Mecum collector-car auction in Chicago surpasses $13 million

The 1961 Chevy Corvette Big Brake Fuelie crosses the block at the Mecum Chicago auction | Mecum Auctions photos
The 1961 Chevy Corvette Big Brake Fuelie crosses the block at the Mecum Chicago auction | Mecum Auctions photos

Mecum sold more than $13 million worth of collector cars during its three-day Chicago auction, held October 8-10, as 494 vehicles went to new owners. Continue reading

Prized muscle cars highlight Mecum’s Chicago auction

An original 1966 fiberglass prototype of the AMC AMX will be auctioned in Chicago | Mecum Auctions photos
An original 1966 fiberglass prototype of the AMC AMX will be auctioned in Chicago | Mecum Auctions photos

Muscle cars rule at Mecum’s upcoming Chicago auction, with around 1,000 collector cars expected for the annual sale October 8-10 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center.

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Countdown to Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas: 1974 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am 455 Super Duty

day6_74PontiacFirebirdtransam_5daysleftEditors note: This is the sixth in a 10-day series featuring cars to be sold September 24-26 during Barrett-Jackson’s Las Vegas auction.

The 1974 Pontiac Firebird and Trans Am Super Duties were the last of the high-performance cars from the ’70s. A total of 943 were produced for the 1974 model year. Of that number, only 212 were equipped with the Pontiac 455 Super Duty engine and 4-speed transmission, and this is one of them, with less than 9,500 actual miles.

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Vicari celebrates 20th anniversary, collector car appreciation day with auction in New Orleans

1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS | Vicari Auctions Photo

Celebrating its 20th anniversary year, the Vicari Auction Company has teamed with Mardi Gras World to host its fifth annual New Orleans collector car auction July 11 during Collector Car Appreciation weekend. The auction is expected to feature up to 200 cars as well as Disney art and items from Pete Vicari’s personal memorabilia collection. Continue reading

Return of the Bandit to Carlisle

Burt Reynolds in the 1977 Bandit Trans Am | Carlisle Events Photos

A 1977 Bandit Pontiac Trans Am owned by Burt Reynolds was sold at the Spring Carlisle auction but will return to be shown as part of the 2015 Carlisle GM National taking place June 26-28 at the Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Fairgrounds. Continue reading

Mecum kicking off inaugural Denver auction

A 1969 Pontiac Trans Am Ram Air IV will be featured in Denver | Mecum photos
A 1969 Pontiac Trans Am Ram Air IV will be featured in Denver | Mecum photos

Mecum Auctions adds another event to its busy schedule with the inaugural Denver sale June 26-27 at the Colorado Convention Center. The auction company promises 700 muscle cars, sports cars, customs and classics will cross the block.

American muscle will be the featured attraction, headlined by a rare 1969 Pontiac Trans Am Ram Air IV (Lot S114), one of just nine such automatic coupes produced and one of only two built with a column shifter. Continue reading

1964 Pontiac Banshee concept going to auction

The 1964 Pontiac Banshee previewed future GM styling trends | Dragone Auction
The 1964 Pontiac Banshee previewed future GM styling trends | Dragone Auction

One of the most-famous what-might-have-been tales in General Motors history is that of the 1964 Pontiac Banshee concept car. The stylishly aerodynamic and lightweight fiberglass sports car, code-named XP-833, was designed under the guidance of the visionary John Z. DeLorean, then head of the Pontiac division, as a modestly priced competitor to Ford’s wildly successful Mustang. Continue reading

Pick of the Week: 1966 Pontiac GTO

The classic 1966 Pontiac GTO presents great cruising possibilities at an affordable price
The classic 1966 Pontiac GTO presents great cruising possibilities at an affordable price

After witnessing all those high-end collector cars selling for nosebleed prices during Arizona  auction week, I thought I would come back to earth with a clean-looking piece of classic America muscle that won’t cost more than your house. Or the entire neighborhood, for that matter.

So the Pick of the Week goes to this attractive 1966 Pontiac GTO hardtop for sale on by a dealer in Jonesboro, Illinois. This looks like a fun car to drive and show, and the asking price is a manageable $22,500.

The GTO has been ‘nicely restored,’ the seller says
The GTO has been ‘nicely restored,’ the seller says

According to the seller, the GTO has been “nicely restored” although not to show quality, and it has a replacement engine and updated transmission.

“It has a ’66 dated 389 that has been rebuilt and runs great,” the seller says in the description. “The motor and engine-bay area (are) detailed nicely. The transmission has been updated to a 200R4, which is an overdrive trans so it really hits the road and cruises well.

“This car has power disc brakes and power steering. They make it more enjoyable to drive and easier to handle. The paint is a nice job, not super show quality but a high-quality driver paint job. The interior is all nice. It has a factory tach in the dash and everything appears to work correctly…”

The interior looks clean and well-finished
The interior looks clean and well-finished

The car seems to be mostly rust-free with no repair patches, the seller says, although there is a “soft spot” in front of the driver’s floor that should be addressed. “The rest of the car looks solid and no issues.”

“This is one that you can drive anywhere,” the seller adds. “It’s great for cruising and local car shows or any collection.”

And just think, the last time I wrote about a GTO, it was a Ferrari that sold at a Monterey auction in August for the ungodly price of $38 million. At least this Pontiac GTO is something that we mere mortals could contemplate buying.


My Classic Car: Fox family’s 1969 Pontiac Trans Am

The 1969 Trans Am | Fox Family photo
The 1969 Trans Am | Fox Family photo

This story started in 1994. I had heard that dealership that was close by was selling out and closing the doors. Someone had told me that they had some old Pontiac dealer signs that they were going to sell. I have been a sign collector for a long time and had a soft spot in my heart for Pontiac.

So I called one of the brothers that owned the dealership, it was in Valdese, North Carolina, and he gave me a date and time to meet with him and look at the signs. My wife and son went with me on that day.

When we got there, my wife and myself went with the owner to look at the signs downstairs. My son stayed upstairs and said he would look around and wait on us. What he had came across was some old cars that were in another room next to the old showroom of the business. One car had a car cover on it.

My wife and myself had no idea what my son had found upstairs. We bought the signs and were working on a time to come back and pick them up.

When we got back upstairs my son came to us and said you are going to believe what I found. He said follow me and we went to the room that had the cars in it. There was a 1965 GTO convertible, a 1962 Corvair pickup, 1962 356 Porsche, but the one that had the cover on it was best of all — a 1969 Trans Am.

We looked at all of the cars over and asked if these cars were for sale. The brother told us that all the cars belonged to his brother, the other owner of the dealership, but he would ask and let us know.

A period of time went by. Finally one morning I got a phone call and it was the owner of the cars. He told me that they were all for sale and we agreed on a time to meet. There were many people asking about the cars, but we were the first.

We got to the dealership, my wife and son and myself. He asked what we were interested. The Trans Am was the pick for all of us. We would have liked to have all of them, but money, you know.

My son and myself took the Trans Am for a drive. When we got back were talking with the owner about the price for the ar I noticed my wife was talking to a man and a woman in the showroom. The man looked upset and he stormed out after saying something to the woman he was with him. My wife told us later that the man told her that he was there to talk with the owner about buying the Trans Am and had been asked to be there the previous day but couldn’t make it.

I asked my wife why the guy left so mad. She told us that she told him that the Trans Am was already sold, that we had just bought it.

And that was when the blamed the woman that was with him for missing out on the deal because he could not come the day before.

But it all worked out good for all of us. We got all of the dealership signs and the Trans Am and to this day we still have them.

— Tommy Fox, Mooresville NC

My Classic Car: Glen’s 1964 Pontiac Parisienne convertible

A work in progress since 1979 | Glen Kohlmeier photos
A work in progress since 1979 | Glen Kohlmeier photos

There is a reason I am supposed to own this car. Spring, 1979, friends are talking about a friend of a friend, etc. who is looking at buying a car in St. James. It is a ’64 Pontiac ragtop. My brother had one and I always liked it.

They gave the location during this conversation and for some reason it stuck in my head. A few days later, I find myself in the St. James area and remembering the conversation and location, I go for a drive by. Here’s what I found:

A 1964 Pontiac poking thru a well-weathered nylon tarp, once the winter was finished with it. From what I could see it was painted Chevy orange or a similar shade, apparently with a roller. The top was in rags, the interior was blue but with the wrong front seat.

A week or so later the same conversation came up and the “friend” apparently had talked to the owner and decided not to buy it; it was too much money but the amount wasn’t mentioned.

Third time -- of ownership -- seems to be the charm
Third time — of ownership — seems to be the charm

Hmmmm… I’m still thinking about this car. It’s now June. I wonder if it is still there and if it runs? I drive by and it’s still there. I knock on the door. It’s around 2:30 in the afternoon, so no one will likely be home. But a woman answers the door. I enquire about the car. It is for sale. It hasn’t run for years but it did run when it was parked there five or six years ago.

How much? She says $75. Okay, I’ll take. She’s thrilled. I write a bill of sale on a pocket pad I had and she signed it, I paid her and said I’d be back after dinner to pick it up.

At 7:30 that night, I have four rolling tires on it, my brother-in-law who has finally been convinced I am, in fact, nuts, is towing me and this wreck home, down Portage Avenue, on a chain. Certifiably nuts.

I kinda agreed with him a few weeks later. I was busy and hadn’t had time to even look at the car. As it turned out it was the following summer before I had a chance to look at it.

On a nice day in May, I open the hood and a very tired but mostly there 283 Powerglide is looking back at me. A few hours later, it’s running. Hot damn!

A week later I register it and take it for a ride. Cool. I really didn’t have the time, money or place to take on such a project so I ended up putting in a garage I was renting and had a Lincoln stored in. I had bought the Lincoln at a wedding social in the winter off some guy who apparently needed a fix badly and sold me his car, a 1963 Lincoln fully loaded with suicide doors for a hundred dollars.

What the hell, it was risking but it ran and my date followed me home in my car, which could and may be another story here someday. I put the Lincoln in this two car garage I rented off a friend who was in the real estate business. I never heard another word about the deal. About two years later I get a call from my friend telling me the garage burned. When I got there the Lincoln is toast but the Pontiac appeared not bad. I dragged it home once again.

Turns out my nephew turning 16 wants a car. I give it to him with the stipulation if he ever wants to sell the car, I get first dibbs. About three years later, he calls. He has gotten it road worthy, stripped it, had it painted and replaced the top and few other things. It was his driver. But on high school graduation day, something happened to the motor. He was so disappointed he couldn’t take his date in his car to the prom and he was now thinking about selling it. I bought it a second time for $1000; this time with a pouched motor.

The power train
The powertrain

I put a new nicely modified 350 and 350 turbo with a lock up converter transmission in it and some other work and drove it that summer. A friend I was working with had started a long-distance love affair with a woman in Calgary and as it progressed they started meeting in Swift Current, Saskatchewan for week-end rendezvous. He needed a good and fast cruiser. He bought the Pontiac for $6000 dollars with a similar stipulation, should he decided to ever sell it.

He marries her, move to Calgary. She lives in an apartment; no where to park the car. I get a phone call, do I want to buy it? For the third time, I buy the car, now for $4000.

OK, I’m thinking there’s a reason I’m supposed to own this car. I am now married with a place to work. I decide to do a frame off restoration. Took me eight years of evenings and weekends but I did it; a new top and the exhaust was all I farmed out. The rest I did myself and here it is.

Two years ago, I survived a stroke. I guess the the devil didn’t want me and God didn’t need me yet. I survived, mostly in tact. I suspect it may have something to do with I still don’t know why this car and its purpose has yet come to light.

I have since retired and started doing a frame off on that same car my date followed me home in when I bought the Lincoln. I bought it December 12, 1971 in high school and thru all my time, marriage, a child and life, managed to hang on to it. So that’s I’m what doing these days while waiting to find out the “rest of the story” with my 1964 Pontiac Parisienne convertible.

— Glen Kohlmeier, Winnipeg, Manitoba