$3.85-million Ford Mustang sale smashes world record for second time in six months
Mecum Auctions finished the first big bricks-and-mortar car auction since the pandemic began in Indianapolis this week, ushering in a new era for the collector car industry and smashing the world record price for a Mustang for the second time this year.
After selling the McQueen “Bullitt” Mustang for US$3,740,000 at Kissimmee on January 10, it’s the second time in six months that a Mustang has sold for more than three million dollars, this time with Mecum hammering down the Shelby GT350 “R-Model” prototype for $3,500,000 ($3,850,000 with 10 percent buyer premium included) in Indianapolis.
Though it was the most successful Mecum Indianapolis auction in 33 years of running the annual flagship event, it was quite a different format to the normal football stadium sized crowd, with social distancing rules strictly obliged, and a much greater online audience than previous auctions.
The sell-through rate for the 1800 vehicles presented was an exceptional 78 percent, significantly boosted by 346 of those sold vehicles going to internet bidders. Online bidders accounted for $10.3 million of the total.
With a staunch Ford-oriented audience turning up for the event, the road art category was the bit that really helped overall sales climb past an unprecedented $74 million in sales. There were more than 6,000 Road Art lots offered over nine auction days, July 10-18, and those lots sold so well that they brought the overall sell-through rate for the auction to 90 percent.
The breadth of offerings across the 6000 Road Art lots was staggering, but that aforementioned Ford-inclined audience really bid up anything with Ford DNA and as can be seen from the top 10 road art lots of the auction, Ford almost made it a clean sweep.
The most fascinating purchase in this category was the embroidered silk French Tricolour used as the starting flag at the 1967 Le Mans race – the race in which Dan Gurney and AJ Foyt won by four laps in a Ford GT, and Gurney began a motorsport tradition by spraying the crowd with champagne from the victory dais.
The similarities between Ford’s four-year sweep of Le Mans and the Indianapolis auction were uncanny. The top 10 cars sold at the event went like this:
Here's the complete top 10 collector-car sales from the Indy 2020 auction:
- 1965 Shelby GT350R Prototype (Lot F140) | $3,850,000
- 1965 Ferrari 275 GTS (Lot S143) at $1,430,000
- 1966 Shelby GT350 Convertible (Lot F145) | $1,100,000
- 1964 Shelby 289 Competition Cobra (Lot F143) | $990,000
- 2018 Ford GT (Lot S135) | $946,000
- 1965 Shelby GT350 Paxton Prototype (Lot F141) | $880,000
- 1966 Shelby GT350 Paxton Fastback (Lot F142) | $852,500
- 1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III (Lot S114) | $726,000
- 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona (Lot S144) | $715,000
- 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO (Lot S117) | $698,500
That would have to be the first time ever that Shelby has comprehensively outsold Ferrari on the auction block of a globally-significant auction, though it was largely because of the offering of the John Atzbach Shelby collection.