THE WHEEL DEAL
Highlights not to be missed at world’s largest collector car auction
Mecum Kissimmee, the world’s largest collector car auction, is back for its 15th year with 3,500 vehicles on the block at Osceola Heritage Park. The 10-day event also will feature road art for auction, plus guitars, motorcycles, boats and more through Jan. 12. More than 100,000 people are expected to attend, and total sales could top last year’s record of $107.5 million.
Although collector cars are the highlights of the Kissimmee auction, Mecum isn’t just an affair for top-dollar bidders. Individuals and families can attend for $30 per person to enjoy the event’s offerings, which include everything from live music to Dodge Thrill Rides to road art.
“This has grown into not only the largest collector car auction, but it’s an event that happens to have an auction,” said Dave Magers, Mecum’s CEO.
Here are some highlights from this year’s event:
Cars that might be older than your grandparents: Many of Mecum’s collectible treasures on wheels are as old as the ’40s and ’50s, while some come from the late 2010s. There are, however, some exceptions to the rule.
A 1915 Ford Model T is among the oldest of the auction’s Kissimmee offerings, joined
by several similar Ford examples. Other near-century-old cars include a 1924 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Pall Mall Tourer, a 1926 Oldsmobile Landau and a 1928 Chevrolet Roadster.
Rare vehicles you might
not see elsewhere: At a Mecum auction, it’s not uncommon to see cars that were only one of so many produced, special anniversary editions of vehicles or those with uncommon colors, features or styles.
One example comes in the form of a 1960 Volkswagen Transporter, a cross between a VW Bus and a pickup truck. Other notable vehicles include the 1968 Challenger 2 Streamliner, which set the record for the fastest piston-driven vehicle, a hot pink 1970 Dodge Charger R/T, several dragsters and a 2017 Ford GT previously owned by John Cena.
Classic off-roaders in
mint condition: Owning an off-road capable vehicle doesn’t necessitate taking it off the pavement. Bidders and attendees who are fond of vintage SUVs in nearly mint (or restored) condition can find pre-2000 Toyota Land Cruisers, plenty of classic Jeeps (dating as far back as the Willys era), eight Land
Rover Defenders and almost two dozen Ford Broncos. Not to mention Chevy Blazers and other pickup trucks of all kinds that can be found at the auction.
New supercars most can only dream of owning:
There are many more people that have fantasies about owning an exotic sports car than can actually afford one. Mecum attendees, however, can at least get up close with their dream cars.
McLarens, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porches, Bentleys, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes and more are on display for all ticketholders to see. For the right price, you can even take one home. If you’re only looking — just try not to leave any fingerprints.
‘The year of the movie car’: There are good reasons why Dave Magers, Mecum’s CEO, dubbed this Kissimmee auction the “year of the movie car.” Upon walking into the west entrance of the show’s big glass tent, three famed vehicles greet visitors, each with a movie poster beside it.
Stephen King fans should instantly recognize the red 1958 Plymouth Fury, a possessed car that starred in “Christine.” It sits beside “Eleanor,” a 1967 Ford Mustang used in the 2000 version of “Gone in 60 Seconds,” which is next to a 1966 Ford GT40 built by Superformance for the 2019 feature film, “Ford v Ferrari.”
However, those fourwheeled stars are just the opening act for the main attraction.
“Bullitt” — A 1968 Mustang GT once driven by
Steve McQueen: The headliner for Mecum Kissimmee is a 1968 Ford Mustang GT, famously known as “Bullitt” for its role in the 1968 movie of the same name. This was the hero car driven by Steve McQueen and was hidden away, owned by a family and privately kept, for more than four decades.
A BMW convertible is on the auction block Thursday at Mecum Kissimmee, which features 3,500 vehicles. The event runs through Jan. 12.
“Bullitt,” a 1968 Ford Mustang GT that could sell for millions at auction during Mecum Kissimmee 2020.
A 1915 Ford Model T is one of the older cars that will be up for auction at Mecum Kissimmee 2020.