THE WHEEL DEAL

High­lights not to be missed at world’s largest col­lec­tor car auc­tion

Orlando Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By Pa­trick Con­nolly

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.

PA­TRICK CON­NOLLY/OR­LANDO SEN­TINEL

A BMW con­vert­ible is on the auc­tion block Thurs­day at Me­cum Kis­sim­mee, which fea­tures 3,500 ve­hi­cles. The event runs through Jan. 12.

PA­TRICK CON­NOLLY/OR­LANDO SEN­TINEL PHO­TOS

“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.

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