Indulge your passions at Mecum Auctions
Mecum Auctions is going where no auto show has gone before for its third year of taking bids on collectable and vintage vehicles at Las Vegas Convention Center. In addition to car collections, rare motorcycles, restored tractors and road art treasures, Mecum Las Vegas 2019 includes guitar auctions with instruments once owned by Rush’s Geddy Lee and Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen.
Las Vegas is increasingly in-demand as an auto auction destination, and is one of the most important locales on Mecum’s show schedule. “It draws people from that entire southwest region, including Arizona, Southern California and Nevada,” says John Kraman, commentator for Mecum Auctions’ broadcasts on NBC Sports Network. “It’s really like three demographics in one. People love to come to Las Vegas. … It’s an interesting dynamic and we’re going to continue to take advantage of it.”
Kraman says Mecum used to have auctions in Pomona and Anaheim before Las Vegas. Outside of their participation in hallowed Monterey Car Week, one of the highlights preceding the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Mecum Las Vegas 2019 is the company’s most important Pacific Time Zone event until a March mega-show in Glendale, Calif.
“The auctions in Pebble Beach do pretty well with a certain, specific type of car,” says Kraman. “Primarily European cars, exotics whether they be contemporary or vintage, and prewar classics, the big heavy American classics, all do very well there. Everything else—traditional collector cars, ’60s muscle cars, ’50s fin-era cars, Corvettes, trucks, vintage SUVs—are very well served at one of our major auctions such as Las Vegas.”
Muscle cars, tailfin triumphs and pristine prewar restorations will roll across the auction block for A Collection for Las Vegas, one of the five collections that includes a fleet of Trans Ams. Main attractions include a gleaming 1971 Dodge Hemi Challenger with numbers matching drivetrain and original black interior and exterior, and a silver 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona that was one of only 1,383 produced.
Another main attraction is part of A Boutique Selection from the Geddy Lee Guitar Collection. Among the Rush bassist’s six six-stringed items for sale is his 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard with Sunburst finish. “The holy grail of guitars,” as it is billed, is from a line produced between 1958 and 1960 that guitarists such as Eric Clapton, Duane Allman and Jimmy Page depended on to develop the vocabulary of loud, blues-influenced rock.
The Mecum Presents Guitar Search by Domino includes a Nielsen-owned replica of that Les Paul, as well as a guitar shaped like a map of the United States. How well the guitars sell may determine if it will be a part of more Mecum auctions, but the parallels between car and guitar collectors are evident to any grown-up who can now afford that dream vehicle or that instrument that once seemed so unobtainable.
“Car collectors like to collect things,” says Kraman. “Having a guitar on display that might be a long-term investment is something that I think Mecum wants to expose to our huge bidder audience.”
Las Vegas Convention Center, 7:30 a.m. Oct. 10-12, $20-$30 plus tax and fee. mecum.com