*photos by: Mecum Auctions
One of our guilty pleasures when we’re not wrenching, writing, shooting photos, hitting up the local track day or car show, is plopping down in front of the boob tube to watch the latest installment of Mecum Auctions! Whether it’s Los Angeles, Houston or Chicago, it doesn’t matter, we watch with our eyes glued to the screen to speculate what each example of classic American iron will cross the block for.
Some of our favorites include the incredibly rare, one-off examples that you normally wouldn’t see at your local A&W car show, and we’re always watching the market for the latest trends in pricing and demand. Even though we wouldn’t consider ourselves to be the “typical buyers,” shelling out the big bucks for some of the more prestigious examples, we can dream, right?
So when we heard that Mecum was going to be hitting up Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on July 30th-August 1st, about four hours from the Timeless Muscle offices, we booked our hotel, reserved our tickets and told the wives we were hitting the road! Anxious to see what sort of iron would be in attendance upon our arrival, we hit up the Mecum Auction website to take a peek at the upcoming lot.
We actually went a step further, and complied a list of the top ten interesting, or unusual, classic musclecars that we felt stood out among the rest. It won’t easy narrowing it down to ten, but in our mind, these are the most compelling cars that we’re excited to see at Mecum Harrisburg!
1.) 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 (Lot: S151.1) NO SALE: $140,000
While browsing through the lot, we almost completely missed this car as we were in search for our top ten! At first glance, it looked like a base Camaro with a very unusual paint job, and it turned out we were only half-right. Digging a little deeper, we came to find this is a real deal ’69 Camaro Z/28 that left the factory as a stripe delete, standard 4-bbl. DZ302 and a standard “flat” hood. Yup, for those that don’t know, the cowl induction hood was actually an option on the Trans-Am inspired factory racer.
What makes it particularly unusual is the reported Evening Orchid paint that was more than likely borrowed from another GM model line. According to our manuals, Evening Orchid was never offered on any 1969 GM vehicle, however, a very similar color was, and that was Flamingo Silver – an Olds/Buick color. Evening Orchid actually dates back to 1965, so this is definitely a car we’ll have to inspect closer during our visit!
- Special order “Evening Orchid” paint
- Original drivetrain
- DZ-suffix 302/290 HP engine
- M21 4-speed transmission
- Detailed Concours restoration, photos included
- Sold new at Grabiak Chevrolet Inc. in New Alexandria, Pennsylvania
- Original sales receipt and dealer invoice
- Signed affidavits from original owner and dealer on custom order Evening Orchid
- NCRS shipping data report
- Camaro Hi-Performance Certified
- BV code 4.10 Positraction rear axle
- D80 rear spoiler, vinyl top
- Tinted glass, wood steering wheel
- Disc brakes
- Chambered exhaust
- Pushbutton AM radio
- Style trim group
- Special interior group
- Original 2-piece rotors, brake booster and master cylinder
- Original bumpers and 5 AD code Rally wheels
- Original window trim, door panels, and seat covers
2.) 1979 Pontiac Trans Am SE Y84 (Lot: S128) SOLD!!: $52,000
OK, we get it. We went from one of the most coveted classic pony cars of all-time to a smog-era ’70s throwback with a screaming chicken on the hood and disco appeal. But hear us out, because as you may or may not know, the late-second generation Trans Ams are seriously gaining momentum in the classic car market – big time!
You can partly blame the Smokey and the Bandit connection, nostalgia and the ’80s generation coming of age to spend pretty much whatever they want on the car they had in high school. Throw in the fact that GM just isn’t making any more Trans Ams (or Pontiacs, for that matter) and the clouds begin to clear. This example sports just over 2,000 miles on the clock and is one of two high-interest models for 1979, the Special Edition (SE, Y84). The other, is the 10th-Anniversary Edition.
- Y84 Special Edition
- Believed to be 2,030 original miles
- Matching numbers 6.6L engine
- Original paint, interior and decals
- Original tires
- Garage kept
- Not shown
- Handwritten gas ledger dating back to 1979
3.) 1969 Chevrolet/Yenko Chevelle sYc (Lot S110) NO SALE: $225,000
Talk about rare! This ’69 Chevelle sYc (Yenko Super Car) is one of only ninety-nine ever built out of the Cannonsburg, PA dealership. After having much success swapping 427s into 396-powered Camaros, Chevelles and Novas in earlier years, Don Yenko and the crew at Yenko Chevrolet convinced the top brass at GM to assemble a select few of their hottest sport coupes with the L-72 427/425 hp powerplant from the factory!
Specified under COPO (Central Office Production Order) 9562, this would help the guys at Yenko Chevrolet not only save time and money with the costly swaps, but help sell them to customers and even other dealers much faster. This particular example is a two-owner car, with the second owner claiming the title since 1976!
- Documented with original bill of sale from Yenko Chevrolet, shipping report and dealer order form
- Same owner for many years
- Sold new at on June 24, 1969 at Yenko Chevrolet to Josephine Gresko who traded in a 64 impala for the car
- Went from Gresko to Bill Keith Auto Sales in Wexford, Pennsylvania
- Current owner’s parents bought from Bill Keith Auto Sales because he was too young
- Nut and bolt restoration completed in 2013
- COPO 9562 L72 conversion
- Matching numbers 427/425 HP engine
- Close-ratio 4-speed
- 4.10 Positraction rearend
- Heavy duty front sway bar
- Heavy duty 4 core radiator
- Power front disc brakes
- Yenko stripes and badges
- Stewart Warner tachometer
- Domed hood
- Fathom Green with White stripes
- Black bench seat
- Rally wheels and Goodyear GT polyglas tires
- Listed in Yenko registry
1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS-6 (Lot: F156) SOLD!!: $80,000
You can ask anybody, go ahead. The 1970 Chevelle SS with the LS-6 version of the big-block 454 was, is and always will be, the pinnacle of classic GM musclecars, and Chevrolets in particular. No, we’re not talking as a whole or even counting the aforementioned tuner specials like the Yenko above, but factory-produced, mass-production examples that the average Joe could walk into the dealership and order. No dealership engine swaps, no hush-hush special ordering – it was right there, smack-dab in the middle of the sales brochure for 1970.
With 450 hp on tap and enough torque to reposition the Earth’s axis, this is the perfect example of Chevrolet going out with a bang during the height of the original musclecar era. Everything else that would follow this car would be mere shadows of their former selves. At least until the modern, EFI era would ring in some two or three decades later. This one once lived in the Zeb Morris collection.
- Frame-off restoration
- Bought from the Zeb Morris Collection
- 454/450 HP engine
- 4-speed transmission
- Tilt steering column
- Rally gauges
- Super Sport package
- Power steering
- Power disc brakes
- Cowl induction
- Firestone wide oval tires
- AM/FM radio
1971 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler (Lot: F200.1) SOLD!!: $57,000
It seems like GM and Mopar intermediates get all of the attention, and we don’t think that’s right. FoMoCo most certainly produced their fair share of midsize iron during the musclecar heyday and the Mercury Cyclone Spoiler was certainly one of them!
Tracing its roots all the way back to the 1964 Comet, the Cyclone would jump around to different models all the way to the end of its run in 1972, by which time, it was based on the Montego. This ’71 model was the first year for the Montego body lines, with only 353 Cyclone Spoiler variants built for that model year. This particular versions houses a 429-inch ‘plant which was reportedly good for 375 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. Elapsed times were recorded by Motor Trend to be 13.86 at 101 mph, which was great for 1971!
- 429 CI Ram Air engine
- Rotisserie restoration
- Believed to be 9,369 miles
- Two owner car
- 1 of 353 Spoilers built
- 1 of 74 built with 429 CI engine and 4-speed
- Elite Marti Report
1968 Ford/Shelby Mustang GT500KR Convertible (Lot: S25) SOLD!!: $190,000
In our eyes, if you’re going to buy a classic Shelby Mustang, you have to go with the ’68 GT500KR convertible. There’s just no other choice. While the earlier GT500s and GT350s were a bit more barebones, grassroots and more hardcore, the KR brought all of that together with luxury and class.
Drop the top and you were just as cool as McQueen, but were able to take in the rays and feel the wind rush through your hair at over 120 mph. This example, set to roll across the Harrisburg auction block is reportedly one of 518 GT500KR convertibles produced, and houses a 335 hp 428 R-code engine. A classic in every sense of the word!
- Shelby No. 2276
- 1 of 518 Shelby GT500KR Convertibles produced
- R-Code Ram Air 428/335 HP Cobra Jet V-8
- Select-O-Matic transmission
- 3.50 Traction-Lok rearend
- Power convertible top
- Power steering and front disc brakes
- Tilt-Away steering wheel
- Philco AM radio
- Shelby 10-spoke wheels
- Goodyear Speedway 350 tires
- Factory correct Highland Green with Black decor interior and White soft top
- Sold new at Jim Aikey Ford in Des Plaines, Illinois
- Known ownership history
- Documented with the Shelby invoice, Shelby order form and Elite Marti report
1968 Plymouth HEMI Barracuda (Lot: S198) NO SALE: $130,000
In the era of, “race on Sunday, sell onMonday,” manufactures firmly believed that if your cars could win races, buyers would line up by the thousands for their own slice of victory. Those were the good old days, and Ma’ Mopar was no different.
Chrysler would build ultra-low production drag race specials in the form of cars like these, this ’68 Barracuda powered by a Ray Barton-assembled HEMI with one-off fiberglass fenders and the absolute bare essentials. This not only helped keep the cost and weight down, but would give the racers a bit of an edge over their competition from across town. Vintage racers are all the rage these days, and we’re curious to see where the hammer drops for this one!
- 1968 Plymouth Hemi Cuda factory SS/AA Superstock
- 1 of only 50 produced
- Factory fiberglass fenders with fender tag
- Original build sheet
- Ray Barton Hemi engine
- Automatic transmission
- Hurst Slap Stick shifter
- Factory seat belts
1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda 440 (Lot: S135.1) SOLD!!: $60,000
In a case of some back-to-back ‘Cuda action, we bring you this 1970 440 example that’s a bit more street-friendly than our earlier HEMI race car. Sprayed in B5 Blue, it’s reportedly a 1-of-1 in this particular combination, according to the Chrysler Registry.
Being a direct competitor to the Mustang, Camaro and other pony cars of its time, the ‘Cuda was a serious contender, especially when optioned with a 440ci. ‘plant in either the 4-bbl or 6-bbl configurations. Naturally, the 426 dual-carb’d HEMI was an available and desirable option for 1970 as well.
- 1 of 1 as optioned listed in Chrysler Registry
- Nut and bolt restoration
- Date code correct engine and transmission
- Rear defroster
- Air conditioning
- Power brakes
- Power steering
- B5 Blue
1978 Pontiac Trans Am SE (Lot F239) SOLD!!: $81,000
We were first pretty pumped to see the ’79 SE from earlier in this story. But when we ran across this 1978 version, all bets were off. Looking fresh off the big screen, this Trans Am has pretty much everything you want in a classic “Bandit Edition” T/A without any drawbacks.
According to the Mecum description, it’s a complete two-year rotisserie restoration with over $80,000 in receipts to back the claim and is an early-1978 build car. A Pontiac Historic Services document provides the car’s birth certificate as well as its full sheet of options it had left the factory with during the peak of Burt Reynolds’ career. With only 14,000 miles on the clock, this baby is as good as new! “Honey, hush!”
- Early production 1978 Trans Am SE
- Two-year frame off rotisserie restoration completed June 2015
- Over $80,000 invested in restoration
- PHS documents
- Matching numbers 6.6L Pontiac engine
- Factory 4-speed transmission
- Believed to be 14,000 miles
- Hurst T-Tops
- Deluxe interior
- Factory air conditioning
- Power windows
- Photos of nut and bolt restoration
- Original body panels
1968 Dodge Dart GSS (Lot: F125) SOLD!!: $65,000
The Dodge Dart always had the love-it-or-hate-it reputation, being the direct competitor to other subcompacts of its time, such as the Chevy Nova and the Ford Falcon. But like the Nova (but not so much like the Falcon), the Dart would see its share of factory big-blocks, such as the lightweight HEMI Darts of the late-60s.
Those are incredibly rare and incredible expensive these days, but the GSS model had always offered plenty of power and style for not a whole lot of price. Never actually available with a HEMI option this particular GSS has been fitted with a 472-cubic inch HEMI stroker pumping out 610 horsepower! Throw in tons of modern tech like aluminum heads, pro-touring style suspension 13-inch slotted and dimpled rotors at all four corners and 17-inch wheels, and you’d have one modern compact rocket on your hands!
- Debuted at 2008 Chicago Auto Show to honor ’60s muscle cars
- Hand-picked fully restored 1968 Dart
- Stroked 472/610 HP Hemi V-8 with dual quad Cross Ram carburetion, aluminum heads and intake
- All-new A833 Hemi-rated 4-speed manual transmission with Hurst shifter and Hays clutch
- New Dana 60 rear end with 4.10 Sure Grip, rear suspension relocated inboard, Hemi torque boxes
- Control Freak Suspensions front suspension with coilover system, rack and pinion steering, new forged spindles
- Mr. Norm’s/Hurst wheels with Pirelli P-Zero tires
- Custom multi-stage paint and interior
- Signature Tri-Power disc brakes with parking brake
- 13-inch slotted and dimpled rotors and GSS Logo
- Original bucket seats with bolstered leather surfaces
- Restored dash with Mr. Norm’s GSS white face gauges
- Vintage-style Auto Meter tach and gauge cluster
- New cut pile carpeting, GSS Split Tail Stripe with logo
- GSS and Hurst Equipped badges, many magazine features
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of Timeless Muscle Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.