Mecum Auctions held its most successful Indianapolis auction to date as the 33rd annual flagship event climbed to just more than $74 million in overall sales. In all, the 2020 auction was host to 1,800 vehicles and more than 6,000 Road Art lots offered over nine auction days, July 10-18. The sprawling Indy lineup ultimately achieved an overall sell-through rate of 90% as the vehicles alone reached an exceptional 78% sold. Notably, 346 of the vehicles offered were sold to online-only bidders for a total of $10.3 million.
Headlined by the offering of the John Atzbach Shelby collection, the 2020 Indy auction was not only a historic event for Mecum, but it also added to the history books for the Ford Mustang, as 5R002—the 1965 Shelby GT350R Prototype (Lot F140) from the Atzbach stables—became the world’s most valuable Mustang ever sold. Demanding a final sale price of $3.85 million, the car exists as the first Shelby R-Model competition car built and the first Shelby Mustang to win a race, easily qualifying it as the most historically significant Shelby Mustang in the world; its record-setting sale in Indy marked yet another first place finish for The Ken Miles “Flying Mustang” as it eclipsed the world-record sale price of the original McQueen “Bullitt” Mustang sold by Mecum just six months ago.
Following on the coattails of 5R002, Atzbach’s other Shelby vehicles made a strong showing in the top sellers list as well, claiming an additional four of the 10 top spots. At No. 3 was his 1966 Shelby GT350 Convertible (Lot F145) that brought $1.1 million, and in seat No. 4, Atzbach’s 1964 Shelby 289 Independent Competition Cobra (Lot F143) that sold for $990,000.
Ferrari was another common moniker to appear among top sales in Indy, with the auction’s No. 2 top seat occupied by a 1965 Ferrari 275 GTS (Lot S143) that sold for $1.43 million, and seats No. 9 and 10 claimed by a 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona (Lot S144) at $715,000 and a 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO (Lot S117) at $698,500.
“We put forth tremendous effort to follow, meet and exceed all of the safety protocols necessary to provide a safe environment to conduct a successful, full-scale live auction. Not only did we succeed, we raised the bar,” Mecum Director of Consignments Frank Mecum explained. “By enhancing both our on-site and live-online bidding processes, we were able to open so many new doors and allow everyone to participate in whichever way made the most sense for our customers. The results speak for themselves: the auction in Indy was the annual event’s best outcome ever, and I think I can speak for everyone here at Mecum in saying that we are thrilled to be back with live auctions for our customers and fans alike.”
The complete top 10 collector-car sales at the Indy 2020 auction include:
- 1965 Shelby GT350R Prototype (Lot F140) at $3,850,000
- 1965 Ferrari 275 GTS (Lot S143) at $1,430,000
- 1966 Shelby GT350 Convertible (Lot F145) at $1,100,000
- 1964 Shelby 289 Independent Competition Cobra (Lot F143) at $990,000
- 2018 Ford GT (Lot S135) at $946,000
- 1965 Shelby GT350 Paxton Prototype (Lot F141) at $880,000
- 1966 Shelby GT350 Paxton Fastback (Lot F142) at $852,500
- 1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Drophead Coupe (Lot S114) at $726,000
- 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona (Lot S144) at $715,000
- 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO (Lot S117) at $698,500
Live Road Art and online-only items offered via Mecum On Time were once again an indispensable highlight of the event, serving as an ideal complement to the available sea of collector cars. Of the more than 6,000 lots offered, the top seller was a large, vintage “Cobra Powered by Ford” autographed banner (Lot Q55) from the John Atzbach collection that brought $53,100. Other unique Atzbach offerings to demand top dollar included his embroidered, silk 1967 Le Mans Starting Flag (Lot Q114), which sold for $36,580, followed by his Ford A-1 Used Cars double-sided porcelain neon sign (Lot H143), a full set of 1965 Shelby American 427 Cobra Sunburst Wheels with Blue Dot tires (Lot Q35) and three J. Paul Nesse cast bronze sculptures, all of which sold for between $25,960 and $29,500 each.
The complete top 10 Road Art sales at the Indy 2020 auction include:
- Cobra Powered by Ford Autographed Banner (Lot Q55) at $53,100
- Ford A-1 Pylon Used Cars and Trucks Dealership Porcelain Neon Sign (Lot H147) at $40,120
- 1967 Le Mans Starting Flag Embroidered Silk (Lot Q114) at $36,580
- Ford A-1 Used Cars Double-Sided Porcelain Neon Sign (Lot H143) at $30,680
- 1965 Shelby American 427 Cobra Sunburst Wheels/Blue Dot Tires (Lot Q35) at $29,500
- “Daytona Coupe” Original Bronze Sculpture by J. Paul Nesse (Lot Q72) at $29,500
- “Miles Ahead” Original Bronze Sculpture by J. Paul Nesse (Lot H92) at $25,960
- Ford Jubilee Dealership Single-Sided Porcelain Neon Sign (Lot H350) at $25,960
- “Horses for Courses” Original Bronze Sculpture by J. Paul Nesse (Lot Q170) at $25,960
- United Motors Service Double-Sided Porcelain Neon (Lot M43) at $23,600