Mecum Returns to Kansas City


First off I apologize to anyone who came back hoping to read an anecdote story about my past life.  This week I have returned temporarily to the Muscle car sales theme that has prevailed in this blog from the start.  Mecum Auctions are/were in Kansas City for a big Auction and there were a lot of cars that sold.  There were many that to the trained eye were what are know to the masses as “money in the bank”.  Most of the sold vehicles went for reasonable money and yet there were probably 30 that sold for well under what a good dealer would sell them for.  These are the vehicles that people like me look for and try to buy to resell for a living.  These are cars that can net someone a nice $10,000 or more profit if you shop right and do your homework. 

In an effort to both educate the novice among you and to show my own ability to spot a bargain, I will share a few of these actual cars with you.  First up would be a car that here in Chicagoland is almost impossible to get ahold of.  A 1968 Oldsmobile 442 with a 400 CID engine and in really good condition.  Add the fact that it has the bucket seat interior and wood rim steering wheel and the Ralleye wheels and she is a numbers matching car.  Rough estimate would put it somewhere around $35,000 to $40,000 range, IF you could find one.   Want to know how much someone actually paid?   $17,000.  Yes, my friends….someone managed to pick up a car worth double the money.  And this was not the only one from the sale.

  There are several companies that deal with Muscle cars and run auctions.  One of the best is Mecum.  They seem to be able to get sellers to lower their reserves enough to move a lot of bargains across the staging area.  Some companies seem more intent on helping the seller.  And I understand the seller is who lists the vehicle with the company of his choosing but if it doesn’t sell there is no commission.  There is a listing fee that the auction house gets but the sellers commission is what makes the auction house their money.  So, no buyer and no sale then no commission.  Being the buyer, I like this type of thinking better, anyway.

Then there was a 1969 AMC AMX with a 390 and a 4 speed manual transmission.  Red with a silver vinyl interior.  A very nice “driver” car.  Something you can actually take out for a cruise on the weekend and not be afraid of putting a few miles on. 

While I benefit from my proximity to Kenosha Wisconsin and the fact that this area has a rather high AMC fan base due to the fact Kenosha was home base for AMC,  this vehicle that sold for $16,000 would bring from $25,000 to $30,000.

So, while not double your money, it comes close.  And sometimes close is nice, too.

Next we have a 1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 convertible.  The 1969 convertibles used the “S” body for the convertible.  Later years even the 442 convertibles used the Supreme body style with its squared off rear quarter panel tops.  This was despite the fact the Supreme body style was not used for the actual 442.  This convertible would sell for around $40,000 and it went out the door for $23,500.  Nice little profit for someone to make and it’s value should climb actually ahead of the majority of the Muscle cars due to the huge following these 442’s have.

The 1969 Cortez Silver Chevelle SS396 is another GM that has an amazingly huge following.  There is a guy who lives just a few houses down from me who owns a landscaping company that has a matching his and hers set of 1971’s.  His is Blue – hers is Red….or maybe it’s the other way around I don’t know for sure.  Anyway it seems like the Chevelle is similar to being a Ferrari guy.  You don’t own a Ferrari- you collect them.  The same seems to be true with Chevelles.  A tow truck company owner I know also has 4 or 5 of them.  This silver SS396 version sold for 26,000 dollars and is worth probably close to $35,000 or maybe $40,000.  So figure a 30% premium there.  Not too shabby.

Next vehicle is a 1967 Pontiac LeMans.  It is not a GTO.  It has a 400 engine with the tri-power carburetor set-up like the 1966 and earlier 389 GTO’s had.  This was not a factory deal.  This is something the vehicle owner did to make it unique.  The car is a convertible and that makes it more valuable than just a hardtop.  It sold for $23,750.  The guy who owned it did not do the usual clone job and did NOT put GTO badges on the vehicle as would normally have been done.  He was not trying to make a clone, he just wanted the GTO experience without the price tag.  A true GTO convertible would have set him back in the neighborhood of $45-50,000.  A Real Estate salesman in my subdivision has a GTO clone that he has paid over $40,000 and it’s a hardtop with the LeMans tail lights not the slotted GTO blinkers that tells everyone what is real.  This car is more difficult to figure a price on, but I would say it should fetch $35,000 from the right person fairly easily.

Anyway, before I run into a blog entry that resembles a draft of War And Peace…( way too long )…I should wrap this up.  The point I am making is that Auctions present some very good bargains and they are an excellent source for finding vehicles.  The major Auction companies spend enormous amounts of time and money checking documentation on vehicles and making sure that they are presented as what they actually are.  And while you can find everything from totally restored better than new cars you can also find daily drivers and unrestored vehicles.  And if you arm yourself with the knowledge, you can really make or save yourself some cash too.

davey boy

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One Response to “Mecum Returns to Kansas City”

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