Two car auctions held in Arizona last month show that the collector car market is strong and getting hotter. Both the Mecum and the Barrett-Jackson auctions had record-setting sales and are indicating that the market for collector cars, both at the entry-level and the ultra-high-performance stage, are surging upwards.
The Mecum Auction was held in Glendale, Arizona from March 18-20. Over 700 vehicles sold over the course of the week for more than $42 million, an increase from the 2020 sale, which came in at just under $30 million and was hampered by COVID-19. Even though it has only been held in Arizona for three years, the auction has already become the third-highest seller for the Mecum brand. The top seller was a 1967 Corvette L88 coupe that still had the original engine selling for $2.65 million.
COVID-19 issues also caused the Barrett-Jackson Auction to be postponed to March from its customary January showcase. Over 1,000 cars were hammered sold for over $98 million including several vehicles that sold for charity. A 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake sold for $5.5 million. A new 2022 GM Hummer EV with the first VIN of 001 sold for $2.5 million, the proceeds of which will be donated. A resto-mod 1959 Corvette was bought by comedian Kevin Hart for $825,000.
Vehicles at the auctions ranged from entry-level stock cars that still needed work, to radically customized show cars with no-expense-spared. But both ends of the market were strong and the bidding was active both online and in-person. These two auctions suggest that the balance of 2021 will remain feverishly hot as auction firms find a way to offer events in venues across the nation, while also respecting safety protocols.