Mecum : 2023 Monterey

words and photographs by Dan Vaughan

Mecum's annual Daytime Auction at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa's Del Monte Golf Course was a three-day event, held from August 17th to the 19th, with approximately 600 classic and collector vehicles crossing their auction block (along with approximately 100 vintage and antique motorcycles). It is certainly the largest auction of Monterey Car Week, with automobiles that cater to every budget, from those just getting into the hobby, to the well-heeled, curated collector. As with all their auctions, there is plenty of excitement and spirited bidding as each car is given its time in the spotlight.

Total sales surpassed $43 million, which was slightly less than the $51 million from the previous year but a significant increase from the circa-$29 million from 2019 and 2017. Nearly one hundred vehicles sold in excess of $100,000, and six of the top 10 sales broke the $1 million mark. The top seller of the auction was a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C Alloy Berlinetta (Lot F84) that sold for $3.41 million. A 3,417-mile 1990 Ferrari F40 (Lot S96) was the number two top seller at $2.53 million, and five other Ferraris were in the top ten sales.

Nearly half of the total sales ($19.21 million) were from private vehicle collections, topped by the Veloce, Schnell & Fast Sports Car Collection, which saw 21 vehicles sell for $12.91 million. Eight of the Don Williams Estate Collection sold for a combined $1.01 million, and eight of the Mike and Debbie Rogers Datsun Collection sold for a similar figure.

Vehicle Spotlight

1962 Chevrolet Bel Air Series

This 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air Bubble Top was given a comprehensive body-off restoration and has the correct T3 headlights, color-matched steel wheels, small-diameter hubcaps, and date-coded glass throughout. It was judged Best in Stock Class at the Super Chevy Northwest Nationals in 2011. Power is from a date-code correct 409 cubic-inch V8 engine with the original dual four-barrel carburetor produces 409 horsepower, and the exterior is finished in the correct code 914 Nassau Blue with a blue interior. It was sold by Mecum at Monterey in 2017 for $79,000; returning to Mecum's Monterey auction in 2019, it sold for $99,000, representing a 20% increase in value. Additionally, it surpassed its pre-auction estimated value of $85K to $95K.

1965 Plymouth Satellite
Perfect for the Monterey sun, this 1965 Plymouth Satellite is equipped with a period-correct 426 cubic-inch Street Wedge V-8 engine paired with an automatic transmission. It has a burgundy exterior, a power-operated black convertible top, a black interior, a console, and the original bucket seats. It sold at another auction in Scottsdale, Az. in 2018 for $23K; at Monterey in 2023, it sold for $33K - a 30% increase.

1930 Cadillac Series 452A V16

The 1930 Cadillac Series 452A V16 Roadster (chassis Number 701990) was 1 of 105 examples of this body style mounted on the 1930 and 1931 V-16 chassis. Wearing a late and gray paint scheme and complimented by bright pinstriping, the Fleetwood Roadster certainly had a commanding presence on the well-manicured lawn of the Del Monte golf course as it waited to cross the auction block. Bidding reached $350K, falling ever so short of its pre-auction estimated value of $400K and failing to sell.

1957 Alfa Romeo Giulietta

There are sixteen documented Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce (including this example - chassis AR149304458) that were built from 1956 to 1960 by Alfa Romeo and race prepared by Zagato. With lightweight aluminum bodies and upgrades to the engine, suspension and brakes, these Giulietta Sprint Veloce (SV) models were very successful at many period races, often winning their class. The example at Mecum's Monterey auction wore a white exterior with a red vinyl interior, iconic double-bubble roof, covered headlights, and plexiglas windows. It has a documented history of participation in the Italian races of the time with three different owners. As bidding came to a close, the car had found a new owner with a selling price of $115,500.

1965 Pontiac Bonneville

The winning bidder of this 1965 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible got a bargain with a top bid of $11,000. It is a California car that has a refinished white exterior, a new red convertible top, and original seats with red velvet upholstery. The American Racing Classic Torq Thrust II wheels are wrapped with new tires, and there is an updated stereo system, power locks, power windows, and hydraulic steering.

1970 AMC Rebel Machine

AMC produced 2,326 examples of its 1970 Rebel Machine. This particular example has a 390 cubic-inch V8 with a four-barrel carburetor and produces 340 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. There is a Borg Warner T10 4-speed manual transmission, a special hood with a built-in tachometer, black bucket seats with a buddy seat, and a multi-color stripe fold-down armrest. Like the Pontiac Bonneville Convertible listed above, this car must have caught most bidders asleep, selling at $39,600. This AMC 'checks all the boxes', and is certainly worth twice as much!

1971 Ford Mustang

Nearly camouflaged on the golf course lawn, this Grabber Lime-painted 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 would stand out on any tarmac. Powered by the 351 cubic-inch 'Cleveland' V8 engine with a Holley four-barrel carburetor, 10.7:1 compression, and 285 horsepower, it certainly has the 'go' to back up the 'show.' The chrome Magnum 500 wheels are a nice touch, and its power steering, power front disc brakes, and automatic transmission would make it a pleasure to drive in city traffic or backcountry roads. Wearing the iconic Mecum Sold sticker, this Mustang found new ownership for the sum of $23,100.

1963 Ford Galaxie

For those in the know, this 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 is a very special automobile. It was given a comprehensive restoration by Randy DeLisio of Lyons, New York, and a comprehensive engine rebuild by RPM Engines in 2018, including a repaint of the engine bay. It is one of 212 factory lightweights built and one of 12 with factory fiberglass lightweight doors. It has a fiberglass high riser bubble hood and a factory modified grille. The 427 cubic-inch V8 engine is paired with a Borg Warner T10 aluminum 4-speed manual transmission with drag racing clutch. It has a high-rise period Ford clutch pedal riser, forced air induction system, aluminum bell housing, Detroit Automotive Products limited-slip differential, heavy-duty axle shafts, and Les Ritchey traction bar.

This amazing Galaxie Lightweight was sold at Mecum's Monterey auction for $88,000.

1965 Rolls-Royce Phantom V
This bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantom VI has limousine coachwork by James Young. They would produce eleven 'open-drive' sedanca de ville bodies for the Phantom V chassis, with most of those to the coachbuilder's PV22 or PV23 touring limousine designs. This particular example is the only one built to the Sedanca de Ville version of design number PV15.

The exterior is finished in ivory white and royal blue with panels of 'sham cane.' It was shown at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1965 where it was awarded a bronze medal.

Bidding crested the $100K mark, settling at $121K.

*note: sale prices includes buyer's premium

Top Ten Sales at Mecum's Monterey 2023 Auction

1.1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C Alloy Berlinetta (Lot F84) at $3,410,000
2.1990 Ferrari F40 (Lot S96) at $2,530,000
3.1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast Series II (Lot F89) at $1,842,500
4.1968 Ferrari 330 GTS (Lot F91) at $1,760,000
5.1965 Ferrari 275 GTS (Lot F115) at $1,650,000
6.1963 Ferrari 250GT/L Lusso (Lot F85) at $1,650,000
7.1956 Porsche 356A 1500 GS Carrera Speedster (Lot F96) at $935,000
8.1969 Dodge Hemi Daytona (Lot S128) at $880,000
9.1971 Chevrolet Corvette ZR2 Convertible (Lot S97) at $863,500
10.1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider Conversion (Lot F122) at $671,000

For access to complete auction results, sign up for a free MyMecum account at Next up for Mecum is its special offering of more than 300 motorcycles and 1,000 lots of Road Art® from The John Parham Estate Collection, to be held Sept. 6-9 on-site at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa. Then, Mecum returns to the Lone Star State for Dallas 2023, set for Sept. 20-23 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and expected to feature an estimated 1,500 vehicles. For more details on upcoming auctions, to consign a vehicle or to register as a bidder, visit, or call (262) 275-5050 for more information.

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