Bidders at Mecum auction revved up spending

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This belongs in the “Bubba” category of leading economic indicators: things like premium beer consumption, big-screen television purchases—and collector cars.

If Bubba behavior is any indication, the economy might be creeping back to life, at least as measured in car sales at the Mecum collector car auction at the Indiana State Fairgrounds last month.

Marengo, Ill.-based Mecum Auctions Inc. recorded vehicle sales in Indianapolis of more than $47 million, versus $41.7 million in 2010.

otb-carauction-15col.jpg Camaros were among cars fetching the highest premiums at the Mecum collector car auction last month at the fairgrounds. (Photo Courtesy Mecum Auctions)

Throw in other sales, such as those from an inaugural memorabilia auction, like the $20,000 Chevrolet Super Service sign for which someone paid $20,000, and the total spent at Indianapolis was $51.1 million.

The most fetched for a vehicle this year at Indianapolis was $550,000 for a 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda. Two cars modified by former Canonsburg, Pa., Chevy dealer Don Yenko also made the top 10: a 1969 Camaro sold for $345,000 and a 1969 Yenko Chevelle went for $260,000.

The Mecum events draw a mix of auto enthusiasts and professional car collectors.

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