Mecum Indy 2023
Mecum’s Spring Classic brought some major Muscle Cars to the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Indiana. More than 3000 classics were showcased at this flagship event, including a 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T SE ‘The Black Ghost,’ a 1960 Chevrolet Corvette Le Mans Racer, a 1929 Duesenberg Model J LaGrande Blind Quarter Brougham, a 2021 McLaren Elva Roadster, a 1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88/ZL1 Greenwood Race Car, a 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster, and a 2020 Ford GT Heritage Edition. Like the historic Indy 500 race at the Brickyard, this has become an annual event not to be missed.
When the auction ended on Saturday, the surprise top sale on the leaderboard was a 1970 Plymouth Cuda. This Cuda, which had been customized for the company’s 1970s Rapid Transit road show, sold for an eye-popping $2,200,000 – three times its pre-sale estimate. Here are the other top sales, as well as some of the other cars that received high bids but did not reach the reserve price.
Top 10 Sales
Top 8 High Bids That Didn’t Sell
More Surprises and Special Cars that Crossed the Auction Block
Although the breakout sale of the 1970 Rapid Transit Cuda was quite a surprise, there were many other classics that made the Indy auction memorable. Here are six that rocked the auction block.
1971 Plymouth Hemi Road Runner
When this triple black Road Runner crossed the auction block, it was in stark contrast to many of the high-impact colors offered by Mopar. Despite the Road Runner having a Hemi, it didn’t seem to be a highly sought-after classic, particularly given the new ’71 body style, which leaves much to be desired. Nevertheless, the bidding blasted by $100,000, then $200,000, on the way to a final hammer price of $500,000! It Turns out this “sleeper” is a one-owner car, well known in the Mopar community as possibly the most original 4-speed Hemi Road Runner of its kind in existence.
1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible
Proving that “when the top goes down the price goes up,” this Chevy convertible sold for $242,000. This very strong price can be attributed to its exacting restoration, its like-new showroom condition, and its stunning white over-red color combination.
1959 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham Custom Station
This Cadillac is a high-end show car that started life as a 4-door Eldorado Brougham, a rarity to begin with. In fact, the car is customized throughout with a one-off tubular fame and is powered by a Tom Nelson twin turbo Racing Engine developing over 2,000 HP. In 2019 this Caddy won the prestigious Ridler Award making it arguably the best custom-built car for the year. It’s reported to have cost over $3 Million to build, which makes the selling price at the auction, $429,000, seem like a bargain.
1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda
This Cuda is also a well-known car in the Mopar community. Soon after its delivery, it was given a custom paint job. Other than the special paint, the owner kept the car original and only drove it 12,000 miles. It sold for a premium Hemi Cuda price of $357,500.
1965 Shelby Cobra CSX4000 Series 50th Anniversary
The CSX4000 Series Cobras are limited editions built by Carroll Shelby’s Shelby American shop and are part of the Shelby Registry. As such, they have the same pedigree as the cars built in ’65 but are modern versions with advanced technologies. This particular car was ordered with the optional polished aluminum finish, making it even more eye-catching than the painted versions. It sold for $467,500
1984 Lola T800 Cosworth Indy Car
It’s no accident that Mecum holds their annual spring sale in the weeks leading up to the Indy 500. What better way to draw attention to their auction than to take advantage of the excitement of the impending race? Mecum takes it one step further and adds actual Indy cars to the auction docket. This year a very significant racer was offered. The 1984 Lola, driven by legendary Mario Andretti, crossed the block. Although it didn’t sell, a lot of people got the opportunity to see a historic race car without going to a museum.