For many car enthusiasts, the opportunity to invest in what they love is a dream come true. At Mecum Houston, such dreams were realized as bidders laid down some serious cash to grab meticulously restored classics, powerful muscle cars and limited-production supercars.
If this year’s results in Houston are any indication, 2016 will be a banner year for American car auctions. Here is a review of the top five vehicles sold at Mecum’s Houston event.
2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition
The highest price paid at Mecum’s Houston auction was $425,000, a figure that exceeded all other bids by more than $150,000. The top bidder drove away with this 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition that had just 1,265 miles on the odometer when it rolled across the stage.
This superb mid-engine two-seater was one of only 343 Ford GTs finished with the Gulf Livery paint. The blue and orange exterior is complemented by a black interior. The look is enhanced by optional gray-painted calipers and special lightweight forged alloy wheels.
The supercharged 5.4-liter modular V8 engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. It is capable of generating 550 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. It can reach a speed of 60 mph from a standing start in just 3.3 seconds. Top speed is 205 mph. Thanks to a dry sump oiling system, the engine sits very low in the frame, lowering the GTs center of gravity to enhance handling.
The 2005 and 2006 Ford GTs were inspired by the GT40s that hit the racing circuit in the 1960s. However, they are three inches taller, wider and bigger than the original racers. This particular Heritage Edition Ford GT came with the original car cover, invoice and books. Clean AutoCheck and CarFax reports were included as well.
1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback
One of the rare 1970 Boss 429s hit the auction block in Houston, and the winning bidder had to shell out $270,000 for the privilege of taking it home.
The Boss 429 is the ultimate representation of the pony car era, and only 499 of them were produced in 1970. This 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback is also rare for another reason. Because 1970 was the only year that Ford offered Grabber-themed exterior colors, only 95 are finished in the highly coveted Grabber Green color.
Ford reached out to Kar Kraft in Brighton, Michigan to shoehorn the massive 429 cu-in power plant into the Boss Mustang. To accomplish this feat, the battery was moved to the trunk, the shock towers were relocated and the front wheel track was increased.
The 820-A Boss 429 V8 features hemispherical aluminum heads. The four-speed transmission is linked to a T-handle Hurst shifter. This powerful pony car also features power steering, front disc brakes and a 3.91 Traction-Lok rear end. The cabin is bedecked with black upholstery and a Philco AM radio.
This Grabber Green Boss 429, Kar Kraft number 2446, underwent a comprehensive restoration in 2010, although most of the original sheet metal and interior remains. Minar Ford in New Brighton, Minneosta sold this rare pony car after it arrived fresh from the factory. This Boss 429 was later owned by Mustang enthusiast Jackie Jones, and it was part of a private collection for more than a decade.
2006 Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren
This rare 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren with 22,000 miles sold for $205,000 at Mecum Houston. It was one of only 141 built for the American market for the 2006 model year. It is finished in elegant Crystal Laurite Silver paint complemented by a black interior. This state-of-the-art supercar was a joint venture of Mercedes-Benz and McLaren Automotive.
Performance is enhanced by a generous use of lightweight carbon fiber in the front end and underbody. Dual stainless steel exhaust and chrome side pipes add to the elite look of this SLR McLaren. A dry sump system eliminates the oil pan, allowing the big V8 to ride lower for an improved center of gravity.
The 617 horsepower, supercharged 5.4-liter engine features three valves per cylinder, with each cylinder angled at 90 degrees. The engine also generates a massive 575 pound-feet of torque. The driver directs all that power and torque via a 5-SPF touch-shift transmission featuring both speed-shift and overdrive. Car and Driver reports a zero-60 time of 3.6 seconds, and a 11.6-second quarter-mile at 125 mph.
An automatic air brake assists the motorist in bringing the engine’s prodigious power under control. Two intercoolers add a measure of confidence that this high-performing engineering marvel will not overheat.
1970 Chevrolet COPO Chevelle LS6
A Concours quality frame-off restoration undoubtedly helped inspire a winning bid of $170,000 for this 1970 Chevrolet COPO Chevelle LS6. This particular Chevelle SS is one of fewer than 10 finished in the special-order Daytona Yellow paint, and it is the only one with a cloth interior. This was the first year Chevrolet offered the unique color. This COPO Daytona Yellow Chevelle also offers a cowl induction hood and Super Sport stripes.
In 1970, the arrival of the Chevelle LS6 set a new standard in Chevy muscle cars because it was the most powerful one built to date. The tried-and-true Chevy big-block engine featured a forged steel crankshaft, aluminum pistons and forged steel connecting rods. The factory deliberated underrated the 454 cu-in power plant at 450 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. Recent hydro tests suggest that the engine was good for more like 500 horsepower.
This Chevelle SS also features an 800 CFM Holley four-barrel carburetor that further enhances performance. Marry all that power to the 4.10 Positraction rear end, hit the gas and the Goodyear Polyglass tires will leave a trail of rubber behind.
The interior is finished Black Rivar cloth upholstery. There’s also a push-button AM radio. This classic American muscle car came with the original build sheet and a National LS6 Registry Certificate. It was sold new at Eddie Hopper Chevrolet in Garden Grove, California.
1997 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster
It took a bid of $162,500 to take ownership of this AWD 1997 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster with 25,352 miles on the odometer. The exterior is finished in Rossa Diablo Red, and the interior features Showcorn White leather upholstery. This ultra-performance exotic also comes with a lightweight carbon-fiber roof and factory wing.
The powerful 5.7-liter V12 in the 1997 Diablo VT is rated at a maximum 492 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque. The Diablo VT differed from the regular Diablo in that it included an all-wheel drive system featuring a viscous center differential. Therefore, VT stands for viscous traction. Other VT upgrades include front air intakes for better brake cooling, four-piston calipers and electronically adjustable dampers.
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