Spanning 11 days over the first two weeks of January and offering up more than 4,000 cars, trucks, motorcycles, tractors, and other machines, Mecum’s Kissimmee [Florida] auction is the most expansive collector car auction in the United States. And in and among all of those vehicles, you’re bound to see a drag car or two.
Well, thanks to some notable consigners, Mecum Kissimmee featured a slew of incredible drag racing vehicles, and another historic machine with close ties to the drag racing industry.
Collector Don Wallace offered up an array of vehicles from his stash, including 11 absolutely timeless and historic straight-line racecars. Leading the bunch — and positioning itself as one of the top money-earners at Kissimmee — was the original 1971 Sox & Martin Hemi Barracuda Pro Stocker, driven by Sox to six victories that season. The car, restored during the 2000s to as-raced condition, nabbed a cool $412,500.
Pulling down $275,000 was the fully restored Honest Charley’s Speed Shop-backed streamliner Top Fuel dragster of “TV” Tommy Ivo. The car, built by Larry Sikora and debuted in 1974, endured a devastating crash at that year’s NHRA Winternationals. The dragster was restored by drag racing legend Bruce Larson.
The original ’67 Hurst Under Glass Barracuda, located and restored in the mid-1990s by famed exhibition showman Bob Riggle and campaigned at events for a number of years by Riggle and then-owner Bill Sefton, collected $225,500.
Tied at $220,000 apiece were a pair of iconic Pro Stock machines: Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins’ ’74 Vega, which was the first Pro Stock car to employ a MacPherson strut front suspension and dry sump oiling system; and Bob Glidden’s ’72 Ford Pinto, driven to 20 national event wins and three NHRA championships with its 650 horsepower Boss 351 engine.
Another of Jenkins’ machines, the “Grumpy’s Toy VIII” 1970-1/2 Camaro Pro Stocker, netted $209,000, while a circa-2007 remake of Ivo’s legendary all-wheel-drive “Showboat”, featuring four Buick Nailhead V-8 engines, hammered down at $187,000.
A replica to the fabled “Little Red Wagon” Dodge A100 wheelstander piloted by Bill “Maverick” Golden and built to the exacting specifications and appearance as the original — with Maverick’s assistance — netted $148,500.
Part of another collection, the original ’64 Mercury Comet Pro Mod of Ronnie Sox — the last racecar he campaigned before his passing — earned $40,000.
And last, but certainly not least — it bringing down the gavel at a higher dollar amount than any other vehicle listed previously — the “Challenger 2” streamliner, originally built by Mickey Thompson in 1968 and driven to a piston-powered world record of 448.757 mph by his son, Danny, in 2018, brought in a winning bid of $561,000. Thompson’s machine ended the Kissimmee auction sixth overall in dollar value.