pictured above: Mecum “Runway” at Anaheim. Photo credit: Guy Spangenberg
— story by Pete Evanow
Mecum Auctions celebrated its 25th and penultimate auction in 2015 when it visited the Anaheim Convention Center on November 12-14. Featuring 750 vehicles, Mecum attracted a broad swath of Southern California collectors and enthusiasts, including 50 members of the Motor Press Guild, who were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour, lunch and conversation with Mecum CEO Dave Magers on Saturday, the 14th.
Arranged by David Morton, Mecum’s Manager of Communications and Event Marketing, MPG members were invited to see what Mecum Auctions does. Mecum successfully sells vehicles, including tractors and motorcycles – in a well-organized, entertainment-oriented atmosphere that creates the perfect platform to produce excitement and bids. According to Magers, Mecum generates half a billion dollars in sales each year through its 15 dedicated collector car and muscle car auctions, along with its five motorcycle, four tractor and at least two automobilia, or “road art” (signs, restored gas pumps and other petroliana and other automotive collectibles – full-size “Bob’s Big Boy” figures, for example) events held all year long around the country.
More than 15,000 vehicles cross the Mecum bidding floor over the course of the year, and while Mecum earned a reputation for featuring key American ‘60s and ‘70s high performance vehicles, as well as beautifully restored vintage American classics, such as Woodies, Corvettes, Thunderbirds and pickups from multiple marques, the auction house has steadily attracted sellers of other high interest import brands and brought with them new buyers as well as a regular core of bidders and fans who attend the events.
Television also has increased the visibility of Mecum’s auctions, thanks to the company’s tie-in with NBCSN, which includes hours of both live and same day taped coverage of each auction.
“Viewership is up 600% on NBCSN,” stated Magers, “and we’re really drawing in a new audience beyond our original, targeted customer. We’re hoping to spawn a new generation of buyers because of this coverage as it’s important we continue to build our appeal.”
MPG members were treated to an open-ended Q&A with CEO Magers, who was more than gracious with his time and candid answers. He was immediately followed by John Kraman, an MPG member, who also serves as both Mecum’s Consignment Director and NBC TV Commentator Analyst, who spoke about his responsibilities before and during the auction. David Morton then led MPG guests on a personal tour of the auction and afterward hosted all to a wonderful private lunch.
On behalf of all MPG members who were fortunate to attend this event, our thanks to CEO Dave Magers, John Kraman, Dana Mecum and especially David Morton, who has been such a supportive figure among those who work with the Motor Press Guild in helping to underwrite quality events and programs for our membership.