Despite a struggling U.S. economy and near record unemployment levels, Mecum’s recent collector car auction in Kissimmee, FL proved two things: there’s still a strong market for collector cars, and those with money don’t mind spending it. Consider the top five automobile purchases: a 1963 Shelby DragonSnake Cobra sold for $875k, a 1966 big block Cobra drew $550k, a 1957 Ford DF Phase 1 got $250k, a 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge sold at $225k and a 1940 Packard Darrin Convertible drew a hammer price of $205k. Even more pedestrian cars drew good prices, like the 1990 Chevy K5 Blazer that sold at $12,750, the 1989 Ford Mustang GT that sold at $11,500 or the 1975 Cosworth Vega that sold at $13,000. If you were looking for a weekend toy, there were bargains to be had as well, like the Chevelle SS replica (complete with 454 motor) that hammered at $11,500.
There were a surprising number of vehicles that didn’t meet their reserve prices, which I believe we’ll continue to see at auctions for some time to come. The collector car (and boat) market has always been cyclical, and those who bought at the peak of the market (remember 2006?) have yet to accept that those prices won’t come back for a long, long time. As with every other auction I’ve ever seen, quality cars sell, regardless of the price. Interesting cars sell, but only if they’re priced with a realistic reserve.
I’m not sure I’m ready to predict a healthy economy in the next six to twelve months, but this much is clear: car enthusiasts are once again opening their wallets, and that’s exactly what it’s going to take to speed up the recovery. Call me hopeful that the worst is behind us.
Source: Mecum Auctions