The 2024 Mecum Auction Series kicked off as usual in the warm winter climate of Kissimmee, Florida, for two weeks of automotive enjoyment. Going to one of these auctions is like going to a massive multi-make car show that has a bit of everything. It’s a fun way for automotive enthusiasts to spend a day or more checking out different types of cars, trucks, motorcycles and even automotive-related memorabilia.
We spent a day walking around and spotted scores of interesting vehicles. Even though they didn’t all have TREMEC transmissions in them, it was still an enjoyable experience seeing some rare and super valuable vehicles.
2013 was the last model year for the C6 Corvette, and the Hypersonic Blue paint option was discontinued after only 57 units left the Bowling Green factory in the hue. This particular example also left the factory TREMEC-equipped!
Looking to buy a C8 Corvette but don’t want to pay new Corvette prices? The auction is a great place to find deals, like this TREMEC DCT-9080 equipped model in the unmissable Sebring Orange hew.
For the 2007 model year of the C6 Corvette Z06, Chevrolet released the limited production Ron Fellows edition. Like regular Z06s they were only availble with a TREMEC manual transmission. They were painted Arctic White with red fender stripes and red and ebony interior with Ron Fellows autograph on the center console.
This 2004 Z06 commemorative edition was another cool TREMEC-equipped Corvette at the Mecum auction. It was LeMans Blue with special striping and had the modern LS6 (though still a 5.7L like the LS1) with special high-performance heads, camshaft and intake to help it crank out 405 horsepower and a TREMEC 6-speed transmission. Along with the more rigid fixed-roof body (no targa top), the Z06 also had special wheels and tires, upgraded suspension and a host of other performance enhancements.
Thre’s nothing cooler than seeing a TREMEC transmission bolted to a unique engine. In this case, a Gurney-Westlake 289 V8 with a T-5 5-speed behind it. This was an all-steel 1932 Ford Roadster, built by Steve Moal with a Halibrand Quick-Change rear end. It sold for $225,000.
A factory-built street legal racecar that’s TREMEC-equipped? That’s the 2001 Ford Mustang Cobra R. Instead of the 4.6L V8 of the regular Cobra, the R model used a 5.4L DOHC engine with a suspected underated output of 385 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque. These cars didn’t have creature comforts as A/C, radio, back seat and cruise contro. The TREMEC T-56 6-speed was the only transmission available. Special suspension, rear wing, brakes, Recaro bucket seats and other performance enhancements made it truly track ready. Sale price for this one at the auction was $121,000.
Another TREMEC-equipped vehicle of note at Mecum Kissimmee 2024, this 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. Hearkening back to the Camaro’s roots, it was a stripped down version of the 5th Gen Camaro you could get that was a track-capable car. The engine was the all-aluminum 427 LS7 from the Z06 Corvette, a TREMEC 6-speed transmission, road-racing suspension, Recaro seats, massive Brembo brakes, less insulation for reduced weight, special differential, plus A/C and sound system were optional. Only 515 were built in 2014, and this one sold for $69,000 at the auction.
Super cool, super rare and…super fins! 1960 was the last year Chevrolet offered a full-size car-based sedan delivery. Only 940 were produced in the model year. We didn’t spot anything that said this was an original 348/4-speed Biscayne delivery, but technically you could have ordered one from the factory with the 348 tri-power engine and a 4-speed. Regardless, a rare car. Would be fun to replce the vintage 4-speed with a TRMEEC TKX 5-speed and then freak people out with raunchy burnouts and some dragstrip passes.
What was the peak year of the muscle car era? Many would say 1970, but others would argue 1969 was the true peak year for muscle cars. You could get big, gas-chugging V8 engines in cars big and small. This 1969 428 Cobra Jet Mustang left the Ford San Jose assembly plant with its body covered in Indian Fire paint. It has the Drag Pak package that included 4.30 gears on a Traction Lok differential meant for propelling this pony down a quarter-mile stretch as fast as possible. The 428 CJ was rated at 335 horsepower for 1969, far behind its rival the Camaro that offered the L78 396 at 375 horsepower and the 425 horsepower L72 427. Still, the Mustang was tough competition in the ranks of the NHRA, IHRA and AHRA classes.
Muscle car discusssions typically focus on the fight between GM, Ford and Chrysler. But there was a fourth player in the game: AMC and its legit offerings. Most know of the Javelin-based AMX cars, but there was also the Rebel Machine. It’s 390 V8 cranked out 340 horsepower and the car featured a special hood scoop with built-in tach, upgraded suspension and uniue red-white-blue paint scheme.
Besides the Camaro Z/28 and Mustang Boss 302, Plymouth put out the AAR Cuda package inspired by the factory-backed AAR team in the SCCA Trans Am series. Only available for the 1970 model year, it was also the same year that SCCA increased the engine displacement allowed for the Trans Am series to 350 cid. So Plymouth could run the 340 V8 with a Six-Pack triple carb setup. Dan Gurney and Swede Savage’s AAR (All-American Racing) team campaigned the cars. This one sold for $137,000 at the auction.
Hey, it is a stick! The story of the Pontiac Fiero is a colorful one. Pontiac’s attempt to have its own two-seat sports car, the Fiero showed Pontiac’s outside-the-box thinking and skill for getting around internal GM politics. The first models were powered by the Iorn Duke 4-cylinder and the 2.8 V6 option with the GT package. This one only had 15,000 miles and looked in mint condition, selling at the auction for $17,600
In the almost 50 model years since this 1977 Ford F-250 rolled off the assembly line, trucks have changed quite a bit. This Camper Special was well optioned with what’s standard on today’s trucks. Air conditioning, power steering, power brakes and cruise control made it ideal for a bed-mounted or towed camper, as did the optional 460 big-block V8 underhood.
For 1993-1997 4th generation F-Bodies, Pontiac offered two ways to get the LT1 V8 in the Firebird compared to only one for Camaro buyers. Even better, the more subtle Formula package had its own front fascia to set it apart from the Trans Am.
1965 Shelby GT350 Ford Mustang: What more has to be said? Shelby’s first modified production car, only 562 were built and the ones still around bring a fortune. This GT350 sold at this auction for $550,000.
How could Ford Make the TREMEC-equipped S197 Mustang Shelby GT500 even better? A Kenne Bell blower for more boost and 850 horsepower for the most powerful Mustang to ever leave the factory! Well, at least in 2011. This one only had 4,632 miles on it. When the gavel banged it went to a new owner for $99,000.
It’s funny how the early Hemi B-Bodies don’t typically bring near the money hat the 1968-1970 Hemi Chargers do. This 1966 Dodge Coronet did hit $150,000 but that didn’t meet the reserve so it didn’t sell.
Painted in Curious Yellow, this 340/4-speed Plymouth Duster would’ve been a quick ride in its day and capable of beating larger/heavier big motor cars thanks to its light weight. The seller claimed it had $250,000 worth of parts and work in its restoration, so technically its selling price of only $159,000 was a bargain. Would be fun to ditch the old 4-speed for a TREMEC TKX 5-speed tranmission and drive it like you stole it!
The cool thing about Chevrolet in the 1950s was you could order any engine option in any body style/trim level made. The small-block V8 debuted in the 1955 Chevy but buyers had reservations about the new engine so 6-cylinder production easily outnumbered 265 V8 production. But when the 1956 model came out, the new V8 had proven itself and a lot more buyers wanted one. A new high-performance version was available, with dual carbs and high-lift camshaft for 240 horsepower. While that doesn’t sound like a lot today it was in the mid 1950s. This 1956 210 Delray sedan was immaculate, and sold for $165,000.
The Boss 429 engine was designed with NASCAR in mind, but Ford had to install it from the factory in at least 500 cars for it to be legal for use in NASCAR racing. While Ford didn’t race Mustangs in NASCAR, the decision was made to use the Mustang as the production carrier of the Boss 429, which would also make it legal for racing in various NHRA/AHRA/IHRA drag racing classes. Only 1,359 Boss Mustangs were built for 1969 and 1970, making them some of the rarest Mustangs produced. To own this special Mustang someone shelled out $448,000 at this auction.
Don Yenko got his start building performance cars with the Yenko Stinger Corvair. When the Camaro came out for 1967, he instantly saw its potential especially with a factory big-block engine. There wasn’t a factory 427 engine option, so the cars were ordered as L78 SS396 cars, then a 427 shortblock swapped in place of the 396. Documented as a legit 1967 Yenko, this one sold at Mecum for $429,000.
Ther Heritage Edition option for the Ford GT cost a whopping $13,000 on top of the GT regular sticker price of $140,000. The special paint in “Gulf Colors” was to honor Ford dominance in LeMans in 1968 and 1969. Only 343 were produced with the Heritage package. When this one rolled off the auction block the sold sign said $643,000.
The L-88 is a legend in the Corvette world. The engine was a special 427 big-block influenced by the Corvette master Zora Arkus Duntov. Special aluminum heads, camshaft, intake, TRW forged 12.5:1 pistons and Holley 850 CFM carberator helped it make way more than its factory rating of 430 horsepower. When tested it was found to make more in the neighborhood of 550-570 horsepower. This particular 1969 Corvette was the last L-88 car produced, and was paired with the first L-88 Corvette produced (a 1967 Corvette) that sold for a whopping $2.585 million dollars.
Here’s one for the file of “Cool Engine to Bolt a TREMEC To.” This is a DOHC LT5 built for the C4 Corvette ZR1. There was a group of LT5 crate engines for sale (separately) at the auction. They were llimited by the EFI technology of the time, but it would be cool to set up a modern and easily tunable ECU to run one of these and see how much power it could make. Then throw it in a 1989-1992 Camaro for the Third Gen GM never built but should have!
This was a cool and unusual one that was TREMEC-equipped: a 2006 Jeep Wrangler Golden Eagle with the 4.0L inline-six. The factory 5-speed as been replaced with a TREMEC T-56 6-speed transmission adapted to run the Wrangler transfer case. It sold for only $27,000 which – considering what nice TJs like this go for plus the 6-speed conversion – make that a bargain!
The one that started it all! This 1965 Shelby 289 Coba Roadster was delivered new to Harr Ford in Massachusetts in October 1964. Almost 60 years later it looks like it’s ready to hit the track at Watkins Glen. New it would’ve sold for around $5,200, and at Mecum Kissimmee 2024 it sold for $962,500.