Join the group if you’ve ever wondered why some automobiles always seem to draw more attention at auction than others. Apart from the common understanding that rarer and more potent models get the highest prices, we’ve always been curious as to why some cars appear to attract all the attention. The rest of the answer is a mystery to us.
Fortunately, we now possess a kind of crystal ball that we never had before. We asked Mecum Auctions to offer us a list of the top 10 lots in terms of online traffic because they keep track of how many hits each of their lots receives in the days leading up to each auction.
We at HOT ROD are pleased to inform you that each one is ideal for you, dear reader!
The order in which auction lots are scheduled typically follows a pecking hierarchy, depending on factors like whether or not the lot has a reserve or how uncommon it is. You can expect that during the Dallas Mecum live auction broadcast hours on Friday and Saturday, the most popular items will transact.
This is thanks to MotorTrend TV. We still like the chances that you’ll see the majority of them on this list, even though the timing of studio breaks inevitably means that not all of them will be televised;
There will be a lot of online bidders following along, in addition to those present at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, since Texas is a significant muscle car and performance car market. If you want to sing along with Mitch, here are the crucial details for our top 10 Mecum Dallas muscle cars, starting with number 10!
10. 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Split Window Coupe, Lot F124.1
The 1963 Split-Window Corvette coupe, one of the seven automobiles from the Don Johnson collection, has gained notoriety in the lead-up to Dallas Mecum.
This four-speed manual 327ci/300-hp Corvette isn’t the rarest, most well-documented, or most powerful of the 14 mid-year Corvettes (1963–1967) up for auction in Dallas, but that’s precisely why it’s so desirable: As long as the reserve isn’t too high, this one might be the deal that middle-of-the-year Corvette collectors are looking for.
There are a few things to note about this vehicle: It is not the highly sought-after fuel model (like this one), there doesn’t appear to be any NCRS documentation to support the sale, the exterior paint color is not the vehicle’s original color, and, most importantly, the seller has not provided any engine bay photography, which is unusual given the vehicle’s high level of interest.
A 1963 Corvette split-window coupe in good condition, such as this one, is valued at $109,000 by Hagerty.
9. 1970 Chevrolet Yenko Deuce, Lot F93
In the late 1960s, the Yenko Chevrolet dealership in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, was a well-known center of muscle car activity.
In order to miraculously acquire hopped-up cars that few dealerships knew how to obtain directly from the manufacturer, the family dealership took advantage of its extensive inside knowledge of Chevy’s enigmatic Central Office Production Order (COPO) system to produce a long line of enhanced Camaros, Chevelles, and Novas.
The Yenko Nova program started in 1969 with 396ci and 427ci big-block engines, but for the 1970 model—dubbed “Deuce” due to the car’s Chevy II heritage—turned to Chevy’s more-insurable 350ci/360-hp solid-lifter small-block LT-1. Only 10 of the 175 Yenko Deuces produced and sold in 1970 were painted Sunfire Yellow, one of which was this beautiful four-speed specimen that crossed the Mecum block.
Hagerty values 1970 Chevy Yenko “Deuce” Novas with an LT1 engine at $93,600 when they are in good condition.
8. 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W-30, Lot F120
The Oldsmobile 4-4-2 was the GM division’s appropriately posh response to the 1960s performance revolution. It was Lansing’s response to the expanding muscle car market created by its intrastate rival Pontiac.
The Oldsmobile 4-4-2 customer profile demanded a more opulent approach that would set it apart from the crowd as a gentleman’s muscle car despite being equipped with the genre’s typical high-performance goodies like a potent V-8 engine, four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual gearbox, and dual exhaust.
In response to GM’s lifting of the ban on engines larger than 400 cubic inches in 1970, Oldsmobile produced a 455ci big-block with 365 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque.
This Mecum auction example’s W30 performance package added a fiberglass W-25 hood, a low-restriction air cleaner, usable air ducts, an aluminum intake manifold, better-breathing heads, and a new camshaft in addition to increasing the pony total to 370 hp.
A comparable 1970 Olds 4-4-2 with the W30 package was bid up to $85,000 earlier this year at Mecum’s Tulsa auction, but the reserve wasn’t fulfilled. A 1970 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 with the W30 option is valued at $74,400 by Hagerty in good condition, but this Oldsmobile Nationals champion may fetch even more!
7. 1959 Chevrolet Impala, Lot S114.1
One of the finest instances of the pro-touring build type that we’ve seen is Mecum’s lot number S114.1, a 1959 Chevy Impala that will be sold at auction on Saturday, September 23. Full-size 1959 Chevys are the height of American luxury and flair, and they were the first automobiles to popularize the brief-lived “bubbletop” greenhouse style.
However, today’s readily available modern chassis and powerplant components make them much more livable. The 1959 Impala’s long, swooping lines are a major source of inspiration for modern street rod builders (this particular model built in this style is now essentially a meme), and buyers are understandably interested in the LS3/495-hp V-8, automatic overdrive transmission, Wilwood four-wheel disc brakes, and other contemporary conveniences.
Although the Mecum listing doesn’t specify which shop produced this particular vehicle, in the case of a heavily customized pro-touring car, that might have a big impact on the hammer price. Since 2017, Mecum has held 14 pro-tour/resto-mod 1959 Chevy Impala auctions, with an average transaction price (hammer plus fees) of $124,850.
6. 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 3LZ Convertible, Lot F279
This low-mileage, well-equipped 2023 Corvette Z06 convertible has 1,625 original kilometers and always attracts a lot of prospective buyers because it is the newest, fastest form of Chevrolet’s Corvette.
We’re fortunate that this Dallas auction example, lot F279, is a current-model-year Z06 convertible and that the seller has listed all of the significant options (there are a lot!). These options include the 670-hp LT4 engine, eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, 3LZ performance package, Z07 performance package, carbon-fiber aero treatment, gray satin black graphite wheels, and a lot more.
The MSRP for this vehicle is around $145,525; however, based on the construction options we copied on the Chevrolet.com website, we believe this price will be significantly surpassed for this low-mileage model.
5. 1958 Chevrolet Corvette Custom Convertible, Lot S155.1
All vehicle aficionados worldwide are familiar with the iconic 1958 Chevy Corvette convertible. So it comes as no surprise that one of the most popular search terms leading up to Mecum’s Dallas auction was for a 1958 Corvette convertible.
Dallas lot S155.1 refers to it as a “custom,” but considering its extensively updated, 525-hp LS3, Art Morrison frame, four-wheel disc brakes, 4L70E four-speed automatic overdrive, and C7-generation suspension components, we’d label it a full-blown pro touring street rod.
Unfortunately for the seller, pro-touring 1958 Corvettes have a poor history of hammered sales, with the majority of 1958 Corvette restomods historically failing to meet reserve. Why, you inquire? For car builders and restorers, this is a typical dilemma:
Do you restore it as faithfully as you can, or do you convert it into a street-and-track terror—or anything in between? Buyers appear to lean toward restored and authenticated vehicles, maybe out of a concern of the numerous unidentified mechanical one-off components that are common in such projects.
Only six pro touring ’58 Corvettes have been successful under the hammer in the last ten years, and their average price is $221,833.
4. 1970 AMC Javelin SST Trans Am Edition, Lot F92
It’s rare for fans of American Motors automobiles to see a significant vehicle reach the auction market, like this 1970 AMC Javelin SST Trans Am Edition, but when they do, it creates a lot of buzz.
For the majority of the 1960s, Detroit’s fourth-smallest manufacturer had nothing to do with high-performance, racing, or muscle cars, but in 1968, when AMC finally saw the writing on the wall, it made a splash with the Javelin.
AMC was prepared to manufacture 100 special package vehicles for the 1970 model year to celebrate the Javelin’s triumph on the Trans Am circuit after a parallel Trans Am racing program intended to promote the car performed much better than most anticipated.
The 1970 Javelin SST Trans Am Edition, designed after Peter Revson’s red, white, and blue paint scheme from the 1968 season, is regarded as the pinnacle of AMC collecting, with a Hagerty valuation of $125,000 in concourse condition like this one.
The car’s 390ci/325-hp V-8, four-speed manual transmission, twin-venturi grille available for just one year, power front disc brakes, handling package, Go Package, and 3.91:1 Twin-Grip rearend are some of its highlights.
3. 2020 McLaren Speedtail, Lot S125.1
You’ll need to be a little resourceful and quite wealthy if you want more horsepower available than a 2023 Dodge SRT Demon 170—and you want that power in a 100 percent street-legal, factory-built configuration! This McLaren, which is being sold at Dallas Mecum as lot S125.1, has precisely 10 more horsepower than the Dodge, or 1,035 hp.
On Saturday, September 23, when you go to pick up your 2020 McLaren Speedtail, you will probably have spent more than the $2.3M MSRP. Exactly 1,237 terrible, nerve-wracking miles have been put on this specimen, number 77 of 106 built; or, to put it another way, the original owner paid about 35 cents per foot to drive it.
, and he’ll be trying to recover every one of those 6.5 million feet. Being a tech billionaire must be wonderful! Still not sure if this one is right for you? Its inclusion of a tool kit will provide you comfort.
2. 1965 Shelby GT350 Fastback, Lot S117
Speculators who lack a strong foundation in vehicles may occasionally set themselves up for failure. Just ask anyone who has ever purchased a 1970 Chevelle SS454 LS6 without having it meticulously investigated by a third party expert beforehand.
There are many safeguards in place, fortunately for aficionados of vintage Shelby Mustangs, like this 1965 Shelby GT350 Fastback that is being sold at auction in Dallas as lot S117.
As long as it is a genuine Shelby with all of its VINs intact, has a Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC) verification letter, and is listed in the Shelby registry, you may literally be a complete moron and not get it incorrect.
A Wimbledon White 289ci/306-hp, for instance The Shelby four-speed offers all of that and more. A 1965 Shelby GT350 in good condition is worth roughly $406,000, according to Hagerty.
1. 1969 Chevrolet Berger COPO Camaro RS
The vehicle that has received the most research in advance of Mecum’s Dallas auction is a 1969 Camaro. Who would’ve guessed?
We are literally towards the end of the list, so don’t go just yet! Go big or go home when it comes to collectible 1969 Camaros, which means choosing one of the extremely rare COPO models from Chevy with the 427ci big-block.
The COPO 9737 Sports Car Conversion Package, which includes heavy-duty springs, power front disc brakes, larger sway bars, 15×7-inch rally wheels, and a 12-bolt posi rear with 4.10 gears, is also offered on Dallas Mecum lot F91 in addition to COPO 9561 (the L72 427ci/425-hp big-block).
In 1969, only a select few Chevrolet dealerships were knowledgeable about how to order a 427ci Camaro, and Berger Chevrolet in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the car’s original dealer, was one of them. The meticulous restoration of this well-documented specimen has resulted in a Hagerty value for a 1969 Camaro with the COPO 9561 option of $220,000.