One week after Barrett-Jackson visited Las Vegas for their final sale of the year, Mecum comes roaring into Sin City for their first Auction of the month. The first of the 1,000 cars will find a new home on Thursday, the 10th with the sale wrapping-up Saturday on NBC Sports Network. In total, 63 examples of America’s Sports Car will cross the auction block during the three-day sale; Including representatives from each generation, priced to fit any budget.
Below are the ones that most caught our attention:
1969 L88 Convertible
We have to start with the cream of this sale’s crop; a 1969 L88 Convertible. Of the 38,762 Corvette customers in the year that man first walked on the moon, just 116 opted for the ultimate 427 in, what would be its last year of production. This one wears stunning Fathom Green paint over its matching green interior and comes with a black soft top and a removable hardtop. Interestingly, upon delivery, the first owner took his new, race-ready machine on a 6,000-mile round trip to Alaska from his home in Michigan. The high-strung motor must have proved to be the wrong tool for his touring needs as he immediately sold it upon his return. The second owner briefly used the car for what it was built to do, slay quarter miles. After its drag racing career ended, it went into storage for several years and was picked up by its third caretaker in 1986. It underwent a restoration that was completed in 1988. That was the first time that it participated in the Bloomington Gold Special Collection; it would return 20 years later in 2008.
These two first generation Corvettes politely ask that I pump the brakes on crowning the L88 the most desirable ‘Vette in the auction. S137 is an NCRS Top Flight award-winning 1959 283/290 HP fuelie presented in the impeccable combination of Frost Blue over Red. Originally ordered to compete in SCCA B-Production racing, this knockout takes its performance serious. Besides the top-tier version of the 283 (one of just 745 ’59 Corvettes so equipped), other performance options selected include positraction, metallic brakes (one of 333 with this option), a 4-speed manual transmission, an auxiliary hardtop and radio delete.
Lot S166 comes from the final year of C1 production and raises the stakes even further as one of just 246 Big Brake Fuelies produced in 1962. Previously owned by an NCRS judge, this car is flawless and has the awards to prove it. It is a Triple Crown Winner meaning that it is Bloomington Gold Certified, NCRS Top Flight awarded, and the recipient of the Gold spinner Award. Its 327 is also the top-dog for its vintage, putting out 360 rabid horses. A 4-speed manual transmission and 4.11 positraction add to the cars intensity which can only be corralled by RPO 687, heavy-duty brakes and steering. These two C1’s should bring big money when the gavel falls for each of them on Saturday.
Saturday will also see the sale of two famous Corvette race car replicas. The first of these is a maroon C2 that has been convincingly made to look like one of the priceless 1963 Grand Sports. It features an LS-based 383 matched with a 6-speed manual and 4.10 gears. It also has some nice, very un-Grand Sporty features thrown in like Air Conditioning, power steering, and power brakes. Sounds like it would be a blast from behind the polished wood steering wheel and unlike a real example, you wouldn’t have to worry about putting some miles on this car.
Next is a tribute to the Sebring Class-Winning SR1 prototype driven by John Fitch and Walt Hansgen, known around Corvette circles as The Real McCoy. It features several period-correct features such as high-rate shortened front coil springs, Halibrand pin-drive wheels, and a 265 cubic inh V8 with two 4-barrel carburetors under the Polo White and Blue shell. The real “Real McCoy” sold at Mecum’s 2014 Kissimmee auction for a whopping $2.3 Million; this car gives an enthusiast a chance to get the next best thing for pennies on the dollar.
Lots F6 and F8 showcase the legendary 350ci LT1 V8. F6 is a beautiful and unrestored Classic White over Red vinyl 1972 that has an NCRS Top Flight award to its name. Just 1,741 LT1s were produced in ’72 and this T-Topped example has proven difficult for owners to part with. The seller has had the car since 1994 when it was purchased from the person who had been keeping it running since 1977. This 71,275 original mile survivor comes with its Protect-O-Plate and owner’s manual.
While the 1972 LT1 had been choked down to 255 HP, lot F8 features the full-strength, 370 Horse version, this time in a Daytona Yellow convertible body. Shockingly, this flawless 1970 Corvette is also 100% unrestored but this time mileage is just 25,100! Documentation that comes with this one are the tank sticker, Protect-O-Plate, owner’s manual, and Corvette Owner ID card. This has to be one of the cleanest and lowest-mileage of the 1,287 1970 LT1s in existence.
These two along with the L88, a ’78 Pace Car, an ’82 collector Edition, a Two-Time Duntov Award winner and a Bloomington Gold Benchmark from 1969, and many more make this a compelling sale for C3 aficionados.
Other interesting finds in this auction include a 2007 base coupe that has traveled over 165,000 miles (they weren’t easy miles either judging by the pictures), a supercharged 2002 Z06, a 1966 Nassau Blue 427/425, and a Sportsman Red ’54.
We will see Mecum again this month when they head to Chicago on the 24th with several notable Corvettes up for grabs including a ’75 with only 967 original miles and SRIII Motorsports’ 8-year build, LT5-powered ’57.
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