Mecum concluded their two day Bloomington Gold auction on Saturday afternoon. It will be a memorable auction not for what sold, but for what didn’t sell. Only 108 of the 286 Corvettes sold which translates to a 38% success rating. However, many of the featured Corvettes didn’t reach reserve which makes us wonder if buyers were holding back or if sellers were asking too much.
The top seller for the weekend was a 1968 L88 Corvette Coupe with a Bloomington Gold Survivor award that sold for $300,000. Second on the list was a 1967 L71 427/435 Corvette that sold for $195,000.
Many of the top Corvettes listed failed to meet their reserve price. As we said earlier, we don’t know if buyers were holding back or if sellers were being unrealistic, but the fact remains that both camps would only buy or sell if the price was right.
The main attraction was Harley Earl’s 1963 Corvette Convertible. The bidding for the former Head of GM Design’s personal Sting Ray reached $985,000 but the reserve was said to be $1.3 million. Ed Cole’s former 1967 big block reached $550,000 but the reserve was said to be $700,000. The 1971 Corvette ZR2 Convertible reached $500,000 in bidding with the reserve set at $700,000.
The 108 cars that did sell over the two day auction totaled $5,226,550. Compared to last year’s Bloomington Gold auction that saw 138 Corvettes sell for a total of $8,745,619 and a sales success of 47%, I would say that the Corvette investment market has definitely been impacted by the downturn in the economy over the last year.
Finally, reading the forums and listening to other accounts of the auction, we heard the following:
Corvette Dealer Bob McDorman was upset that the Callaway Speedster he auctioned was sold for $115,000. According to a second hand source, McDorman wasn’t paying attention when asked whether he wanted to lift the reserve on this rare car and only after consenting to removing the reserve and the gavel falling did he realize what happened. Rumor has it he was recently offered $150,000 for the unique Series 1 Speedster.
Many reported to see on the Discovery HD television coverage a 1962 Corvette bump the wall of the facility while making its way off the auction block on Friday. A Corvette forum member did inspect the Corvette later and found no noticeable damage to the car.
Here are the results from Mecum’s 2009 Bloomington Gold Auction.
Bloomington 2009: Harley Earl’s 1963 Corvette a No Sale at $985,000
Bloomington 2009: 1968 L88 Corvette Sets Auction High Selling Price at $300K
Bloomington 2009: Twin-Turbo 1991 Corvette Callaway Speedster Sells for $115,000
Bloomington 2009: 1966 Corvette Convertible Sells for $83,500
Mecum’s Two-Day Corvette Auction at Bloomington Gold Show
Auction Preview: Mecum Selling Harley Earl’s 1963 Corvette Roadster