Mecum 2024 Summer Special

Mecum Summer Special Preview

Mecum Auctions kicked off their 2024 Summer Special on July 10 and will hold the auction through July 13. It’s estimated that 1,500 vehicles will cross the auction block in Kissimmee at Osceola Heritage Park. Considering the sheer number of lots on offer it’s difficult to pick just a few, but we’ve done the difficult and selected five cars that should get plenty of attention from the bidders.

Designed by Howard “Dutch” Darrin, the Kaiser Darrin was one of the first fiberglass sports cars produced in the US, alongside the Chevrolet Corvette. The Kaiser Darrin took inspiration from the sleek designs coming out of Europe at the time and made its debut at the 1953 New York Auto Show.

It was instantly iconic due to many of its unique styling elements, not least of which was the sliding doors that retreated into the front fenders when they were opened. The car was powered by a 161 cubic-inch six-cylinder engine sourced from Willys that generated a slightly disappointing 90 horsepower, although it proved adequate for the lightweight, fiberglass car.

Production issues and financial troubles at Kaiser Motors severely limited the number that were able to be built. It was limited to one year of production and that year saw only 435 examples completed.

The example being offered by Mecum most recently saw a high bid of $60,000 in January, 2024 but that was not enough to meet the reserve. Other examples have sold for higher prices in the past few years so it’s understandable that the seller didn’t take a low bid. It will be interesting to see what happens with this car when it crosses the block.

Introduced in 1982, the Porsche 944 marks a pivotal chapter in Porsche’s history. An evolution of the earlier 924, it was designed to help firm up Porsche’s standing in the sports car market of the 1980s. It featured a more powerful 2.5L inline-four cylinder engine that produced 143 horsepower in its first iteration. It propelled the 944 to a top speed in excess of 130 mph, more than enough for most drivers when it was new.

It featured flared fenders and more aggressive styling that took cues from the 924 Carrera GT, while the interior featured improved ergonomics as well as higher-quality materials to increase its appeal as a practical vehicle. Porsche introduced the 944 Turbo in 1985, increasing power to 217 horsepower, which was followed by the 944 S in 1987 with a 16-valve engine that produced 187 horsepower.

If there’s one thing Porsche got right with the 944, it was its handling capabilities. It featured a near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution and had an impressive suspension system. It proved this with success in a number of motorsport series.

The example being offered by Mecum is from 1986 and is equipped with a five-speed manual transmission. It benefits from a recent respray and a new rear suspension. It also features an upgraded exhaust and LED headlights. This is an excellent opportunity for an enthusiast looking to get into the world of Porsches without breaking the bank.

The 1974 American Motors Javelin AMX represents the final iteration of AMC’s iconic muscle car, introduced in the late 1960s. By 1974, the Javelin AMX had evolved to feature a more refined and aggressive design, incorporating elements like a pronounced hood scoop and bold body lines. This model year was marked by the introduction of stricter emission regulations and safety standards, which impacted performance.

Despite these challenges, the 1974 Javelin AMX maintained its reputation as a muscle car, equipped with a variety of V8 engine options, including the robust 401 cubic inch engine. The 1974 model also introduced features like the radial-tuned suspension, enhancing its handling and ride quality. Although production of the Javelin ceased after 1974, the AMX remains a celebrated symbol of American muscle car culture, reflecting the end of an era for high-performance cars amidst changing automotive industry standards.

The example being offered by Mecum Auctions is equipped with the 401 cubic inch V8 and is paired with an automatic transmission. It features factory air conditioning and optional rally wheels. It presents nicely in extremely original condition and should be an excellent addition to the collection of any AMC fan.

Introduced in 1995, the F355 Spider featured a sleek, aerodynamic body and a retractable soft-top that could be operated electronically, offering an exhilarating driving experience with the wind in your hair. Powered by a 3.5-liter V8 engine producing 375 horsepower, the F355 Spider could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds.

It features improvements such as a new five-valve per cylinder head design and an F1-style paddle-shift gearbox that was introduced in 1997. The example being offered by Mecum Auctions is equipped with the classic gated-shifter and is finished in Giallo with a black interior and black soft top. It shows relatively little usage considering it isn’t the highest-end Ferrari built, showing just over 25,500 miles. It’s received a variety of upgrades including a new exhaust and a Brembo GT kit with drilled and slotted rotors.

These have been slowly appreciating in value over the past few years so this could easily hit $140,000 on the auction block this week.

Introduced in 1969 and known as the Nissan Fairlady Z in Japan, the Datsun 240Z Coupe helped revolutionize the sports car market with its affordable price and high-performance capabilities. Designed by Yoshihiko Matsuo, the 240Z was equipped with a sleek, aerodynamic body and a 2.4L inline-six cylinder engine that produced 151 horsepower and could send the car from 0 to 60 mph in about 8 seconds.

It featured an independent suspension, disc brakes, and well-balanced weight distribution that helped provide a thrilling experience behind the wheel. It was an instant classic in the US thanks to its blending of European aesthetics and Japanese reliability, helping to lay the groundwork for the Z-car legacy and cementing Datsun/Nissan’s place as a major player in the automotive world.

The example set to be offered by Mecum is equipped with a four-speed manual transmission and underwent a rotisseries restoration, having covered just 3,000 miles since the restoration was completed. It’s an early-1971 car with the series 1 rear window. Plenty of photographs of the 1,000 hour restoration are included with the sale of this matching-numbers car.