Week-long Mecum Indy 2023 auction to put 3,000 cars on block

1970 Plymouth Cuda 440 Rapid Transit

(May 8, 2023) More than 30 collections comprising nearly 400 vehicles will join the previously announced 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T SE “The Black Ghost”  and 1970 Plymouth Cuda 440 Rapid Transit Show Car that are among the estimated 3,000 total vehicles slated for the auction block at Dana Mecum’s 36th Original Spring Classic May 12-20 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

The late Godfrey Qualls, a Detroit police officer by day and mysterious street drag racer by night, dominated the Motor City power scene with his black 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T SE adorned with the “Gator Grain” roof treatment and a white tail stripe, and powered by a 426 Hemi engine. After spending the past couple decades tucked away in his son’s garage, The Black Ghost is back and headed for the Indy auction stage.

1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T SE

Hidden away for more than 50 years, unrestored and retaining both its custom metalwork and lacquer paint dating back to circa late 1970 is the legendary Rapid Transit Cuda — one of the four original Plymouth Rapid Transit System Caravan traveling road show cars — now also headed for Mecum’s auction block.

Identified by Serial No. 100005 and showing an intact VIN and an odometer reading of less than 1,000 miles, the famed Cuda was designed by Harry Bradley, the man responsible for the initial Hot Wheels toy car line in 1967 and 1968. The over-the-top build was completed by Chuck Miller, winner of the coveted Don Ridler Memorial Award in 1968, and it was funded by Plymouth and built specifically for inclusion in the memorable Rapid Transit System Caravan that toured from 1970-71.

Among the most recent collections consigned for the Indy auction is The Hustle for the Muscle Collection at no reserve, which includes a strong representation of the American muscle car era, encompassing brands such as Buick, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Oldsmobile and Pontiac.

1959 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham Custom Station Wagon

The assemblage also includes a modest selection of gems from the modern era. The Apex Collection of 33 vehicles offers a diverse assortment of American muscle cars and classics highlighted by Shelby-brand vehicles, and it also includes a handful of modern foreign and domestic performance machines.

Other collections of note include The Chris Bishop Collection of 24 lots offered at no reserve, which includes a 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS, previously owned by Eddie Van Halen and the Ridler-award-winning 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham Custom Station Wagon known as CadMad. Paying homage to the Mustang are Ben and Karen’s Fabulous Fox Body Collection of eight lots as well as the Meticulous Mustangs and More Collection of 14 low-mileage vehicles.

2016 Porsche 911 GT3

Vintage, antique and collectible motorcycles will also be represented in Indianapolis with headlining features such as a 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH Bicentennial that stands as the very last Harley-Davidson motorcycle purchased by King of Rock ‘n’ Roll Elvis Presley.

From Mecum’s Road Art division will be a handful of collections to be offered on Road Art Monday and throughout the auction prior to the vehicles; among them are The Mike and Jen Bunning Collection that comprises more than 70 lots, including a Bally Hi Lo Pinball Machine (Lot M330), and The McCalmon Museum Collection of 73 lots, including a 1953 Esso Double-Sided Porcelain Sign.

Dale Earnhardt Sr. kiddie ride

Additional featured Road Art items consigned to this year’s Spring Classic are a Dale Earnhardt Sr. Kiddie Ride, a 1957 Chris-Craft Sportsman Boat Bar, a historic Delco-Remy sign  and a selection of Schwinn Sting Rays and Krate bicycles, to name a few.

Dana Mecum’s 36th Original Spring Classic, the flagship auction for the family-owned enterprise, will feature the estimated 3,000 vehicles, daily Road Art selections, food, exhibitors, the Dodge Thrill Ride and, of course, the ceaseless high-energy Mecum auction action. Those interested in consigning a vehicle for auction at this year’s Spring Classic may find complete details about the consignment process and pricing at Mecum.com and are encouraged to submit a Request for Position form now to take advantage of pre-auction marketing opportunities.

Mecum has reinvented its bidder registration process, making it easier than ever for collector car enthusiasts to bid on their dream car, both from home and at the auction. Options for in-person, telephone and internet bidding start at $100, and standard, in-person bidding includes admission for two persons to all auction days.