Muscle Cars and Hot Rods invade Mecum Auctions Los Angeles

I always enjoy checking out the docket before I go to any auction, even if I only plan to attend on the preview days. Of course, with an automotive journalists’ salary, I could never bid on the cars offered, but I can always dream, right? As I look at what cars I can expect to see, I often find myself thinking “oh wow, look at that one!” and before you know it, I’ve got 20 browser tabs of open – each with a stunning classic car.

As I gear up for the Mecum Auctions 2018 Los Angeles sale, set for February 16-17 at the Fairplex in Pomona, I easily had 40 tabs open with cars I wanted to see in person.

For a taste of what is to come, I narrowed my list down to the most significant cars, as well as the most interesting, of those that stood out to me.

Here is my list of cars to watch:

1970 Pontiac GTO

This 1970 Pontiac GTO is the recipient of an extensive frame-off restoration. How extensive? Nearly every component of the car has been either restored, replaced or rebuilt from the frame to vinyl top. What makes this car particularly special is the XS-suffix 400 CI Ram Air IV engine under the hood. The car comes with Pontiac Historical Society documents and the new owner can enjoy power windows, steering, and an 8-track player.

1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible

On February 12, 1968 this L88 Corvette rolled out of the factory where it became one of just 20 L88 convertible cars built that year. For the last 14-years of its life, this L88 Corvette has been under the care of a renowned Corvette collector who had displayed the car at the Dana Point Concours and Festival of Speed in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The car was restored by David Walters Restoration and finished in its original color combination, British Green with a Saddle interior. In addition to its soft top, the car also comes with its auxiliary hard top. Factory performance was retained and includes aluminum heads, F41 suspension, and J56 brakes. To complete the look, the car sits on a set of Rally wheels wrapped in redline tires. 

1966 Plymouth Hemi Satellite

This 1966 Plymouth Satellite is one of just 503 Hemi Satellites produced for the year with a 4-speed transmission. Built in St. Louis, the Satellite offered retains all of its original sheet metal and has had one repaint in the correct factory silver metallic. Additional highlights include a date-correct Hemi engine topped with dual 4-barrel carburetors, a Dana 60 rearend that uses a Sure Grip differential to transfer power to the ground, and a mostly original black interior. 

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

What I like about this Chevelle is that it’s so clean. It underwent a comprehensive and professional frame-off restoration to its original factory specifications. As a result, the car’s 454 LS6 engine fitted with a factory aluminum snake manifold, Holley 750 CFM carburetor, stock distributor, and stock coil matches the historic power specs. The engine is also mated to a Turbo 400 automatic transmission that helps push power to the 3.31 geared positraction 12-bolt rear end.

The car stops with front disc brakes and handling utilizes front sway bars, a Saginaw 605 steering box, and power steering.

The body, repainted in the original code 10 White with black stripes, features its original, undamaged and rust free panels. Attention was given to the chrome and brightwork and the factory stamping were retained and documented.

Start bucket seats covered in white pearl vinyl are seen inside as well as the original color of the interior. Other highlights include the factory alloy steering wheel, stock center console, and stock push button radio.

The restoration documents, photographs, and a copy of build sheet are included in the sale.

1968 Dodge Hemi Dart LO23 Super Stock

Cam NoseWorthy of Alberta bought this Hemi Dart from CrossTown Motors in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1968. The car was one of just 80 LO23 Hemi Darts built and stood out to me because it’s a race car, and who doesn’t love a spectacular race car?

Under the hood is a 426 Hemi V8 with two Holley 4-barrel carburettors. The engine is mated to an automatic transmission with a B&M ratchet shifter. For the 1968 Dodge Hemi Dart LO23 Super Stock a Dana rearend completes the driveline.

Additional highlights include Cragar wheels wrapped in Goodyear Eagle slicks, a roll cage, and Cross Ram intake.

Listed in the S/S Hemi Registry, the car was driven around Canada and the United States by Dick Painter. Throughout its race career, the car became known as “The Demented Dart.” According to the docket listing, the car was professionally freshened in 2011 by Dale Reed, and the sale of the car includes vintage photographs.

1955 Pontiac Chieftrain Colony Wagon 

The docket describes this car as a “focused customization” on a 1955 Colony Wagon. What I liked about it was the list of modifications, which has things like an Edelbrock street and performance polished intake, Holley carburetor, and three-inch exhaust complete with Jet Hot coated headers. In addition to looking completely bad ass, other highlights of the build include power steering, power brakes, and power windows.

1933 Ford Tudor 

I love the classic street rod look, so its not surprising that this bright yellow hot rod caught my eye. This cars performance is flexed with a small block Ford V8 and utilizes a Weber carburetor and attracts attention with its chrome intake, Ford Performance valve covers, and its alternator and overflow tank. A Ford 9-inch rear end is used as well as an automatic transmission.

The interior showcases a diamond pleated pattern in brown on the front seats as well as on it’s door panels and rear seats.

Other interior highlights include a tilt steering column, custom steering wheel, Vintage Air, VDO gauges, overhead console, and power windows.

1941 Willys Coupe Street Rod 

I guess you could say I have a thing for flame paint jobs. This particular car, a 1941 Willys Coupe, has had over 50 body modifications performed by Dennis Taylor, complimented by a purple paint scheme with Carmel upholstery work done by Glen Kramer.

The coupe is powered by a BDS supercharged 468 cubic-inch Chevrolet engine thats been fitted with fuel injection and capable of remote start. The engine is mated to a Turbo 400 automatic transmission supplemented by a fabricated 9-inch rearend. Other features include air ride front suspension, lots of custom hardware, and air conditioning. Oh, and it comes with quite a few Goodguys Rod and Custom awards.

1950 Mercury Custom Coupe 

When you think of “Street Muscle,” this may not be one of the first cars to come to mind, or the second, or even the third. But it certainly holds its own among many muscle cars and hot rods with its Ford Racing 302 cubic-inch crate engine. Hooked to the engine is a Holley Terminator fuel injection system and a 200R4 overdrive transmission which moves power to the narrowed 9-inch rearend fitted with Strange 4.11 ring and pinion and axles.

The car  has over seven years invested in its build process. It was featured at the 2012 SEMA show in bare metal and has since been painted in a custom Black Cherry paint by GMP Cars in Novato, California. The body also showcases some Burgundy piping thats complimented by a Sandalwood leather interior.

From the spec-built Art Morrison Chassis to its functional quarter windows, its clear a lot of time and consideration went into the body and handling of this machine. The car features a three-inch chopped top, as well as Ride Tech air bags, rack and pinion steering, 4-link rear suspension, and the front and rear bumpers were redesigned to flow with body lines.

Its been previously featured in Rod and Custom Magazine and currently sits on a set of custom HRE wheels complimented by a set of Wilwood disc brakes.

1959 Volkswagen Single Cab

I had to include this 1959 VW as an honorable mention. To me, it just looks rad. This custom creation is powered by a 1600cc engine hooked to a swing axel transmission. It’s stopped by a set of disc brakes and is seen with a clear coat over its patina.

What cars are you excited to see cross the Los Angeles Mecum Auction block? Let us know in the comments below.  

About the author

Nicole Ellan James

As an automotive journalist and avid car enthusiast, Nicole Ellan James has a passion for automotive that is reflected in every aspect of her lifestyle. Follow Nicole on Instagram and Facebook - @nicoleeellan
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