Already the largest auction of the year, Mecum has set a goal to have 4,000 lots consigned to its Kissimmee 2023 auction. Spanning 11 days — from January 4 to 15 — at Florida’s Osceola Heritage Park, the auction company has already secured more than 3,000 lots with the recently consigned Rick Grant III Estate Collection and several other private collection offerings.
One of the main attractions in Kissimmee is the Rick Grant III Estate Collection, which is comprised of 50 eclectic automobiles ranging from Classic Americana to high-strung Italian sports cars. Headlining the collection are three collector favorites: a Porsche 718 RSK Center Seat, BMW 507 roadster and Ferrari 275 GTB/4.
One of only 34 produced, the 1959 Porsche 718 RSK is further distinguished as one of just six reported to be completed in center-seat configuration. It is also said to be one of seven that was built with the option of converting it from center-drive to left-hand configuration within a few hours. Delivered new to Christian Goethals of Belgium who raced it for one season, this car — chassis 718-028 — was driven to victory at the 1959 Leopoldville Grand Prix in the Belgian Congo. It also finished sixth overall and third in class at the 1960 Buenos Aires 1000km Grand Prix.
Having remained part of the Rick Grant Collection since 1990, chassis 028 was restored for vintage racing and was campaigned by Grant Motorsports in more than 100 races with John Higgins behind the wheel. Retaining its original Wendler body, transaxle and Type 547/3 engine, the 718 has also achieved success on the show field, winning its class at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
A late series II example, the 1959 BMW 507 roadster — complete with optional hardtop — was previously owned by Goetz Pfafflin, a noted collector of BMW. Circa 1997 the 507’s engine, suspension and brakes were rebuilt by BMW specialist Brummer of Munich. In 2001, a restoration work including bodywork, paint, interior and brightwork was completed by Bruce Kelly’s Lace Country Classics in Minnesota. Mr. Phafflin then completed the 2001 BMW Vintage Marathon of Europe in the 507. In 2002, the BMW was added to the Rick Grant Collection and was recently displayed at the Concours d’Elegance of America in 2021.
The 1967 Ferrari GTB/4 from the Rick Grant III Collection is finished in always-popular Rosso Corsa contrasted by a black interior. The car’s previous owner, Donald Vitale, displayed the 275 at the 1990 FCA National Concours in Watkins Glen, and at the 1991 FCA National Concours in Washington. It has since been displayed at the 1999 Cavallino Classic Concorso d’Eleganza — where it was also driven in the Cavallino Classic track event at Moreno Motorsports Park —and at the 2003 Cavallino Classic Concorso d’Eleganza, winning a silver award.
Other stars from the Rick Grant III Estate Collection include a 1965 Aston Martin DB5, a 1967 Ferrari 330 GTC coupe, 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS and a 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster. As well as a 1931 Cadillac 355A All-Weather Phaeton, 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS cabriolet and a 1965 Shelby 289 Cobra roadster.