The Top 5 Stunning Cars at the Mecum Car Auction in Monterey
Car auctions usually fall into two categories: ones that are centered around domestic brands, and those that focus on the imports. The extreme for the former would be the Barrett-Jackson Auction, while the latter would be Bonhams. Sure there are many that fall in the middle of the spectrum, but they usually fall on one side of the automotive landscape or the other. The feel at the two shows are different. A Barrett-Jackson show is your traditional idea of a county fair auction, with people yelling, and an auctioneer rattling off numbers faster that you can count, and more muscle cars than you knew existed. The likes of the Bonham’s car auction is akin to the silent auctions where you would find rare works of art on the docket. The Mecum car auction, which kicks off this afternoon, exists somewhere in the middle, where the feel of the auction is that of Barrett-Jackson, but the quality of the cars moving across the auction block rival that of Bonham’s. But while Bonham’s cars are usually million dollar road cars and under, in order to match that at a Mecum auction, the car has to have a certain race history. So with this pedigree we find the top five cars from this year’s Mecum Auction at Monterey.
One of the crazier products of the muscle car arms race of the 60’s was the COPO program. The Central Office Production Order system allowed GM brass to create special edition models through dealerships that were blessed by corporate. GM had this special Silver Pearl with Red Leather combination commissioned. It was used to display Chevrolet’s new 435-horsepower “Tri-Power” option for the 1967 New York Auto Show, and only one of five to feature this color combination.
Before we had the Race of Champions, held inside Soccer arenas, there was IROC. The original International Race of Champions pitted driver against driver in an even playing field, as all cars were of the same model. 1974 was the inaugural year of IROC, and the 911 RSR was the car of choice. This example was driven by Formula 1 and Indy racer Emerson Fittipaldi. It recently underwent an extensive restoration and has the original “high butterfly” 3-liter Porsche powerplant. It is only one of 15 IROC cars built for the race series.
This car could be on this list for no other reason than that is a freaking 962! But this 962 was famed racer Bob Akin’s last car, having only used it in three races before retiring. The car was also driven by Hurley Haywood and has been entered in several vintage races. If there is a buyer out there looking to go vintage racing, here’s a chance to buy a goddamn 962!
Mecum is making a bold statement calling this the “Most recognized 917 ever.” Whoever is making that claim has clearly never seen the movie “Le Mans,” but this particular 917 is a force with which to be reckoned. This particular 917 had countless hours of Porsche development before being delivered to the Penske racing team. It features a turbocharged 5.4-liter, 12-cylinder engine, which makes 880 horsepower under normal conditions, but can be cranked up to 1150 horsepower. Over 1100 horsepower in a car that weights less than 2000 pounds? Sweet sassy-molassey!
The car campaigned in the 1972 Can-Am series and absolutely handed it to the competition. With George Follmer at the helm, the 917/10 won five of the nine Can-Am races in 1972, taking the overall championship.
Oh, and whoever ends up with this car will have a vehicle constructed by human hands, that gets from zero to 100 mph in just 2.9 seconds!
How could you call a Porsche the best car in the auction when there is a unmolested ’54 Monza in the crowd?! This 750 Monza was designed by Enzo Ferrari’s son, Dino, and constructed by the famous Scaglietti. It has only a 3-liter 4-cylinder engine, but painfully beautiful lines.
30 of these Dino/Scaglietti Monza’s were built, but what makes this one so special is that after its short race career, it was purchased by Jaguar, where it was reverse-engineered. Jaguar engineers wanted to learn everything they could about the 750 Monza and why it gave their D-Type such a run for its money.
In the car’s history, this is the first time it will ever be available for auction. It has been raced at the Mille Miglia and the Historic Grand Prix of Monaco. Owning a car like this will mean the responsibility and duty to continue to campaign it in the historic race circuit - there are already plenty of trailer queens.