The second you step into Bartle Hall at the Kansas City Convention Center Dec. 4-6, expect to see a dazzling array of colorful collector cars and nearly non-stop bidding for them.
Mecum Auction, televised on NBC Sports Network, makes its bi-annual return to Kansas City the first week of December. It is the place to be for car lovers. Admission is $20 for adults. Children 12 and under get in free. Gates open at 8 a.m.
Two of the featured cars that will be up for auction are a 1959 Chevrolet El Camino and a 1967 Shelby GT 500 Fastback.
“When you come into the arena and you see 750 collector cars, cleaned and shiny and you add to that the excitement of an auction, and all the activity and the color and the stage, it is initially overwhelming for a lot of people,” said John Kraman, consignment director for Mecum.
“It is so much to take in. It really takes 30 minutes to get used to the energy and excitement. I tell people when you come in be prepared for sensory overload. Take a deep breath. Try not to see everything in five minutes. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to spend all day. You will not regret it. It is not something you come in and walk around for an hour and leave.”
The price range for the cars goes from as low as $5,000 to as much as several hundred thousand dollars. The highest selling car in Kansas City for the spring show (April 24-26) was a red 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback that sold for $260,000.
Most of the sellers come from six states in the Kansas City region but the buyers are from all over the country.
“The best way to describe it is it is the best car show anybody can attend,” Kraman said. “Not only do you have cars on display like other car shows there during the course of the year, but you have all the auction action. Cars are moving. You want to look at the car and you want to watch the excitement of nonstop auctioning all day long.”
As the saying goes, this is not Mecum’s first rodeo when it comes to auctioning cars or coming to Kansas City.
“We see a lot of people we developed a relationship with,” Kraman said. “It is like a homecoming. We see so many customers and families. As opposed to going to a brand new venue where we don’t know many people. It is really gratifying to see long-term customers and friends.”
Another reason Mecum enjoys Kansas City so much is the venue.
“The reason we like Bartle Hall is because we are able to get our entire auction inventory in the venue,” Kraman said. “That is a little bit unusual to have that ideal display area for us.”
To learn more about Mecum, go to www.mecum.com.
Pre-collision coming next year to Ford
An accident of a car striking a pedestrian is one tragedy too many for Ford Motor Company. The company is ready to use its radar technology in its vehicles to help prevent such occurrences from happening.
After more than 300,000 hours of testing, the Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection system is making its debut on the 2015 Ford Mondeo in Europe.
The system is designed to reduce the severity of and, in some cases, even eliminate frontal collisions involving pedestrians. It provides a collision warning to the driver and, if the driver does not respond in time, can automatically apply the vehicle brakes.
“I am very excited about this technology,” said Ford technical manager Scott Lindstrom in a telephone interview. “It scans ahead and looks for vehicles and pedestrians and warns the driver that there is a vehicle or pedestrian in front of them. It will auto break for vehicles and pedestrians and slow down the vehicle enough to prevent an accident.”
Ford plans to bring this technology to the United States next year. It has not decided in which vehicle to first use it.
Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection uses radar and camera technology to scan the roadway ahead and, if a collision risk with a vehicle or pedestrian is detected, provides a warning to the driver.
Pre-Collision Assist may help drivers avoid rear-end collisions with other vehicles at all speeds while Pedestrian Detection can help the driver avoid pedestrians at lower speeds. Both may reduce the severity of forward collisions or even prevent certain forward collisions.
“There are accidents out there with pedestrians,” Lindstrom said. “We identified there is an opportunity to assist the driver and try to keep them engaged and prevent an accident.”
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