Category archives: Auctions

Oscar India? 007 would like codename for car being offered at Russo and Steele at Newport Beach

Oscar India was Aston Martin codename for Series 4 V8 Vantage | Russo and Steele
Oscar India was Aston Martin codename for Series 4 V8 Vantage | Russo and Steele

Oscar India is not a city on the Asian subcontinent, nor a character in some Bond, James Bond movie. It’s the nickname for a group of 1982 Aston Martin V8 Vantage automobiles, one of which will be offered at Russo and Steele’s Newport Beach auction June 18-21.

The Aston is among a group of four featured vehicles just announced for the sale at the Newport Beach Dunes Waterfront Resort. The others are a big-finned 1959 Cadillac convertible, a 1963 Jaguar XK-E and a 1968 Porsche 911S.

Aston Martin built only 172 of the “Oscar India” versions of its V8 Vantage coupe for 1982. The one being offered at the Russo and Steele sale was one of only four delivered new in Canada, and thus carries a 425-horsepower engine (U.S. buyers got a smog-restricted 245-hp V8).

The cars took their nickname from Aston Martin’s internal code for the vehicle. Oscar India was phonetic alphabet-speak for “October introduction.” The car, otherwise known as the Series 4, was introduced at the Birmingham International Motor Show in 1978.

For the 1982 model year, the Oscar India featured aerodynamic updates to help the car achieve the full potential its engine provided.

The car offered at the Newport Beach sale was purchased by Jack Pierce, wildcatter and founder of Ranger Oil. The car has been owned since new by Pierce or his family.

'59 Caddy a big-finned classic
’59 Caddy a big-finned classic

The ’59 Series 62 Cadillac convertible marked the end of Harley Earl’s reign over General Motors design and featured the now-iconic tail fins with bullet-style lamps. The black car being offered at Russo and Steele is propelled by a rebuilt 390cid V8.

The 1968 Porsche 911S is from the final year of the first-generation of the 911 and has a factory sunroof as well as its high-performance engine. None of the first-gen 911S were imported officially into the U.S. market, which means that are even more highly sought after by Porsche-driving enthusiasts.

The ’63 E-type is a Series I model that reportedly was owned by a member of the Le Mans-winning Ecurie Ecosse racing team.

Breaking News: Hemi ’Cuda convertible scores record $3.5 million winning bid at Mecum auction in Seattle

The ’71 Hemi ’Cuda is one of just four built by the factory with 4-speed stickshift | Mecum Auctions
The ’71 Hemi ’Cuda is one of just four built by the factory with 4-speed stickshift | Mecum Auctions

An exceptionally rare and original 1971 Plymouth Hemi ’Cuda 4-speed convertible soared to a record-breaking sale with a winning bid of $3.5 million Saturday at Mecum’s first Seattle auction.

In about eight minutes of heated phone bidding, with the seller standing on stage and holding fast to his reserve price, the authentically restored muscle car sold for the highest price ever for a ’71 Hemi ’Cuda. Mecum claims that the sale makes it “the world’s most-expensive Mopar.”

The $3.5 million high bid does not include the buyer’s auction fees.

The ’Cuda interior was authentically restored | Mecum Auctions
The ’Cuda interior was restored to original | Mecum Auctions

Among the most sought-after muscle cars, this ’Cuda reigns as a blue-chip icon, one of only four factory-built convertibles equipped with 4-speed stickshift delivered in the U.S. It is  documented as the only remaining matching-numbers example in existence.

Recent sales of ’71 Hemi ’Cuda convertibles show an average value for pristine-condition originals at $2 million, according Hagerty Insurance’s Cars That Matter valuation guide. But the rarity of this car’s factory equipment puts it out in front of the pack.

The car is powered by its original 426cid, 425-horsepower Hemi V8, and the ’Cuda’s factory broadcast sheet shows that it was equipped at the Hamtramck, Michigan, assembly plant with the New Process 4-speed transmission, Dana 60 rear end with 4.10 Super Track Pak, 26-inch radiator and power brakes.

The car also has a colorful history, adding to its allure. It was owned by famed Southwest cartoonist Russ Meyer, who sold it to an Oregon buyer. Later, the muscle car was seized by authorities there as part of a drug bust and sold at auction for $405,000, an unprecedented figure at the time.

The ’Cuda convertible was completely restored in its original Bright Blue with matching interior and black convertible-top in 2000 by Mopar expert Julius Steuer of Los Angeles. The car retains its original appearance with painted steel wheels, dog-dish hub caps and white-letter tires. The rare Shaker hood is held down by chrome pins, and the dashboard includes the desirable Rallye Instrument Cluster.

The ’Cuda was among about 600 collector cars, trucks and motorcycles auctioned off Friday and Saturday during Mecum Auctions’ inaugural sale at the CenturyLink Field Event Center in Seattle.

For a Mecum Auctions video of the Hemi ’Cuda convertible sale, see ’Cuda bidding.

1955 Vincent Black Prince motorcycle scores record auction price despite being in pieces

The scattered pieces of a 1955 Vincent Black Prince sold for a lofty price | Bonhams
The scattered remains of the 1955 Vincent Black Prince achieved a lofty price at the British auction | Bonhams

We’ve all seen motorcycle “projects” stored  in various boxes, a wheel here, gas tank over there, the engine propped up against the wall. Generally speaking, this can be a fine way to obtain a bike that you otherwise could not afford in one piece. You just have to put it all together.

Of course, we’re talking about regular motorcycles, not the vaunted Holy Grails of two-wheelers.

Over the weekend, the Bonhams auction house in England sold a  rare 1955 Vincent 998cc Black Prince “project” for £91,100 ($153,000), even though it was essentially a pile of rough-looking pieces. That princely sum was four times the pre-auction estimate and a record price for a Black Prince at auction, including those that had been restored.

In a typical auction scenario, there were two aggressive phone bidders vying for the Black Prince, each of whom decided that he just had to have it. According to Bonhams, the under bidder owned a lesser Black Knight in his youth and always wanted a superior Black Prince, while the one who won the auction was born in 1955 and wanted the birth-year Vincent for his birthday.

This restored Black Prince sold last year for considerably less | Bonhams
Bonhams sold a restored Black Prince for considerably less | Bonhams

The phone bidders battled back and forth until the bidding reached the staggering final figure and the Black Prince was carted off in boxes to its new home. According to the auction house, the Vincent had been disassembled around 1967 for a restoration that never happened.

Putting that price in perspective, Bonhams sold a restored 1955 Vincent Black Prince for $125,000 at its January 2012 sale in Las Vegas. This past January, also in a Vegas auction, MidAmerica sold a completed Black Prince for $125k.

The Black Prince model was a last-ditch effort by the failing Vincent motorcycle company to boost sales with a fully faired two-wheeler covered in stylishly streamlined panels which separated the rider from the grimy mechanical workings in the style of motor scooters but powered by Vincent’s famed performance V-twin.

The Black Prince was made for only two years, 1954 and 1955, before the Vincent Motorcycle Company closed its factory doors.

Three other Vincent motorcycle “projects” also scored large numbers well over estimates at Bonhams. A 1951 Black Shadow project achieved £54,050 ($91,000), a 1951 Rapide project went to £28,175 ($47,000) and a 1952 Rapide project was bid to £23,000 ($38,600).

Bonhams’  auction in Gaydon reached a total of £2.4 million ($4 million) in classic car and motorcycle sales, nearly double the total of the 2013 auction, with a 93 percent sell-through rate. There were 115 motorcycle lots sold, with a total of more than £700,000 ($1.175 million) for a group that included two legendary Brough Superiors from the 1930s that sold for £48,300 ($81,000) and £33,350 ($56,000).

There were plenty of other “normal” motorcycles sold during the auction, including British stalwart BSAs, Triumphs and Nortons, in various stages of completion that sold for considerably more-attainable amounts.

Rare Ferrari 275 GTB Competitizione Clienti making its first trip to an auction at Cole’s Monterey sale

Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Clienti goes to auction for the first time | Rick Cole Auctions
Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Clienti goes to auction for the first time | Rick Cole Auctions

For the first time in its nearly 50 years of existence, the 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Competitizione Clienti built as a special order for American Ferrari patron Alfred Ducato will be offered for auction at the Rick Cole Auction this summer at Monterey, California.

The car is one of 10 special 275 GTBs built to homologate the 275 GTB as the successor to the 250 GTO for the FIA Grand Touring racing championship and is believed to be the most complete and original one surviving.

The car (s/n 7477) has been part of a private collection for 25 years and has not been shown outside that collection.

Extra air vents, racing fuel filler mark Competitizone model
Extra air vents, racing fuel filler mark Competitizone model

The car will be one of some three dozen at the auction, which will follow an unusual format. Cars can be viewed at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Monterey, but bidding will be done not in the typical auction-block arena format but by smart phone or Internet. An announcement of winning bids and vehicle sales is to be made at midnight, Pacific Standard Time, on Sunday, August 17.

Ducato was an early and close associate of Enzo Ferrari and reportedly hosted him at Ducato’s home in Hillsboro, California. Starting in 1951, Ducato owned several 12-cylinder Ferraris, most ordered through Luigi Chinetti, including a 195 Inter Vignale coupe, a 212 Inter Vignale coupe that had been Ferrari’s Geneva auto show car, and a 375 MM Pinin Farina coupe.

Correspondence between Ducato and Ferrari often included race reports and American reactions to early Ferrari cars.

Last year, a story in Classic and Sports Car magazine included a comment about “a glorious group of such renowned [Ferrari] customers as Gianni Agnelli, Alfred Ducato and King Leopold.”

One story notes that Ducato took delivery of the 212 Inter Vignale a couple of days before the 1953 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The car had sustained some damage in shipping and Ducato and friends worked through the night making repairs so he could drive the car to the concours, where he and his wife, Marie, represented the marque.

Ducato and Ferrari remained friends throughout their lives. Ducato died in 1987, a year before Ferrari.

Ducato owned several 250-series Ferraris, including a Pinin Farina-designed 250 GT coupe fin two-tone silver with a burgundy roof, a unique 250 GT California Spyder, a 250 GT SWB and a 250 GT Lusso.

Introduced in Paris late in 1964, the 275 GTB coupe and 275 GTS spider were designed to succeed the 250 GT series and were the first production Ferraris with independent rear suspension and a transaxle that had the gearbox as a unit within the rear axle, thus enhancing the car’s weight distribution.

Ferrari built four lightweight 275 GTB “specials” for the 1965 international racing season, but they were not accepted for the GT category by the FIA because they were not close enough to the production sports car. Ferrari then built a set of 10 alloy-bodied competition cars that were much close to the production version, though with three additional cooling slows in the rear quarter panels and racing-style fuel filler.

As a longtime customer who already had taken delivery of a 275 GTB, Ducato was offered one of the 10 Competizione Clienti cars. While most of those cars were used for racing, Ducato’s was not.

“What it did represent for its new owner was the ultimate 275 GTB one could own for the road,” said the news release from Rick Cole Auctions. “As a result, this car may now be the only complete and original 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Clienti in the world.”

Ducato took delivery at Maranello and drove the car in Europe before having it shipped home. The car remains original except for being repainted in the early 1990s.

Like everything but the paint, the Interior remains original
Like everything but the paint, the Interior remains original

The car is being offered with two sets of wheels — alloy Ferrari wheels and polished Borrani wire wheels. The original alloy spare wheel and tire, mounted vertically in the trunk, are included.

Ducato owned the car for 22 years. After his death, Terry Price (now a partner in Rick Cole Auctions), arranged for the car to be sold to Ferrari dealer Ed Wettach, who showd it at the 1987 Chicago Historics and the 1989 Ferrari Club of America national concours at Watkins Glen.

Price also handled the car’s subsequent sale in the early 1990s to a private collection.
Since leaving Ducato’s garage, the car has been driven only 332 miles and recently has undergone 400 hours of maintenance on all of its systems.

‘Great’ 1911 Mercer headed to RM’s Monterey auction

The 1911 Mercer Type 35 R Raceabout was “the Ferrari 250 GTO of its day | RM Auctions
The 1911 Mercer Type 35 R Raceabout was “the Ferrari 250 GTO of its day” | RM Auctions

A remarkable 1911 Mercer Type 35 R Raceabout emerging from 65 years of ownership by one of America’s original classic car collections will be a premier highlight of RM Auctions’ flagship sale August 15-16 in Monterey, California.

An example of the “Great Mercers” that performed as the seminal sports/racing cars of the era, the Raceabout was owned by the late collector-car pioneer and devoted automotive researcher Henry Austin “Austie” Clark Jr., who purchased the car in 1949 for his Long Island Automotive Museum in Southampton, New York.

The RM auction, held as part of the Monterey Peninsula’s classic car events leading up to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, will mark the first time the Mercer has been offered at public auction. The pre-sale estimate of its worth is $2.5 million $3.5 million.

The Mercer name evokes the very spirit of minimalist, sporting automobiles.”

“The Mercer name evokes the very spirit of minimalist, sporting automobiles embodied by the 100-mile-an-hour Type 35 series,” said RM car specialist Shelby Myers. “One of America’s original sports cars… the 1911 Mercer can be considered the Ferrari 250 GTO of its day.

“Add in an outstanding ownership provenance, a truly rich patina and character, and the fact that T-head Mercers only change hands on the rarest of occasions, and the stage is set for a truly special auction.”

The Type 35 R Raceabout was a prominent feature at the groundbreaking Long Island Automotive Museum, which opened in 1948 and closed in 1980. The sports car was driven regularly in many events, including the Bridgehampton races, which Clark helped organize and finance. Famous people have been pictured behind its wheel, including author Ralph Stein, actor Gary Cooper and Finlay Robertson Porter, the architect of the Mercer T-head, an important performance-engine development.

The Mercer was driven on Connecticut’s country roads | RM Auctions
The Mercer roaring along a country road | RM Auctions

Since the closure of the museum, the Mercer has been kept by Clark’s descendants in Connecticut, where it was enjoyed on the winding  roads of Fairfield County.

In a news release, RM described the contributions of Austie Clark – the scion of a wealthy sugar-plantation family whose fortune was diminished by the Cuban revolution – as an automotive historian, tireless collector and leading research authority.

“His incredible devotion to the hobby saw him accumulate such a vast and diverse collection of literature and photographs that its eventual relocation to the Henry Ford Museum involved a month of packing, three moving trucks, and over two decades of sorting through and filing 54,000 pounds of material,” according to RM. “In addition to his literature collection, Austie was responsible for saving many automobiles from the wrecking yard, and maintained an enviable collection of important motorcars at his Long Island Automotive Museum.”

Although the Mercer Raceabout stands on its own merits as an exciting and important early automobile, its value is undoubtedly enhanced by the long-time ownership of Austie Clark and two subsequent generations of family caretakers.

“Austie Clark was a connoisseur who knew great automobiles and made extraordinary efforts to preserve as many as possible and ensure they resided in good homes,” Myers said. “As a result, even a quarter century after his death, knowing that a car was part of the Henry Austin Clark Jr. collection is a stamp of approval, and the name is an integral part of its provenance.”

Bonhams scores record-setting auction in Greenwich

An ultra-low mileage 1975 Lamborghini Countach LP 400 “Periscopica” was top seller | Bonhams
An ultra-low mileage 1975 Lamborghini Countach LP 400 “Periscopica” was top seller | Bonhams

Bonhams set a resounding record for its 7th annual auction at Greenwich, Connecticut, with a sale of more than $8 million, a 40-percent gain compared with last year, and with a 93 percent sell-through rate.

Leading the collection of around 100 cars and motorcycles was a 1975 Lamborghini Countach LP 400 “Periscopica” with just 10,000 miles on its odometer. The car sold for a record $1.2 million (all results include buyer premium). That figure was double the Lambo’s presale high estimate and the highest ever for a Countach sold at auction.

One of the first left-hand-drive Jaguar E-types, a 1961 3.8-liter roadster, rang up a strong $335,500 sale.

The one-of-a-kind 1966 Fitch Phoenix | Bonhams
The one-of-a-kind 1966 Fitch Phoenix | Bonhams

The unique 1966 Fitch Phoenix, which was the road-going prototype from the late racer and innovator John Fitch of Connecticut, sold for $253,000 to a thunderous round of applause.

The auction attracted a full house of spectators and bidders, including a number of worldwide phone bidders. The Bonhams sale was held alongside the famed Greenwich Concours d’Elegance.

“It was a record turnout at this year’s Greenwich auction,” said Rupert Banner, vice president and head of the Bonhams motorcar division East Coast. “We were pleased to bring this year’s expansive offering of quality motorcars to this wonderful event.”

As well as automobiles, the auction started off with more than 250 lots of automobilia, including rare, circa 1920’s historic photographs and vintage racing memorabilia from ex-Peter De Palo chief pit attendant Ben Duncan that sold for $26,250, well above the pre-sale estimate of $3,000- $5,000.

Porsche memorabilia and spares also ran up strong numbers, such as the original Porsche Type 356 Speedster driver’s manual that sold for $4,000 against an estimate of $200-400. More than 98 percent of the automobilia lots sold.

For complete results and information about Bonhams’ upcoming Quail Lodge auction August 15 in Carmel, California, see

Mustangs, movie vehicles highlight Leake sale at Tulsa

1968 Shelby GT500 KR Mustang will cross the block | Leake Auction Company
1968 Shelby GT500 KR Mustang will cross the block | Leake Auction Company

Twenty-three Ford Mustangs and four cars from the movie August: Osage County will be featured at Leake Auction Company’s sale June 6-8 in the River Spirit Expo at Expo Square in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Among some 750 classic and collector cars and other vehicles offered at the auction will be vehicles featured in the 2013 movie that starred Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Juliette Lewis and Dermot Mulroney.

Pickup was seen in the movie, August: Osage County | Leake
Pickup was seen in the movie, August: Osage County | Leake

The movie, set in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, is a dark comedy about a gathering of a dysfunctional family drawn together by the disappearance of the family patriarch. There were four cars shown — a Pontiac Bonneville, a Honda, a Lincoln Town Car and a Ford pickup truck — which are being sold by a Tulsa resident who worked as a stunt double in the film.

Leake reports that all of the movie cars are drivable, but they have been wrapped to appear old and beat-up.

Among the Mustangs featured in the auction will be a 1965 convertible, a 1968 Shelby GT500 KR, a 1968 Stryker coupe (painted as a tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces), a 1970 Boss 302 and a 2014 GT500.

Other featured vehicles include a customized 1956 GMC pickup, a customized 1957 Chevrolet Nomad, a 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190SL and a 1970 Plymouth ’Cuda.

For more information, visit

Noted collector Ron Pratte to sell entire classic car, automobilia collection at Barrett-Jackson

Ron Pratte to put Carroll Shelby’s personal 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake up for auction again | Barrett-Jackson
Carroll Shelby’s personal 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake will again be up for auction | Barrett-Jackson

Ron Pratte, a premier high-end buyer and seller at Barrett-Jackson classic car auctions for more than a decade, will auction off his entire collection at the Scottsdale sale in January.

That’s huge news for classic car fans and the millions of people who watch TV broadcasts of Barrett-Jackson auctions, which have made Pratte a familiar face as he scores some of the top classic car prizes and creates some of the event’s most memorable moments.

Millions of people have lived vicariously through Ron.” 

The Chandler, Arizona, businessman and philanthropist will offer all of his stunning collection of more than 100 vehicles and around 1,400 pieces of automobilia that he has amassed over the years at Barrett-Jackson’s 44th annual Scottsdale auction, January 10-18 at WestWorld, the company said Thursday.

“This is arguably the most significant collection ever offered in Barrett-Jackson history,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson.

Among the cars from the Pratte collection to be auctioned will be Carroll Shelby’s personal 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake, which Pratte bought at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale in 2007 for a record $5.5 million, and the 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special concept car, which he bought at the 2006 Scottsdale auction for $3 million.

Also at auction will be his mammoth 1950 General Motors Futurliner display bus, which caught the collector-car world’s attention when Pratte bought it for a resounding $4.2 million at the same Scottsdale event as the Bonneville Special sale. The Pontiac concept car would have been displayed during the 1950s at the GM Parade of Progress mobile tours of the unique Futurliner buses.

The fully restored 1950 General Motors Futurliner | Barrett-Jackson
The fully restored 1950 General Motors Futurliner | Barrett-Jackson

The bulk of the Pratte Collection comprises cars and collector’s items Pratte purchased at Barrett-Jackson sales, said Steve Davis, the auction company’s president.

“The cars represent many historical moments at Barrett-Jackson,” Davis said. “Millions of people have lived vicariously through Ron, watching him buy those cars and doing all the wonderful things he’s done for charity.”

Davis said further details about the Pratte Collection sale will be revealed in the next few weeks as the auction company catalogs his holdings.

Pratte is a regular presence in the front row of Barrett-Jackson auctions, buying and selling some of the auction’s best vehicles. In the car-auction world of bombast and hyperbole, Pratte is a notably quiet and private individual who shuns the limelight in person and in the media.

The multi-millionaire began building his collection in 2003 when he arrived at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction and purchased 52 cars. According to the website and other sources, Pratte has personal wealth of around $350 million that was gained initially through the sale of Pratte Development Company Inc., which was one of the nation’s biggest wood-framing and concrete-foundation companies.

Ron Pratte's one-of-a-kind 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special concept car | Barrett-Jackson
The Pontiac Bonneville Special concept car | Barrett-Jackson

Pratte keeps his automobile collection in a gigantic, specially constructed building in Chandler, where he has set up an impressive display of the vehicles and many pieces of automobilia, including vintage signs and glass globes.

Pratte is well-known for his acts of generosity and philanthropy through Barrett-Jackson’s signature charity sales of auction cars. For instance, Pratte bid $700,000 at the 2011 Las Vegas sale for a 1964 Ford Fairlane custom donated by Steve Davis to benefit the Armed Forces Foundation. Pratte then donated the car back to be auctioned again for the veterans support group. It sold to another generous buyer at the next Barrett-Jackson auction for $1 million.

In another sale, Pratte was engaged in bidding for a Tony Stewart NASCAR race car to benefit the Darryl Gwynn Foundation, which supplies custom wheelchairs for needy children, and upped his own bid to $300,000, then cajoled the crowd to donate another $80,000. After winning the bidding, he donated the car back, and it was resold for $165,000 to benefit the Gwynn Foundation.

“That just speaks to the man,” Davis said of the charity sales. “He’s a class act in every way.”

Some significant sales also have been made by Pratte over the years at Barrett-Jackson auctions, such as in January 2012 when he consigned 5 highly desirable classic cars. They included a 1948 Tucker Torpedo that sold for $2.9 million, an exotic 1947 Bentley Mk VI with custom French bodywork by Franay at $2.75, and the 1954 DeSoto Adventurer II concept car for $1.43 million. (All sales results except for charity sales include buyer fees.)

Pratte, who rarely speaks to the media, was not available for comment Thursday.

According to Davis, who said he is a personal friend of Pratte’s, the businessman is selling his entire collection simply because he is moving on with his interests.

“For Ron it was the thrill of the hunt,” Davis said. “He’s spent many, many years building that collection, and it’s been complete for many years. So it’s really that he’s just been so busy with other things. He’s had the thrill, he got the trophies, he displayed them, and he just wants to grab a gear and move on.

“Who knows, he might do it all over again. That’s the amazing thing about Mr. Ron Pratte. You never know what he’s up to.”

Mecum cancels Bloomington Gold Corvette auction

A competition Corvette crosses the block during a recent Mecum auction at Bloomington | Mecum Auctions
A competition Corvette crosses the block during a recent Mecum auction at Bloomington | Mecum Auctions

Mecum Auctions has canceled its all-Corvette auction at Bloomington Gold, one of the nation’s largest and most-famous Corvette gatherings. Mecum had been scheduled to host its 18th annual all-Corvette sale during the June 27-29 weekend.

In a posting on the website, the auction company said the decision was made to close the Corvette auction in Illinois because of flagging interest and strong sales of Corvettes at other Mecum classic car auctions throughout the year.

“As the number of successful auction events on the Mecum calendar continues to grow, the Corvette collecting community has regularly been opting to buy and sell Corvettes at other Mecum auction locations in their respective regions throughout the country as a matter of convenience,” the Mecum notice said. “Mecum now holds auctions coast to coast all year long, and Corvettes are a significant segment at all Mecum events as witnessed by their results on the block.

Interest in the auction held in conjunction with Bloomington Gold Corvettes USA has waned.”

“Due to these and other variables, interest in the auction held in conjunction with Bloomington Gold Corvettes USA has waned, and subsequently, the auction had to be canceled. This late notice is regrettable, but it is only because of Mecum’s unwillingness to have to take such measures.”

Dana Mecum, the founder and head of the auction company, was not available for comment Wednesday.

The Bloomington Gold event, renowned by Corvette aficionados for its high standards and dedication to the heritage of Chevrolet’s sports cars, was owned by Dana Mecum from 1997-2012. The Bloomington auction once had been the only venue in which Mecum sold Corvettes, but now they are standard fare at all Mecum collector car events.

Sales at Bloomington Gold have dropped from a high of $7.7 million in 2008 to around $1.8 million in 2013. The total number of cars offered has declined from more than 300 Corvettes over two days to just 130 cars last year in a single-day auction.

Mecum’s top sales of Corvettes in recent years have happened at auctions other than Bloomington. One of the headliner cars being offered at Mecum’s inaugural Seattle auction June 13-14 is a rare, high-performance 1967 Corvette L88 coupe, which should go well over seven figures on the block. Fully restored by the Naber Brothers, the car has been Bloomington Gold Certified.

With the cancellation of the Bloomington Gold auction, Mecum has 19 annual car, motorcycle or tractor auctions.

Ex-Bob Pond Collection to be offered at Auctions America’s 2nd Burbank sale

Auctions America's second California sale features Bob Pond Collection | Auctions America
Auctions America’s second California sale features Bob Pond Collection | Auctions America

More than 60 vehicles from the former collection of the late Palm Springs car collector Bob Pond will be among the 400 classic cars crossing the block at Auctions America’s second annual California sale, August 1-2 in Burbank.

The cars from the former Pond Collection will include the 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible featured in the 1988 Oscar-winning movie, “Rain Man,” which starred Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise.

“We’ve received strong early interest in this year’s auction, and the opportunity to present vehicles from the former Bob Pond Collection at home in SoCal is both a great honor and privilege for our team,” Ian Kelleher, managing director of Auctions America’s West Coast Division, said in a news release.

The "Rain Man" Roadmaster
The “Rain Man” Roadmaster

“The vehicles in the collection were truly cherished by their former owner, and have been carefully protected and preserved by their current, private custodian. Their presentation at Burbank this summer marks the ultimate auction arrival and unshrouding of what is truly an iconic Southern California collection.”

Other cars from the ex-Pond Collection include a 1908 Ford Model R Runabout, a 1931 Rolls-Royce Phantom II open-drive landaulette, a 1953 Muntz Jet convertible, a 1960 Plymouth Fury convertible and a 1963 Jaguar E-type Series I roadster.

The "Unknown Roadster"
The “Unknown Roadster”

In addition to the former Pond Collection, the sale will include the Meguiars’ 1968 “Black Mamba” custom Ford Mustang GT show car; a 1931 Ford Model A “Unknown Roadster,” built in the 1940s and recently rediscovered in storage in Colorado; and a newly restored 1946 Mercury Sportsman Model 69M convertible.

Also on the docket, two low-mileage exotics — a 1983 Ferrari 512 BBi and a 1990 Lamborghini LM002-A.

The sale will be held at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel.