Mecum Indy 2024 – Our Top Ten Favs

Sales from Mecum Indy 2024

Mecum Indy is behind us, and we’ll soon have the total sales information from the company. Until then, we wanted to share with you our Top Ten favorites from the sale. They aren’t necessarily the top ten sales, but we like every one of them and feel they are worth paying attention to when considering trends moving the collector car market.

Carroll Shelby. AC Cars. Ford. The building blocks of how Shelby created the Cobra. The first Cobras, about 75, carried the Ford 260 CI V8. Shelby switched to the new 289 CI engine shortly after that.

Multiple race victories and even a world championship came to the 289-powered cars. In 1964 Shelby saw GM test some advanced Corvettes with big block V8’s. His team set out to fit the big block Ford 427 medium riser engine into the Cobra.

Every part of the car required work to handle the extra 100+ horsepower. The chassis tubes were enlarged from 3” to 4”. The leaf spring suspension was dropped in favor of an adjustable coil spring setup. The chassis was widened by 5” to fit the wider 427 CI motor. New body work was formed to fit over the chassis and allow for the necessary wider wheels/tires.

The initial order called for 100 street-going Cobras with the 427 V8 medium riser with two 4-barrel carbs. After these cars were built, Ford had an issue with production of the engines and Shelby opted for the Police Interceptor 428 CI for the next 100 cars. The 427 wasn’t used again until the 3300 series cars.

This example is the last of the medium riser series with the 427. It is presented as-built with a spectacular restoration. It wears its correct colors of Red paint over Black leather and is fitted with Starburst alloy wheels. It retains its original body, chassis, engine, transmission, and rear end.

Cobras are great cars and the big block cars are the stuff of legend. This being the last of the initial run of 427 cars, it brought $2,145,000 at Indy.

When you hear “ZR1” used to describe a Corvette, you may think of the 2019 C7 or the 638 HP C6 from 2009. But the very first ZR1 is the rarest of all. In 1970 Chevrolet introduced the first ZR1 as a successor to the L88. It was powered by a new, solid lifter small block 350 CI producing 370 HP.

It featured a 780 cfm Holley four-barrel carb mounted on an aluminum intake manifold. This engine had an 11:1 compression ratio and was paired with the M22 “rockcrusher” four-speed transmission. It came with heavy duty power brakes, transistor ignition, aluminum radiator, heavy duty springs and shocks, and a list of unavailable parts/options.

What was not available with the ZR1 package were things such as air conditioning, power steering, an alarm, or radio. All were considered unnecessary for performance on the track or street. It was available as either a convertible or coupe, but only 25 examples were sold in 1970.

The convertible seen here is finished in Corvette Bronze paint over a Saddle interior. It came with the removable hard top, finished in the body color, the owner’s manual, and is certified Bloomington Gold with judging sheets included.

Mecum offered this super rare Corvette at their Indy sale with no reserve. It sold for $170,500.

In 1989, the Trans Am was getting old, 20 years old to be exact. Pontiac decided to do something special for that year and produced the “Turbo Trans Am” with a 3.8L V6 engine borrowed from the Buick Grand National but producing more HP by utilizing revised cylinder heads with better flow and special stainless headers.

The result was a conservatively rated 250 HP engine capable of propelling the TTA to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds with a top speed of 162 mph making it the quickest and fastest American production car for that year. This special model was then used as the basis for the Indy 500 pace car (that year’s driver being Bobby Unser) and customers were able to purchase the Indy 500 Pace Car edition. The car seen here is one of those with only 685 original miles and was offered for sale by the Penske Collection.

This Pace Car Edition is finished in White Paint over a Tan leather interior. It is equipped with air conditioning, electric windows, electric mirrors, automatic transmission, a Delco AM/FM cassette stereo with equalizer, tilt steering wheel, engine oil cooler, limited slip, fog lamps, high performance brakes, transmission cooling package, power steering, power brakes, and gold diamond-spoke aluminum wheels. It came with a copy of the window sticker.

We think the exceptional condition, low mileage and the Penske Collection pedigree contributed to an impressive sale price of $64,900. Well-sold.

Ford introduced the Thunderbird in 1955 as an upmarket competitor to the Chevrolet Corvette. It was a more refined car with comfort and luxury as key ingredients to its success. But Ford wasn’t willing to cede performance to the Corvette, so in 1957 they brought out the “F-Code” Bird which featured a Paxton Supercharger fitted to a 310 CI V8 producing 300+ HP.

Supposedly this limited model (196 in total) was produced to homologate the engine for NASCAR competition. Ford brought the new car to Daytona in early ’57 to set a speed record of 160 mph.

1957 was the last year for the first generation Thunderbird, and the last year for several decades for a two-seater T-Bird. The car was slightly redesigned from the previous year with the front bumper, grille, tailfins, and taillights made enlarged. The spare tire was moved into the trunk.

This Thunderbird was heavily optioned with Kelsey Hayes wire wheels, power steering, power brakes, power windows, both tops, Ford O Matic automatic, windshield washer, and AM Town/Country radio, It was finished in Colonial White with a bronze-colored, pleated vinyl interior. It was restored by a Senior Master Concours Judge.

Mecum sold this supercharged T-Bird at Indy for $93,500. Well bought!

The Plymouth Barracuda was introduced in 1964 and produced thru the 1974 model year. 1970 saw the third generation featuring a shorter but wider body than earlier models. Three versions were offered. The ‘Cuda seen here is one of the sport models.

As an option, Plymouth offered the 426 CI V8 HEMI with two 4-barrel carbs rated at 426 HP to make sure this ‘Cuda had the “go” as well as the “show”! It is equipped with a shaker hood, an A833 4-speed transmission, heavy duty suspension, 11-inch brakes, bucket seats, and the A34 Super Track Pak (4.10:1 gears). Paint is High Impact “In Violet” Metallic over a Black vinyl interior.

This example included the original broadcast sheet, a Wise Report, the Chrysler Registry report, and a copy of the Window Sticker. It was reported to be one of 44 Hemi Cuda’s produced for Canada. Hemi’s sell and great colors sell. This combination brought $214,500 when the hammer fell.

In 1968 Shelby production left Los Angeles and returned to Ford. About halfway through the model year Ford brought out a new 428 CI engine called the “Cobra Jet” and installed it in the GT500 cars. This new motor offered significant horsepower increase, rated by Ford at 335 HP and 440 LB FT of torque.

Actual HP was reportedly another 100 HP above the official figures. Shelby wanted to capitalize on the new power and called the cars equipped with this new engine “KR” for King of The Road. The “KR” also featured larger brakes, under hood bracing and revised rear shocks. Of the GT500KR production, 933 were coupes and 518 were convertibles.

The car seen here is one of the 933 coupes but one of only two finished in a special order “Light Orange” paint over a Black vinyl interior. It is equipped with a four-speed manual with a 3.50 traction-lok rear, tilt-away steering wheel, power brakes with front discs, power steering, shoulder harness, extra cooling package, roll bar, and a pushbutton AM radio. The car is listed in the Shelby Registry and came with a Marti report.

We like the KR a lot; they are great driving cars. This one was well sold at $291,500.

1979 brought us the new Fox body Mustang. To maximize publicity in its first year, Ford worked a deal with the Indy 500 for the new Mustang to be the official pace car that year. Jackie Stewart drove the pace car at Indy.

Ford produced over 10,000 pace car replicas sold to the public with a choice of two motors: a 5.0L V8 or a 2.3L turbocharged four-cylinder. Both options were available with either an automatic or a four-speed manual. Just 2,402 of them were equipped with the manual transmission and V8 engine.

All pace cars were finished in a special Pewter and Black paint with orange and red accent striping with a “Pace Car” decal set. The grill was blacked out with horizontal bars, a front spoiler with integrated Marchal fog lights was added as well as a three-piece rear spoiler. They were fitted with unique metric sized wheels and tires. Finally, a nonfunctional cowl induction style hood was used. Inside, Recaro front seats with black and white checkered inserts were fitted along with a leather wrapped steering wheel.

To celebrate the introduction of the car, Ford gave Rick Mears this pace car replica upon his Indy 500 victory that year. Mears sold the car to Team Penske in the 1990’s where it has resided since. The total mileage accumulated is only 1,634 miles. Team Penske sold this Mustang at Indy for $37,400. Very well bought!

In 1953, GM introduced the Corvette at the Motorama display at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in NYC where it was an instant hit. Chevrolet produced 300 hand-built cars that year in a temporary production facility in Flint, MI. This made 1953 the lowest volume production year in Corvette history.

Chevy used a fiber-glass body and reached into the parts bin for the inline 6-cylinder “Blue Flame” engine (150 horsepower) with a Carter triple carb system that was unique to the Corvette and mated to a 2 speed Power glide auto. All 300 cars were painted Polo White. In 1954 Chevy moved production to the St. Louis assembly plant where 3,640 units were made.

Seen here is a 1953, one of the 300 cars. It has a signal seeking radio, heater, and windshield washers. It is Bloomington Gold certified, and NCRS Regional Top Flight. The judging sheets accompanied the Vette.

Mecum Auctions will be offering this beautiful ‘53 Corvette in Indy with no reserve. It was well bought for $154,000.

60 years ago, Ford unveiled the Mustang and began the Pony Car Wars! During those years Ford has given us some very special Mustangs. In 1969 and 1970 Ford produced the Boss 302. It was manufactured for Ford’s racing program so that Ford could enter the SCCA Trans Am series.

Ford started the project with a new block. It featured thin walls and a high nickel content casting. It had four bolt mains, screw in freeze caps, and newly designed cylinder heads Ford had been developing for the upcoming Cleveland 351 power plant. The Boss 302 engine was rated at 290 HP!

Ride height was lowered, front disc brakes, larger sway bars, and the shock tower mounts were reinforced. Dual exhaust, and a Hurst shifter were also utilized. 0-60 mph times were 6.9 seconds, and the quarter mile was 14.6 seconds at 98 MPH.

Exterior changes from the regular Mustang included the elimination of the fake air scoops on the rear quarter panels, front and rear spoilers were added, and a black louvered rear shade. Graphically a “hockey stick” side stripe was added in the 1970 model year. In 1970 with Ford sold 7,013 examples.

The Grabber Green Boss seen here was sold at Mecum in Indy. It had the rear deck spoiler, bucket seats, close ratio 4-speed with Hurst “T” handle shifter, AM radio, Traction-Lok 3.91diff, and a Marti report. This Green Boss sold for $148,500 due to the quality of the restoration and the unique color.

In 1969 Dodge built the high wing Daytona for the sole purpose of winning NASCAR races. In its first race at the Talladega 500 they did exactly that! The Daytona was also the first car in NASCAR history to break 200 MPH!

Immediately recognizable by its distinctive 23-inch-tall wing and the unique nose cone, Dodge used both the 426 CI V8 HEMI rated at 426 HP and the 440 CI Magnum rated at 375 HP. Dodge only built 503 Daytona’s in 1969, the only year of production.

The Daytona seen here was equipped with a matching numbers 440 Magnum mated to a four-speed manual transmission with a wood knob Hurst shifter, and was optioned with power steering, power brakes, and a A33 Track Pak rear with 3.55 gears. Paint is Hemi Orange over a White vinyl bucket seats with a distinctive White wing. The famous “wing” stood 23 inches tall and was adjustable. It also features a factory AM radio with rear speaker.

This Daytona came with a copy of the original broadcast sheet and a reproduction window sticker. It sold for $396,000.