Market and auctions

Mecum in Florida: 217 million in a single Auction! A record

Cliff Goodall’s view

Photo credit: Mecum

$201,177,010, plus almost $16 million from automobilia and motorcycles: Mecum in Kissimmee (FL) was a resounding success. This is the highest number ever achieved by a historic car auction (the previous record was $159 million). To put this into context, that’s greater than Gooding achieved for all of 2021 combined. I am lost for words!

Just like being behind the wheel: everything you need to know to fully understand the situation

After the success of 2021, the 2022 edition exceeded everyone’s expectations: 3,125 cars on offer, 2,676 sold for a percentage of 85.63%, a sharp increase compared to last year (82.63% with 1,818 cars sold).

Just like being behind the wheel: everything you need to know to fully understand the situation

Here are some results that made my jaw drop: starting with the top lots, including the 1965 Shelby GT350R Prototype that was the main attraction of the event, sold for $3,750,000 (€3,319,700).

1965 Shelby GT350R Prototype sold for $3,750,000 (€3,319,700)

In second place, one of the 106 McLaren Speedtails from 2020, with just 194 miles on the clock, changed hands for $3,300,000 (€2,921,340).

2020 McLaren Speedtail sold for $3,300,000 (€2,921,340)

Other models followed suit, some at the very highest level, others particularly useful to understand how the market is going: the first is a real “benchmark” for the market. The Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gullwing” until recently had been sliding down in value. It reached its peak in 2014 with one selling for $2,530,000 (€2,240,000), whereas in the last 2 years, no example has managed to exceed the threshold of $1,710,000 (€1,513,000). So, the one up for sale at Mecum, very well restored but not by Paul Russell’s very capable hands, the very best for this particular model, seemed somewhat overestimated for me at $1.7m-$2m, also because it wasn’t clear whether the Rudge wheels were original. But nevertheless, the hammer fell at $2,640,000 (€2,337,075), setting a new record for this model, excluding the aluminium versions of course.

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gullwing” sold for $2,640,000 (€2,337,075)

Another case: the Lamborghini Murciélago, of which two were up for sale. All the cars from Sant’Agata are experiencing a golden moment, even those from 2000-2005. The first to step up to the plate: black with 3,500 miles on the clock, $253,000 (€224,000). Second one up: orange with 6,295 miles, without reserve. Bam! $330,000 (€292,150) out of the park and a home run!

2008 Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 sold for $330,000 (€292,150)

The European market is not particularly interested in hot rods, but that is not the case in America: certainly many American collectors have a considerable interest. Mecum put on the platform the famous “Hirohata”, from 1953, a Custom car built by the legendary hot rod specialist George Barris on a 1951 Mercury, and quite possibly the most famous hot rod ever. Of course, the price was also a record: $2,145,000 (€1,898,900), a figure that destroyed any previous category records.

1951 Hirohata Mercury Custom by George Barris sold for $2,145,000 (€1,898,900)

Before we see how close we were to reality with our predictions, let’s focus on two cars that set new records in Florida: the first was the very-unloved Ferrari 348. Until recently, no one considered it, but the market is changing: a 1990 example with 4,708 miles on the clock changed hands for $107,250 (€94,945), setting a new record.

1990 Ferrari 348 TS sold for $107,250 (€94,945)

Another car that amazed me, and also set a new record for the model, was the Jeep Grand Wagoneer. One of the most beautiful examples I have ever seen, with a full nut and bolt restoration that took almost 3 years to complete, it changed hands for $154,000 (€136,330), some 22% more than the previous record.

1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer sold for $154,000 (€136,330)

We now come to our predictions from two weeks ago: the first was the Ferrari F40 with an offer of $2.8m-$3.2m. Briefly, I thought the price was high. Despite being a rare 1992 specimen, the comparison was with a record of $2,805,000 (€2,483,140) set for an example that had covered just 2,500 miles since new. The one on sale at Mecum that had covered 8,732 miles was sold for $2,750,000 (€2,434,450), which I still think is very high: I had imagined somewhere in the region of 15-20% less. A great result for those who own one.

1992 Ferrari F40 sold for $2,750,000 (€2,434,450)

The other lot was the 1994 Porsche 911 3.6 Turbo as seen in the 1995 film “Bad Boys”. Here there were no parameters to compare it with, but at $1.5m-$1.7m it was the equivalent of 10 standard examples without history. In this case the sales price was $1,430,000 (€1,265,915), slightly below the estimates but in any case, higher than my forecast, still 9 times higher than a normal one.

1994 Porsche 911 Turbo “Bad Boys” Movie Car sold for $1,430,000 (€1,265,915)

The third car in my sights was the Ford GT. Six examples for sale and a rising market, how do you think it performed? Well, here’s your answer: the market continued to rise. The Heritage version set a new absolute record at $715,000 (€632,955), up 18% from the previous one set only in August. The others did pretty well too, going for $550,000, $539,000 and $401,500.

I’ll stop here, there’s enough to write an entire book, but the American adventure continues. See you next Thursday.

2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition sold for $715,000 (€632,955)