Where the cars are: Advance visits the Mecum automotive auction in Kissimmee

Some of our readers may be familiar with Dana Mecum’s spectacular car auctions held around the United States and broadcast live on television.

For those watching at home, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of possibilities causing many to wonder what if I was there? What would I bid on?

You mean I can own a low mileage C5 Corvette convertible for less than the cost of a used Honda Accord?

Advance Auto Parts decided to visit the Mecum automotive auction in Kissimmee with bidding card in hand to not only find an automotive bargain, but also to stand next to an automotive legend.

A car auction in Kissimmee? What’s Kissimmee?

If you’ve never loaded the family truckster and headed south to see Mickey, Donald and Goofy, you probably don’t know where Kissimmee, Florida is.

Kissimmee is the town closest to Walt Disney World. It’s also the home of the Silver Spurs Rodeo, a Kissimmee tradition since 1944.

The Silver Spurs Rodeo is held each year at the Osceola Heritage Park, a 120-acre entertainment complex, which includes the 10,500-seat Silver Spurs Arena and 60,000-square foot exhibition building.

120 acres for an automotive auction? That seems like overkill. But, not for a Mecum auction.

The Mecum auction in Kissimmee is one of the largest collector car auctions in the world. This year, more than 3,000 vehicles will be auctioned off to the highest bidder over the course of 10 days.

Each day has a tent (or group of tents, depending on the day) where both registered and non-registered bidders can closely examine nearly everything offered during the 10-day auction.

Even supercars?

Yep, even supercars are available for view and, in some cases, the owners allow any tire kicker who comes along to start the vehicle, pop the hood and check for leaks.

You said supercars. Now you’ve got my attention.

Supercar might be an understatement. How about automotive legend.

Our readers will remember our post covering The Lingenfelter Collection, which contained excerpts from our interview with collection owner, Ken Lingenfelter.

In that post, we said:

One car in particular that has his eye, at the time of writing this post, is the 1988 Callaway Sledgehammer Corvette that his cousin John drove to set a world record in speed for a street driven, street legal car: 254.76 miles per hour. “John put his life on the line to set that record,” Ken says, “so I’d really like it. But it may go for more at auction than I’m willing to pay. We’ll see.”

mecum-sledgehammer

It was a privilege to see this car in person. Especially considering that the next owner could potentially hide it away in his garage for a decade or more.

Something for everyone

If one-off, record-setting, blazingly-fast cars aren’t your thing, the Mecum auction has much more to offer.

In addition to collector cars, thousands of pieces of road art are also up for sale. Everything from classic license plates (from just about every state and from every year) to neon clocks are available to the highest bidder.

mecum-road-art

What if 80s mid-engine domestic 2-doors with Ferrari-esque body kits and John Deere tractors are your thing? Go to the Mecum car auction in Kissimmee.

mecum-tractor-fiero

What if supercharged rat rods are your thing?  This low-slung beast has a custom air ride suspension setup with the air tank mounted between the seats.

mecum-rat-rod

What if ’84 Nissan Datsuns are your thing? This survivor has 42,000 original miles and looks showroom fresh.

mecum-datsun

Still haven’t found what you are looking for? Here are a few more to choose from:

Hurry! There’s still time.

The 2014 Mecum car auction in Kissimmee concludes January 26. Can’t make it down to sunny Florida? Go to www.mecum.com and click the watch online link or tune in to Esquire and NBC’s television coverage (check local listings for time and channel).

Editor’s note: What’s your favorite item up for auction in Kissimmee? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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