By Scott Huntington
Mecum’s long-running series of auto auctions is one of the premier venues in the country for collectors to locate and acquire classic American cars. Kissimmee, Fla., has traditionally been one of Mecum’s largest events, and in keeping with Florida’s heritage of speed, this year’s event includes a host of drag-strip-ready material.
Particularly abundant at the Florida event are Ford Mustang drag racers. That’s not to say muscular offerings from Mopar, Chevy and even obscure brands like AMC and Studebaker won’t be there, but there are at least five purpose-built Mustang dragsters going under the gavel in early January.
Rocking the requisite skinny front tires, five Ford Mustangs ranging from a vintage ’65 fastback car all the way to a 0-miles 2008 Cobra Jet will be available.
Of the six cars, five of them are first-generation Mustangs built with the popular fastback body. Finding an orange Mustang in this day and age might be a challenge, but with two of the drag specials hailing from Gas Ronda and sporting championship pedigree, orange is in at this auction.
The twin orange racers come with formidable racing history. The ’65 car won the A/Factory Experimental class in its day and traveled around the country to compete against the best from Chevy, Mopar and AMC.
The ’66 car is a unique “long-nose” machine. Its elongated stance helps make it stable at high speed, and it sports an aggressive-looking set of velocity stacks poking through the hood and a flattened front end for improved aerodynamics.
Moving forward in time just a tick, the Al Joniec-driven SS/E class Rice Holman car was one of only 50 Cobra Jet Mustangs built, and the most successful of its kind. Powered by the mountainous 428 big block, the off-white car sports classic Ford blue trim and is sure to make its new owner very happy.
While Al’s car might have been the most successful ever Cobra Jet, it’s got a compatriot at the Kissimmee show. The “Dyno” Don Nicholson car sports a similar off-white-and-blue paint job with what else — a little orange — thrown in for good measure.
Rounding out the Mustang five-pack is an all-white car from much later in the Mustang’s history. This one’s a 2008, and it was built as a tribute to the original Cobra Jets collectors will be flocking to this show for. Like the cars that came before it, the ’08 Cobra Jet is specially equipped for the racetrack. It uses a detuned version of the engine from the 200mph Shelby GT500, and it’s not even street legal.
Those who come to Kissimmee hoping to find something without a blue oval on it won’t leave disappointed, either. As with all Mecum shows, January’s event will feature everything from vintage LS6 Chevelles to a 1958 Mercedes SL, and even modern classics like the Ferrari LaFerrari in eye-burning Fly Yellow.
It’s the stuff of gearhead dreams, and the reason Mecum continues to be a Mecca for collectors everywhere.
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