Mecum Highlights “It’s Only Original Once!”


Story and photos by Geoff Stunkard

The end total amount for sales at Dana Mecum’s Indy Classic was still being done as this is written, but when the last lot sold on Saturday evening, one thing was sure about Mopar – originality was a large factor in some amazing sales, led by the RTS Cuda show car that will be the cover subject of the August issue of Mopar Action. With customizer Chuck Miller driving the legendary 1970 E-Body he built for Chrysler onto the block, when the hammer fell, it was $2.2M into the books. This of course is a record for any non-Hemi Mopar musclecar, and frankly surprised even the more jaded onlookers.

Most importantly, the car retained not only Miller’s sheetmetal and chrome modifications but his circa-late 1970 lacquer paint, designed by initial Hot Wheels toy series stylist Henry Bradley. The car is a pilot built at the Los Angeles date and further has a numbers-matching Six Pack engine, all which was documented by Dave Wise. The TRTS Cuda will reportedly be staying in the United States and is being repatriated to California.

The Black Ghost 1970 Challenger also topped the $1M margin, leaving its single family ownership with the Quallls. Also featured in Mopar Action’s print magazine recently, there was a good deal of speculation going into the sale where the car would land, as a number of elite collectors had noted that the Ghost was more modified than most survivor-type cars are and a buyer would likely be faced with the difficult choice of preservation or restoration, Obviously the premium paid for this car during spirited bidding on Friday afternoon showed that possibility was not a deal-breaker. Congrats.

The 3rd Mopar in the Top 10 was a Hemi Superbird, Alpine White with a column-shift TorqueFliite, a wonderful numbers-matching car in solid restored condition and showing strength on this driveline combination. Just below it in final sale price was a 1971 Road Runner which became the talk of the event prior to its very strong $550,000 final hammer price. From single-person ownership that started when new, the Hemi/4-speed Super Track Pack showed 10,000 miles on the odometer and looked it. Again, look at that price – there was 100%+ premium for its unrestored condition, and I can say as an eyewitness, the biggest players in the game were on this car before it went over the block.

A final highlight to mention was the 1969 440/375 HP GTX. Like the Road Runner, it was black-on-black, but was restored with magnificent judging provenance from MCACN. This car sold in the early afternoon on  Saturday for a stellar $151,520. For a non-convertible 440-4Bbl package, this was likely the strongest-ever price for this model and driveline combination.

There were deals to be had. Go to for complete results. Remember (cue the music) – Plymouth Makes It!

Chuck Miller was as much of star as the car, seen here on a special rotating display Mceum Auction used. A video of the car’s history played nearby. It hammered sold for $2.2M on Friday.

This Road Runner from the Hustle for the Muscle no-reserve collection lived up to its potential, getting a final sales price of $550,000.
Greg Qualls and his son drove the legendary Black Ghost Challenger both from the display and into the record books with a $1,072,500 final
For many of the stellar Mopars, we see Jimmy Landis on the hammer. Brash without being insulting, Landis continued to work the bidders and the crowd as he called down $100,000 increments on the RTS Cuda.
We will say up front that it was truly that nice, but $151K for a 440 GTX was new territory for the hobby.
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