Coming out of the holidays, events are plentiful during the winter months in Florida. One that we look forward to beginning each year is the massive Mecum auction in Kissimmee, Florida. Held at the huge Osceola Heritage Park from January 4-15, 2023, this event brings out a wide range of vehicles and memorabilia for sale at auction.
The auction presents a huge roster of cars each year, and this yearmore than 4,000 were consigned to go under the hammer in the Sunshine State.
"When my dad (Dana Mecum) left the auction arena at the conclusion of Mecum Kissimmee in January, he said '4,000 next year,'and he meant it," Vice President of Consignments Frank Mecum said last year. "Despite the demanding auction schedule that remains for this year, our consignment agents have been hustling to achieve Dana's goal. We have less than 60 days before Mecum Kissimmee 2023 opens."
Naturally, we visit the Central Florida auction with Mustangs on ourminds. There is always plenty to choose from at this auction, butthis year the Ford pony car seemed to have an even strong presence.As we covered the grounds, we heard an attendee say there were moreMustangs than any other car.
We couldn't argue with or complain about that sentiment, but the presence of so many pony cars made our mission to pick 10 favorites all the more challenging. With a big Fox collection crossing the block, we expected to be smitten with several 1979-1993 machines, but it turns out a far more diverse collection of stallions spoke to this scribe...
10. 2003 SVT Mustang Cobra
In the early 2000s, Ford's Special Vehicle Team created some of its most iconic performance Mustangs. One was the ultra-rare 2000 CobraR, while the other was the more widely available 2003 Cobra. This caris an example of the latter, but it features some modifications that draw from the former. With only 3,650 miles on the clock, this ride wasn]t perfect but it called out to us thanks to the addition of the Cobra R wheels and wing. It didn't sell in Kissimmee.
9. 1970 Mustang Mach 1 Restomod
While many of the vehicles that go for big money at auction arelow-mileage stockers or pristine restorations, there is a market for modified machines as well. A case in point is this 1970 Mustang Mach1, which is restomodded with a far more modern powertrain. Under its hood is a 5.4-liter Modular V8 from a 2011 Shelby GT500 that delivers 500 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque. It was even upgraded with the 2011 Shelby interior. With a TREMEC TKO-600 five-speed manual in the tunnel, it must be a blast to drive, and it garnered $264,000 at theauction.
8. 1970 Mustang Mach 1 Twister Tester
Something about this year's auction brought out a lot of great Mustangs from 1970, including this really special unit. It racked up$143,000 when crossing the auction block. This isn't just any '70 Mustang, however. It is one of just 48 Twister Specials built that year with a 351 Cleveland underhood, it is one of just 96 built that year. However, this is an even rarer example as it is the only one that served as a Ford test vehicle.
7. 1993 SVT Mustang Cobra
It was a strong showing of Fox Mustangs that excited us about thefirst Mecum event of the year. Among the sweetest examples on the property was this 1999 SVT Mustang Cobra. This beauty is 4,576 ofonly 4,993 and raked up a shelf full of Mustang Club of America trophies before hitting the block in Kissimmee. The 3,765-mile Cobra brought a whopping $88,000 under the hammer in Kissimmee.
6. 2022 Shelby GT500
There are special modern Mustangs, and then there are extra special modern Mustangs. A case in point is this 2022 Mustang Shelby GT500 Heritage Edition. Built to celebrate the original '67 GT500, this limited-production machine is sprayed in Brittany Blue with Wimbledon White stripes and optioned with the Technology Package. With 760 horsepower channeled through a TREMEC DCT, the latest Shelby GT500 is the most advanced performance Mustang created to date, and this onewas in mint condition with just 38 miles on the clock. It generated
$137,500 after crossing the block.
5. 1993 Mustang LX
We said there were Foxes, and the Kenny & Marilyn Newcombe Mustang Collection brought out a wide variety to the auction block.Many of these cars were low-mileage stockers, but it was thisperiod-correct 1993 Mustang LX that stole our hearts. Powered by a347 stroker, this LX hatch sports the mods that would have attracted a crowd at a cruise-in back in the early '90s after it rumbled intothe parking lot with that gear-drive whine of the Vortech V-1 supercharger underhood. It wears all the supporting hardware to rulethe streets back then, including Trick Flow heads, a GT-40 intake,and Mickey Thompson tires. Despite its level of mods, it only sported 33,052 miles on the odometer when it crossed the block. It earned $37,400, which is probably not too far from what it cost to build back in the day.
4. 1969 Mustang Boss 429
There were some monster classic 'Stangs on display at the Florida auction, and we couldn't ignore this one. Restored to Concours Gold-spec, it is motivated by a numbers-matching 429-cube big-blockbacked by a four-speed manual transmission. Looking sinister in Black Jade with a Black Deluxe interior and rolling on chrome Magnum 500s,this muscle machine is one of just 857 constructed. With just 1,287miles on the clock, it hammered for an impressive $522,500.
3. 2008 Shelby GT500KR
Since blasting around the Utah Motorsports Campus in one some 15 years ago, this author formed a deep appreciation for the elevated version of the S197 Shelby. This example of the 2008 GT500KR is one of just 1,014 examples constructed. Powered by a 540-horsepower5.4-liter backed by a TREMEC six-speed manual, this version of the King of the Road sported a specially tuned suspension, a functional carbon fiber hood, Alcoa wheels, and more. Painted it Silver Metallic with blue stripes, this 75-mile ride sold for about $8,000 less thanit did new at $71,500.
2. 2017 Shelby GT350R
Speaking of special Shelbys, there is nothing quite like the GT350R.Not only did Ford engineers bake in the sharpest Mustang suspension to date, but they created a special engine variant known as the Voodoo to power this machine. With a flat-plane crank in the5.2-liter engine delivering midrange grunt and spined-tingling rpm, it delivered 526 horsepower and an inimitable exhaust sound. Thisexample was optioned with the Electronics Package and only showed 1,711 miles on the clock. It sold for a modest $77,000 at Mecum.
1995 SVT Mustang Cobra R
With so many Mustangs on the property, choosing favorites is achallenge. It comes down to personal opinion, and that opinion is often influenced by experience. This author once spent more than a week driving the yet-to-be-released 1995 Mustang Cobra R, and thattime is still special. Even though it didn't have a sound system orair conditioning, it did have the 351W that Mustang fans had clamored for throughout the '90s. This example, which has fewer miles than Iput on that test vehicle at 696, is one of just 250 built. For such a rare machine, it sold for a reasonable $48,400 in Kissimmee.
Of course, that is just a sampling of the Mustangs at the first Mecum auction of the year. If you would enjoy seeing this kind of selection, Mecum is hosting several auctions this year, including areturn to Kissimmee with the Summer Special on July 6-8.