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Producers' Pick | Dave Magers: Record Setting Year for Collectible Cars Thanks to COVID

Brian Kilmeade Show / Brian Kilmeade
The Truth Network Radio
January 21, 2022 12:08 pm

Producers' Pick | Dave Magers: Record Setting Year for Collectible Cars Thanks to COVID

Brian Kilmeade Show / Brian Kilmeade

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January 21, 2022 12:08 pm

CEO of Mecum Auctions, the world's largest collector car, vintage/antique motorcycle and road art sales, Dave Magers explains how COVID may have led to a world record setting year in collectible car sales.

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The more you listen, the more you'll know. It's Brian Kilmeade. Hey, welcome back. This is a special segment.

I want to take a little break from the news and imminent invasion of the Ukraine. Why not do it with Dave Majers? He's the CEO of Mecham Auctions.

Been doing that since 2013. Dave, welcome. Well, thank you, Brian.

Thanks for having me. We're still reeling a bit from what was a spectacular event in Kissimmee, Florida that lasted for 11 days and ended last Sunday with a world record. Which is? What kind of record? We set the record for the highest sales total of any collector car auction in history at $217 million total. So these are cars that people brought down of their own to sell? Yeah, we're a consignment auction company, so all of the cars that come to our auctions are consigned by individuals and big collectors. And for this particular auction in Florida, which has long been the largest collector car auction in the world, we had 3,500 cars that crossed the block over 11 days.

So what has happened during the pandemic that's affected your business? You say people are diving into their cars trying to get that, whether it's the muscle car they wanted or reconditioning the one they have? Yeah, since we went back to auction in July of 2020, what we noticed is there's been a huge influx of new participants in the collector car hobby.

And because of that, demand has increased substantially and supply is very slow and catching up to that demand as collectors see prices starting to rise. They're bringing the cars to auction. Consequently, we've seen prices for old vintage cars up anywhere from, at the bottom, 20 to 30 percent of what they might have been before to, at the top, sometimes three and four times what cars were worth previously. And when you talk about cars that are wanted, what cars are we talking about?

What models? Well, we typically deal in 60s and 70s American muscle cars, Hemikutas, Corvettes, Mustang Boss 429s. But at an auction as big as this, we also had a great number of late model exotics, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Ford GTs that did exceptionally well.

And we had a considerable number of pre-war cars and even several movie and TV cars that, again, brought top dollar. Now, I imagine a couple of reasons why this matters so much now. Number one, people have more time to actually do it. Some people have to work from home. Some people lost their job. Some people were, you know, their job was faded out or they're not working as many hours.

They don't have to commute. And number two is people are diving into themselves a little bit, trying to do something they enjoy. Yeah, I think a couple of things have fueled the fire in the collector car hobby. Number one, people sat at home for a long time in 2020 and even 2021 and watched television.

And all of our auctions are televised. And so we saw an influx of new customers that never knew about the collector car hobby before, never knew about Mecum Auctions before, come to the market. And then as we sat home and couldn't travel, couldn't go out to dinner, couldn't go to the movies, discretionary income built. So we now had money to buy that collector car treasure we've wanted for quite some time. And then finally, I think it's just a recognition of our own mortality, that, you know, I was going to do this and I was going to buy that, you know, I was going to do that someday.

And for a great number of things, someday has become today. I guess so. And when you talk about your last show where you set an auction record of one hundred and seventy six million dollars, give us an idea of the models that showed up to impress you. Well, I think there were a lot of surprising cars that crossed the block. We had a world record Mustang that sold for three point seventy five million dollars. That was the Ken Mustang, Ken Miles.

That name became very familiar from the Ford versus Ferrari movie. I think the most surprising to me was a 1936 Glacier National Park tour bus. It was a beautiful vehicle. We had no idea what that kind of a vehicle might bring at the auction. We were thinking maybe a couple of hundred thousand dollars. It brought a million four hundred and thirty thousand dollars.

So it's those kinds of surprises that we've been seeing really across the collector car market from pre-war to exotics and everything in between. Would these people, would I know any of these names that would buy it? Number one, I know a lot of money is going to Florida where you held it. So that explains one thing. Number two is where do these people get this money from?

Like, who are they? Well, a lot of them are significant collectors. It's not unusual to run across a collector that might have one hundred or two hundred cars in their collections, and they're always looking to add to the collections.

I would say the vast majority of buyers at our auctions are just a guy that has always wanted a 1970 Mustang and finally came to the auction. He has one car. He saved up a little money and he bought the car that maybe he had in high school or maybe it's the car he wanted in high school. We all have some kind of an emotional attachment that draws us to certain cars. So you run the gambit from, I just want to have that car in my garage because I have some history with that kind of a car, all the way up to those that are collecting as investments. So what's kind of interesting is that now when you buy a car, a used car, they say, check the car facts. Do people really care about the history of the car?

How many owners, how much body plastic is on it, how much is reconditioned and how much is original? Yeah, provenance is very important to a collector car. The ability to track the history, most of these cars have been restored at some time in their lives, maybe more than once. There are quality restorers and there are restorers that don't do such a good job. So who restored the car, how good a job they did, what's the history of the car, who's owned the car, how long did they own the car, all of that is relatively important. Probably the one thing that's most important when you're buying a used car that's not important in a collector car is how many miles does it have.

These are 50, 60, 70, 80-year-old cars and miles doesn't really matter because, as I said, they've all been restored to begin with. All right. So if people want to catch up to you at your next show, how do they do it? Well, you can go to, Our next show actually starts next week. It is the world's largest collector motorcycle auction at South Point Casino in Las Vegas, and the next car show will be in mid-March in Glendale, Arizona at State Farm Stadium.

How do people find you online to double-check this and see how to get there? will have a complete list of all of our auctions. Not only is it a list of all the auctions, but for each auction, it'll show beautiful pictures and descriptions of each vehicle that's going to be offered at that auction as well. Dave Majors, thanks so much, CEO of Mecum Auctions. Appreciate it. All right. Thank you. You got it. Go to, by the way, and if you ever have a comment about it, segments like this. Also, if you want to order any of my books, President Freedom Fighter, Still Doing Well, Samus and the Alamo Avengers, of course, Andrew Jackson, The Miracle of New Orleans, Thomas Jefferson and the Triple E Pirates, or George Watson's Secret Six. I could actually personalize him and send him out to you. That's how sophisticated my system is. Don't go anywhere.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-14 23:01:03 / 2023-02-14 23:04:39 / 4

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