April 30, 2021

Linkage Mag

Geared for the Automotive Life

I Miss Auctions

1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster Photo courtesy of Mecum Auctions

I was clicking around on my television early Sunday afternoon, trying to find the rerun of “Meet the Press.”

I grew up with five or six channels on the television, and my modern cable feed — with hundreds of channels — sometimes takes me down some wild rabbit holes.

I was rowing away through the channel listings when “Mecum Main Attractions” popped into view on NBC.

I immediately hit the watch button, and a 1969 Dodge Charger resto mod in custom neon green paint glowed on the screen. I love high-definition television!

This was Mecum’s 2021 Kissimmee Auction, and I realized this show was a highlight reel of sorts. The announcers breathlessly told me that this car was  a unique resto mod, as it was really a 2016 Dodge Hellcat SRT with a custom 1969 Dodge Charger body.

Crazy? Yes.

Compelling? Absolutely.

The car, Lot F232, hammered at $335,000, which told me two things: 

Resto mods are still hot, and the right build will bring in the bucks.

The car world is hungry for auctions.

I also realized that I was puppy-dog eager for in-person auctions again. Many places still can’t hold in-person auctions, but there’s hope that will change fast as vaccines go into arms.

I kept watching, and I loved Lot S146, the 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster with the red leather interior. Mecum’s Hollywood-style lighting made the fabulous car look even more fabulous. These cars are always in fashion, and in my mind, they’re blue-chip market indicators.

The car hammered at $1,100,000.

I wanted to be in that highlight reel so badly!

I’ve gone to dozens of car auctions over the past 11 years, and I miss the excitement, the people watching and the invisible — but tangible — electric charge that ripples through the crowd when an exceptional car arrives on the block.

All too soon, “Mecum Main Attractions” ended — for a figure-skating championship, of all things.

By the end of 2021, I may well be tired of going to collector-car auctions. I sincerely hope so.

But I will never again take for granted the marvelous experience of being in the middle of many interesting cars — and fascinating people.

I miss auctions.