What Larry likes at Mecum’s 2017 Monterey auction

Mecum Auctions seems to have something to satisfy every automotive taste | Larry Edsall photos
Mecum Auctions seems to have something to satisfy every automotive taste | Larry Edsall photos

Many of the 600 or so vehicles that will start crossing the block as early as Wednesday afternoon had not been unloaded when we wandered through the huge tents and around the fairways of the Hyatt Regency Monterey hotel and spa that provides the venue for Mecum Auctions annual sale during Monterey Car Week. But there was still plenty of sheet metal to see and to appreciate, and to share some of it here to whet your appetite, and perhaps even your urge to raise your hand once the bidding begins.

Before doing so, however, a quick reminder of how we do this series of stories, photos and vehicle descriptions from collector car auction sites.

Mecum is known for muscle cars
Mecum is known for muscle cars such as this 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda

What we do is send someone from the staff to the venue during preview days and allow them the freedom to feature not the most expensive or exotic or even the most popular of vehicles, but to simple report to you on the vehicles that caught his or her eye, that, if they had the economic means, the cars they’d want for their own collections.

For example, Mecum Auctions is known for offering some of the finest American muscle cars available for sale. And of late, and especially here at Monterey, Mecum provides an array of modern supercars, this year including the 2010 Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita that boxing champion Floyd Mayweather once spent $4.8 million to add to his collection.

But you won’t see any of those sorts of cars in the display below. That’s because my personal preferences are not for those sorts of cars. But I do really like the cars you can explore below. And if you don’t like them, don’t blame Mecum. It has several hundred more that will be crossing the block and I’m sure you’d find dozens of them that are to your liking.

1989 Porsche 962
This is the car that won the 24 Hours of Daytona race in 1989 with Derek Bell, Bob Wolleck and John Andretti sharing time in the cockpit. I was an editor at AutoWeek magazine at the time and John Andretti was one of our “editor’s at speed” and provided a first-hand report on the experience for our readers. And don’t worry, the entire car is being sold; the nose section of the car was sitting just a few feet away, waiting to be reattached before the car goes to the block.
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1972 Ford Bronco
With Ford about to re-launch its famed off-roader, vintage Broncos are escalating in price — in part because every Ford dealer needs an original to put in the showroom next to the new one. Not only is this ’72 Bronco eye-catching in its bright blue color, but it’s powered by a transplanted 5.0-liter V8 engine with a four-speed automatic gearbox, ARB locking differentials front and rear, 4-wheel disc brakes, is lifted 2 1/2 inches and has a hidden sound system with Bluetooth and iPod connectivity.
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1963 BMW 700 coupe
This is a fun-looking vintage coupe powered by a rear-mounted 697cc flat twin motorcycle engine linked to a four-speed manual gearbox. As BMW rebuilt after the war, it produced these Michelotti-designed coupes from 1959 to nearly the end of 1965. There also was an RS version used for racing, with no less than Hans Stuck winning the 1960 German hill-climb championship in a 700. Another won the 1961 German touring car title.
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1932 Duesenberg Model J Phaeton
Likely to sell for north of $800K, this Duesie (chassis No. 2480) wears dual-cowl coachwork in the style of LaGrande. This car originally was equipped with limousine coachwork by Rollston, and later wore a Dietrich convertible Berline body originally carried by chassis No. 1946. However, sometime in the decade between 1946 and 1956, that bodywork was destroyed when the garage housing the car caught fire. Thus, the current dual-cowl coachwork in the style of LaGrande, which was installed in the 1970s. The powerplant also has been upgraded to Model SJ specifications with an SJ centrifugal supercharger boosting its 420cid straight 8.
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1956 Jaguar MK VIII
The 37,163 miles on the odometer are believed to be the original mileage of this big and impressive and downright sinister-looking Jag that is outfitted for vintage rallying, complete with knock-off wheels.
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1966 BMW R60/2 with sidecar
Unbolt the sidecar and this bike can do 90 mph. Put the Steib sidecar back in place and you have a great way to cruise the countryside with a friend. Power is supplied by a 590cc twin engine. The bike has been restored and shows less than 50,000 miles on its odometer.
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1959 Troy Roadster
This is a one-off machine built in Springfield, Illinois, by Wally Troy, who also was the first Jaguar-licensed dealer in the state and built a series of show-winning customs in the ’50s. Hot Rod magazine featured this tube-frame, aluminum-bodied car in 1960. The engine is a 350cid Chevrolet V8 topped by a pair of four-barrel carburetors and was installed when the car was restored in the 1990s after being in storage for a few decades.
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1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona
I guess I’m in a racy mood. This ’71 Daytona was raced at Le Mans in 1972, where Philippe Cornet-Epinat drove it to 8th overall and 5th in the GT class — in a 4-hour event, not the famed 24-hour race. The car was raced in a variety of French club events and retained its flared fenders and other racing accoutrements when it was converted into a street-legal vehicle. It underwent a cosmetic restoration in 2007 and was put back into racing spec in 2014 and is eligible for such vintage racing events as the Monterey Reunion and the Daytona and Sebring Classics.
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1966 Maserati Sebring
Rocker J. Geils had begun restoration of this car when he died. It is being offered as part of the Geils Collection and comes with a damaged body shell (collision with a school bus), 3.7-liter Maserati engine, 5-speed manual gearbox, Borrani wire wheels and other parts packaged on pallets. The package is valued at $30,000 to $50,000.
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