May, 2013 -- Just when you think it couldn't get any better, it does. Mecum pulled out all the stops in its 26th Spring Classic in Indianapolis, Indiana, with a diverse field of dream cars rolling across their auction stage. From the much-anticipated, one-of-a-kind Super Snake, to the movie star Eleanor, to the thousands of other stellar muscle and vintage cars, the hits in this six-day event, just kept on coming. Here are just a few of the memorable classics in this automotive wonderland.
The most powerful Mustang Shelby ever built is now the most expensive Mustang ever sold at auction. The only one of its kind, the 1967 Super Snake with its lightweight 427 engine, was one of the top star cars at the auction. Created as the test vehicle for a new line of Goodyear tires, Carroll Shelby, himself, clocked the Snake at 170 mph. The tire test was a resounding success, and needless to say, and so is the Super Snake's importance as a Shelby original. Final bid on this supercar was $1.3 million. Update: Mecum sold the Super Snake again -- this time for $2.2 million.
The iconic Eleanor Mustang, from the movie 'Gone in Sixty Seconds,' continues to be popular long after the release of the 2000 high-octane car flick. There seems to be no end to the demand for these customized Ponies, and after its showing at Mecum, there will likely be even more replicas built.
To further fuel the crowd's anticipation, flashing buttons, with the slogan, 'Go Baby Go,' the words around the nitrous button on Eleanor's shifter, were distributed at the auction. You could feel the excitement in the air, as well as hear it, as spectators and buyers gathered around this special car that was driven by Nicholas Cage in the movie. The new owner won bragging rights for a cool million -- well worth it, considering its pedigree.
When it comes to big block muscle, it doesn't get much better than the 427 Corvettes, with their high powered 400 HP engines. The vintage black exterior, with rare blue interior, made this award-winning 1967 Vette, offered at Mecum, even more special. In addition to being heavily optioned, it also had extensive documentation, making this car a true blue chip investment. Its current value, established by the high bidder, was $610,000.
This 1965 Mercury Comet is historically significant because it was a winning drag car in the in the mid-1960s. Performance enhanced by Don Nicholson, it was one of the fastest cars of its time and a forerunner of today's flip top, funny cars. This beautifully-restored Cyclone sold for $410,000.
A real Shelby Cobra, in and of itself, is a very special car, but the one sold at Mecum's Indy auction had the distinction of being part of Carroll Shelby's personal collection, and it was the last car sold by him before his death in 2012. This Cobra also was uniquely absent of any paint. Its aluminum body had been painstakingly polished to a chrome-like finish. The selling price was $320,000, an amount which is highly likely to increase over time.
For Blue Oval fans, the top gun of classic Mustangs is the Boss 429. Built so that the 429 engine could be sanctioned for NASCAR, only a limited number of these semi-hemis were released to the public domain. And, two of these heavy hitters were at Mecum, for sale to the highest bidder. The black Boss 429 sold for $255,000, and the white Boss sold for $225,000.
The Corvette made its debut in 1953. Of the 300 built that year, the 93rd expertly restored one to roll off the assembly line made its appearance at the Mecum Indy auction. It was easy to see why this 1953 has received multiple awards, making it a true blue chip collectible. Selling price was $250,000.
In 1963, Chevy introduced a ground breaking new body design for their Corvettes. Fundamentally a concept car, turned production car, the 1963 Vette had many striking design features, including the aesthetically-pleasing, but limited--view rear split window. As a result, the window design was changed the following year, making the 1963 model a rare find. Therefore, the first-class restoration of this black 1963 Corvette Split Window Coupe, with red interior, offered at Mecum drove the winning bid to $240,000.
Only 15 Thunderbirds were hand built for racing, and this is one of only eight known to exist today. With their 312 supercharged engines, the Phase I D/F Thunderbirds were the ultimate performance car available from Ford at that time. This Inca Gold Bird, offered at Mecum, is the only Thunderbird with overdrive, and is particularly valuable because of its comprehensive documentation and full ownership history. This drag racer sold for $230,000.
This beautiful, color-correct Gulf Turquoise 1954 Skylark, with matching two-toned leather interior, is no lightweight, since it weighs in at 4300 pounds. This American luxury cruiser still has its original 322 horsepower V-8 engine, and is the earliest known 1954 Buick Skylark known to exist. With a final sales price of $150,000, buying this gem didn't come cheap.
One of the 'fun' offerings at Mecum was a 1936 Ford Wrecker. This fully-restored, heavy duty prewar workhorse has been painted bright red, the body's exterior includes period graphics, and it has an authentic flathead V8 engine. This quality restoration provided an interesting contrast to the rows of muscle cars on display, but $70,000 wasn't enough for the highest bidder to take this Wrecker home.
This was one of the coolest vehicles to cross the auction stage on the last day of the sale. Since the two-tone van had a refrigerator in the back, all you need is a music player, and you can start your own neighborhood ice cream delivery service. This eye-catching ride received a high bid of $75,000.
These unique, part-car, part-boat vehicles, with their hull-shaped design and twin propellers, are always crowd pleasers. This expertly-restored 1967 Amphicar, dubbed 'Seasick,' underwent a three year complete nut and bolt restoration. The car part of the vehicle is a 4-speed, with a reverse gear, and the boat part has single forward and reverse gears. It didn't sale, but considering its rarity, it won't be long until it has a new home. High bid was $70,000.
This Torino King Cobra prototype, built with a Boss 429 engine, was intended for NASCAR racing. Unfortunately, it never saw track time, since the program started to fund its development was dropped. It is one of three examples of what might have been Ford's answer to MOPAR's Superbird. It received a high bid of $350,000.
If you have a passion for big cars, with tons of chrome, then this 1958 Mercury wagon is for you. This fresh nut and bolt restoration, with its two-tone paint, is an extremely rare family hauler. Even a look inside offers a surprise -- it has push button forward and reverse controls. High bid on this big boat was $45,000.
This radically-customized hot rod had the honor of being the highest-powered vehicle at the auction. Named 'Twice Blown,' this combination of style and engineering had two Hemi supercharged engines, each producing 572 horsepower. The final bid of $120,000 wasn't enough for the highest bidder to close the sale.