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Article updated: 10/14/2013 12:37 PM

Fast-moving vehicles hit auction block in Schaumburg


Vehicles were moving fast in Schaumburg last weekend, but the rapid action didn't involve racing or illegal speeding.

A high-octane event took place at the Schaumburg Convention Center, where the Mecum Auction had rolled into town.

By the end of the event's three days, more than 1,000 vehicles had crossed the auction block. Everything from muscle cars to numbers-matching classics, fully restored or modified trucks, and one-off customs could be found and purchased. In addition, buyers had a chance to bid on motorcycles, wooden boats, vintage auto signs and other collectible memorabilia.

Whether those plunking down cash were looking for a one-of-a-kind classic or an ultralow deal, both were readily available. Buyers were also joined by many spectators who were able to get up close to the auction activity while also seeing hundreds of gleaming vehicles, making this event truly a car-lover's paradise.

Such special four-wheeled rarities available for viewing included a set of iconic race cars -- the Hurst Hemi Under Glass wheelstanders. The four gold and black Plymouth Barracudas came about starting in 1964 as a result of George Hurst looking for a new way to test his aftermarket shifters and wheels, as well as raise brand awareness, both figuratively and literally. He teamed up with Hot Rod Magazine Tech Editor Ray Brock and together they mounted a fuel-injected Hemi in the back of the several Plymouths over the next few years.

The vehicles' mid-engine layout and the Hemi's readily available power made for dramatic wheel standing launches, which quickly became a crowd favorite. Adding to racing enthusiasts' delight, 1960s Hurst spokesmodel Linda Vaughn and race car driver Bob Riggle were on hand at Mecum to sign autographs. Riggle is one of two men to have piloted the earthshaking race cars down the track.

Another vehicle at the event with ground-rattling capabilities was a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette, and potential buyers bid fervently at the chance to own a unique piece of auto history. The sports car had served as the personal vehicle of legendary GM designer Harley J. Earl. Bids quickly shot up to over $1 million and the hammer finally dropped on a final sale price of a whopping $1.5 million. The Vette, despite being delivered to Earl's driveway in 1963, was equipped with several 1965 components and a variety of pieces that never entered regular Corvette production.

Custom components also abounded on a 1967 Ford Mustang, which was built to star in the 2000 film "Gone in 60 Seconds." While 11 vehicles were produced by Cinema Vehicle Services of North Hollywood, Calif., for the remake, only three were "Hero Cars," which included the "Eleanor" for sale at Mecum. Hero cars are reserved for scenes involving the actors, so there's little doubt Nick Cage spent considerable seat time behind the wheel of this special 'Stang.

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