listing. “CSM 007 is one of those cars, originally owned by the head of fleet for Hertz North America and the person who was instrumental in putting together the GT-H program.” With only 665 miles on the odometer, this Rent-A-Racer brought in $156,750.
4. 1969 Boss 429
What is cooler than a Boss 429? Well, one with a 521-cube stroker, of course. This Royal Maroon machine has to be an absolute beast when you drop the hammer and destroy those rear tires. This one was expected to bring in nearly $200,000, but that didn’t happen in Kissimmee.
3 Roush Warrior
We have written a few stories about Roush Warrior Mustangs, but have never actually seen one in person, as they are only sold to active servicemen overseas. Lt. Commander Robert Hylton bought this example as his retirement present to himself before returning to the States. His was number 44 of 45 constructed as a 2016 model and one of only 15 sprayed in blue. The 570-horsepower rarity garnered $60,500 in Kissimmee.
2 1970 Shelby GT500
Not only was the Drag Pack-equipped GT500 super clean, it tugged at our heartstrings with the vintage Super Ford tag on the rear, as your scribe started out writing for that magazine in the early ’90s. This Grabber Green example appeared on the now-defunct magazine’s cover in 1987 and it still only has 7,460 original miles on the clock. With a 427 Tunnel Port engine under that huge hood, it is a blast from the past, but it didn’t sell at this auction.
1 1991 Mustang GT Convertible
While all the ’60s hardware is cool, we tend to latch on to the cars we grew up with. In the case of your author, those cars are Fox Mustangs. Now, convertibles were never high up this list, but this Titanium Frost 1991 Mustang GT was simply too clean to ignore. Popping the hood to revealed an untouched 5.0-liter brought lots of memories rushing back and served as a reminder of how heavy those stock hoods were. This 34,000-mile example brought in $15,600 at the auction, which is not too far under what it would have commanded when it was new.