11 June 2014

Auction Preview: Mecum’s 2014 Seattle sale

Mecum Auctions heads to the Pacific Northwest for the first time this weekend, June 13-14, 2014. The sale will be held at CenturyLink Field Event Center in Seattle, Wash., and 600 cars are expected. Given the local climate's propensity to preserve cars (no salt on the roads, little sun to bake interiors), the event is primed to bring a number of interesting cars to market, and Mecum has done an amazing job of combining accessible cars with headline-worthy cars (Mickey Thompson's 1963 Z06 Corvette, anyone?). Here are our five on our list:

1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible
Lot S95
Hagerty Price Guide: $1,210,000 - $2,145,000
A car of superlatives. Easily the most anticipated car of this auction and one of the most interesting cars to come to market this year. The Hemi Cuda convertible is also one of the most valuable production muscle cars, and for many the symbol of plummeting values following the heady days of 2006-07. They are inherently cool and incredibly rare (only 23 were built in part because the engine and body style are an incongruous pairing for many), and values have been difficult to ascertain in the wake of the muscle car correction of 2008. This particular example is a well-known and -documented car with 4-speed that should help bring some clarity to how far top-tier muscle has rebounded.

1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Coupe
Lot S113
Hagerty Price Guide: $2,000,000 - $3,550,000
Over the past two years, Mecum has established itself as the premier seller of important Corvettes, and it is selling two L88s in Seattle alone. This timing has coincided with the L88’s astronomical price ascension, and the sale of this restored 1967 coupe should be an interesting complement to the Hemi Cuda in terms of the relative pecking order for crown-jewel caliber muscle cars.

1972 Mercedes-Benz 250C Coupe
Lot F34
Hagerty Price Guide: $4,800 -$17,400
Mercedes-Benz coupes and sedans from the mid-1960s to early 1970s are particularly popular in the Northwest, where their combination of practical utility, outstanding build quality, and a refined visual presence resonate strongly among enthusiasts. This example is a desirable Euro model with 4-speed and some recent cosmetic work. The 250 was an entry-level model for Mercedes when new and continues to be so today, but what better way to gain entry?

1978 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Coupe
Lot F112
Hagerty Price Guide: $8,400 - $37,000
One of the untold market stories is the recent rise of massive 1970s American luxo-barges. While convertibles have long been on certain collectors' wish lists, closed cars that have been cheap for the longest time are now less so. Low-mile and well-cared-for examples abound, and younger buyers love the overblown nature of these cars (opera windows, vinyl-covered landau roof, quilted leather seats, doors that are longer than some cars today) as well as the price. Keep an eye out because deals can still be found, for now.

1959 Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite
Lot S137
Hagerty Price Guide: $6,000 - $28,300
Few automobiles relay the joys of driving a slow car fast better than a Sprite. Mark I Bugeyes come at a price compared to later iterations of Sprite, but the charming face is more than worth it for most buyers. This black-over-red example has its original drivetrain, which is rare among these cars, as well as a recent cosmetic restoration, and will be certain fun for a new owner.

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