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Mecum Brought The Weird And Wacky To Its Dallas Sale, Too

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On: Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 2:37PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Mecum Brought The Weird And Wacky To Its Dallas Sale, Too

Life at a modern car auction like Mecum’s October 6-8 Dallas sale doesn’t revolve around ’69 Camaros and 1950s fin-tails alone. In fact, in order to fill out every slot on every planned sales day, the large majority of lots are actually filled with the mildly-collectible, the odd-but-mundane and the lightly-used/late-model “just a” cars.

But hidden among the 80 Camaros and 95 Mustangs and the bazillion other “usual” lots are the truly unique, interesting and just plain weird. They are what my grandfather would call a “hammer without a nail,” but if you have a particularly-bizarre itch that needed scratching—say for the “fastest F450 in the world”—then these might be right up your alley.

So join me for a trip through the seven wackiest lots—actually eight, but two were linked—Mecum had on offer, from a $12,500 Honda to a $333,000 Camaro. They may not be your cup of tea to own, but you can’t say that they’re not “interesting” in their own way(s)…

T(hursday) 143: “1972 Honda AZ 600 Coupe 600CC, 4-Speed” [SOLD for $12,500]

“600 CC 2-cylinder engine; 75 MPG; 15,359 miles believed to be actual; runs and drives well; 10 ft long, 1300 lbs.”

The auction listing notes that this is the car that “started the Honda car revolution” and, with “approximately 300 in existence”, this is a “rare opportunity to own one.” Well, this is certainly the only way you can get one covered in boy-racer crap, including stick-out chrome-coated dual side-exit exhausts, blacked-out bumpers, wheels and roof plus more black stickers and striping than should fit on a car this small. Then again, perhaps the seller did the new owner a “solid” by pre-answering onlookers’ questions about who made it (“HONDA” on hood x2) and what model it was (“AZ 600 coupe” on doors). I can’t say if under $13k is a good price for one of these last-of-the-line pre-CVCCs, but that’s what it went for that day. If you were looking for a car that'd make your weenie Smart car feel butch, you just missed it...

F(riday) 40: “1981 Pontiac Firebird Formula Convertible” [SOLD for $13,750]

“One of 125 convertibles by NCE; Title reads exempt due to age; 22 pages of documents included; air conditioning; power steering, brake and windows; new top and tires; fully-serviced; runs and drives excellent”.

This was the last year of the second generation Firebird, a generation, I might add, which produced no factory convertibles. That did not stop people from wanting them, however, so companies like NCE stepped in and did the surgery themselves. If YOU wanted one this particular “very rare unique” car—which per the windshield stickers is “1 of less than 250” though the auction text says it’s “one of 125”—would’ve been a good place to start, as it has “22,281 miles believed to be actual” is “numbers matching” and comes with "Pontiac Historical Society paperwork and its window sticker" to prove it is what it appears to be. Looking at the sale’s result, what it appears to be is a poor investment for the seller who spent “over $9,000 spent in past 24 months” only to get a price that after taxes, auction fees, etc., might MAYBE mean he broke even. This, kids, is proof that something's being rare doesn't necessarily make it valuable.

F 72: “1972 Ford LTD Convertible 502/650 HP, Automatic” [SOLD for $24,500]

“502/650 HP all chrome engine and accessories; 400 turbo special built transmission; dual pipes; chrome serpentine belt system; Gen IV Vintage air conditioning; billet knobs control electric fans; Mustang II rack & pinion steering; 85 truck spindles and brakes; custom center console; all custom Ostrich interior; digital dashboard; custom stereo system”.

OK, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. It’s one thing to “customize” a car, but it’s quite another to do this. [PLEASE go to this car’s description and check out all the photos I couldn’t show you here.] Ostrich-and-orange-plastic interior? Check. Trunk covered by a speaker-filled blank-out plate? Yep. Entire engine covered in chrome while the chrome exterior trim has been rattle-canned black? You betcha. Now I’m willing to overlook the car’s candy-orange paint as it seems to be of decent quality. But the one element of this entire build—apart from the hood ornament, of course—I CANNOT stand are those massive, ridiculous and massively-ridiculous wheels. All I can say is this: someone went to a lot of trouble—and expense—to build something that could have been truly bad-ass, only to ruin everything with ostrich skin and orange-ness. I hope there’s room for the buyer to do right by this car once they sell off all that unnecessary crap. And I say paint it black. How awesome would this barge look slammed to the ground dressed-down in murdered-out triple-black style? Get that buyer on the phone with me right NOW!

F 238: “2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible One of One build by West Coast Customs” [SOLD for $333,000]

“General Motors donated this 2011 Camaro convertible for an amazing one-of-a-kind build by customizing giant West Coast Customs. Ryan Friedlinghaus and his team have brought this inspirational rendering to reality while finishing the car in full camouflage livery representing all divisions of the U.S. military and the custom painted hood that reflects its association and support of ‘Operation Mend.’ The new owner will have the opportunity to drive the Camaro as the lead Grand Marshal Car at the Veteran's Day Parade in New York City, Nov. 11, 2011, with Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Governor Andrew Cuomo in front of 50,000 veterans. The Camaro will also seat returning war heroes who are currently undergoing surgeries at UCLA through Operation Mend to repair faces damaged by IED explosions in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

I want to make it clear at the outset that I’ll never say anything bad about a charity getting money from the sale of a car. And $333k is a LOT of money, so that's even better. But Good Lord this thing is ugly! Someone who could’ve purchased a nice home with this money bought a GM-donated regular-production Camaro Convertible that looks like it’s been puked-on by a chewing-tobacco-swallowing rainbow. And WCC—as is their want to do—threw every car-customizing-cliché at this poor car, from the brain-liquefying stereo to the wacky/tacky supersized chrome wheels. Granted, the hood and inner-door-panel airbrushing is spectacular, and when do you ever get the chance to drive the “lead Grand Marshal Car at the Veteran’s Day Parade in NYC"? But once its eye-assaulting parade-leader job is done will someone PLEASE “camouflage” this car’s ugly paint scheme? I say you pick a REAL military color scheme and stick with it. Try Coast Guard Orange. At least that hue'll make perfect sense on a Camaro...

S 26: “2005 Ford Dually Pickup” [$42.5 NO SALE]

“Custom lift with remote reservoir shocks, custom paint with Ghost flames, custom interior—including drop-down DVD player and $35k custom JBL sound system; powdercoated road armor bumpers, suspension and driveline components”.

Here is the definition of the difference between “need” and “want.” Nobody NEEDS a truck like this, though—apparently—at least two WANTED it: the seller and the high-bidder. Unfortunately for the former, the latter didn’t share their enthusiasm for this red monstrosity, and that high bid just barely exceeded the cost of this rig’s stereo alone. That’s the—or one of the, really—problem with “radical” customs like this one: just because you spent “over $200,000” building it and that your expenditure resulted in its having garnered “many car show awards” does NOT mean you’ll EVER see even HALF your “investment” come back at sale time. And if you can’t sell your monster truck for good money in Dallas, for goodness’ sake, where can you?...

S 108: “1951 Studebaker Convertible LT1” AND S 108.1: “1977 Harley-Davidson Shovel Head” (and trailer) SET [$50k NO SALE]

“You will not find another 1951 Studebaker convertible like this radical all-Black showpiece, which was featured in Dennis Gage’s My Classic Car television show and was named to the Turtle Wax-Street Rodder Magazine Top 100. Accompanied by its matching 1949 Harley Davidson on a 1950 Studebaker-sourced trailer, it features an LT1 350 CI V-8, 4L6E transmission and Ford 9-inch rear end, Mustang II rack and pinion steering, Air Ride suspension and 4-wheel disc brakes. The custom interior is a work of high craftsmanship, offering ultra leather Saddle upholstery, remote control doors, power windows, full sound and video, Dakota Digital instrumentation and Vintage Air”.

Cars towing same-car-based trailers are nothing new, and this one seems a decent example of the breed. As for the motorcycle that goes along with it, I’m glad I’m not the only one who knows nearly-nothing about Harleys, as I can’t tell either if the accompanying bike is a 1977 model as it says in the auction’s header or a 1949 model as it’s called in the description. Either, however, should pull down enough on their own to make the trailer’s not-insignificant cost be a non-issue, especially with the price of the car that’s thrown in, too. Fifty grand is a not-insignificant price, to be sure, but even if it was only for the car itself it still seems too low to me. Yet another case of “built for the builder, NOT for a bidder.” [Just-now-coined super-awesome term copyright the author, 2011. NO STEALING!]

S 209: “2008 Ford F450 Pickup” [$80k NO SALE]

“2008 F450 King Ranch dually; first Banks Big Hoss bundle on a twin turbo 450; Kelderman 12" lift air ride suspension and Accu Air with key fobs; 24" American Force factory 10 lung configuration with 24x40" Interco M 16 tires; Road Armor front and rear bumpers with 16,000 lb mile marker wench [sic]; 4 high volume air compressors with 2 holding tanks; high volume air train horns; Kenwood Home Theater system-3 position with 3 separate wireless headsets and iPad interface for stored movies or Netflix and 3 position DVD; Power windows, power slide back rear window, power sun roof, dual front seats, dual power telescoping and folding mirrors with recon blacked out LED's; keyless remote start and entry with two way alert page”.

And, finally, we’re back in custom-truck-land, only this time the mountain of cash that was burned to build THIS beast seems to have been spent by a company for advertising purposes. Perhaps that’s why it’s so over-the-top. This thing wears nearly every single poorly-thought-out and overpriced custom touch extant with no regard for WHY they were added, either separately or all-together. Take the engine and suspension work. If you wanted to have the “fastest 450 in the world,” would you jack it up in the air like that? Sure, that massive engine “enables north of 100 mph” but for criminy’s sake, is that something YOU would try and prove in this pile-o'-parts? Seems Dallas felt the same way as it didn’t want this Monster monster any more than the red one. Yes, the final bid was pitiful even if it was for the parts alone. And, yes, it is yet another case of something absurd that I nonetheless would consider buying if I had the money to take it home and a place to park it when I got there. But that's why I have a wife, so I can't go and do things like that. Wait.... Maybe Monster should think about popping-the-question before truck-tricking-out-time comes again! It does wonders to curtail one's ability to spend money on things like this, believe you me...

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dwalter | 12:57PM (Thu, Oct 13, 2011)

That ugly Camaro sold for how much?!?


Mward | 9:21AM (Wed, Oct 19, 2011)

We bought the 1972 Ford LTD at Dallas Mecum auction. Your article on our car was intriguing and you mentioned calling you in the article. We are planning to update the customizing of the car.

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