It was my last day in Dallas. I had arrived four days earlier for business and binge drinking, but with work wrapped up, and still recovering from the previous nights outing, I set my sights on the mecum auction. When I arrived, the auction was in full swing. The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center was filled with the amplified ramblings of the auctioneer, the muffled roar of a thousand conversations, and the slightest smell of exhaust fumes.
As I entered, I was corralled through some merch and memorabilia before being spit out into the middle of one of the biggest automotive auctions in the world. But the first thing to draw my attention wasn’t the auction block, it was the vast sprawl of cars. The crowd of automobiles reached the far ends of the convention center, and when you thought you’d seen it all, you’d turn a corner and find more. A thousand or more fully restored muscle cars and classic domestics made up the majority of what was available to own, but there were plenty of interesting euro and Japanese sports cars and trucks peppered amongst them to keep someone like me interested.
The variety of cars was wide, but they were all spotless thanks to an army of detailers patrolling the convention center with buckets of sprays and microfiber. And patrol they must because all these cars are for auction, so prospective bidders are encouraged to inspect their would-be dream car before bidding. its not unusual to see people sitting in them or opening the hoods which of course isn’t the case at most car shows.
Eventually I made my way back to the excitement of the auction block. The crowd was buzzing, and I could almost smell the burning pockets of the bidders. The auctioneer continued to babble incoherently as support crew performed last minute detailing and pushed cars on and off the stage as one auction flowed into another. It was organized chaos. the heavy hitter ended up being a blue 69’ Dodge Daytona that reached $240,000 and still didn’t meet reserve.
I had spent several hours exploring what mecum had to offer someone with little money and a camera and I can say that I wasn’t disappointed. It was great way to get a good look at some beautiful and rare cars, and to see the inner workings of a high-end automotive auction.