After a trip to Monterey Car Week this past summer that included a quick stopover at Mecum's swanky auction overlapping with Pebble Beach festivities, I found myself very curious to witness a much larger auction experience this past week in Glendale, Arizona. Mecum invited HotCars into State Farm Stadium, home of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals football team, as an unbelievable lineup of 1,500 cars crossed the block over the course of four jam-packed days.

Today's collectible car industry continues to boom, showing no signs of bust, thanks largely to the rise of social media and online auction marketplaces where enthusiasts can find their dream cars—both in the form of aspirational posts and hard goods changing hands at ever-increasing rates. But amid the online explosion, in-person auctions like Mecum's huge blowout at Glendale 2022 still draw huge crowds, proving just how much live auction action still represents a massive market for everything from muscle cars to built pickups, motorcycles, modern supercars, and even boats.

Welcome To Mecum Auctions

Follow along in the video above as I get acclimated to the spectacle that took up most of the State Farm Stadium facility, from the massive parking lots outside packed full of incredible cars to the auction floor occupying the space where a field goal might usually exist. Just walking throughout the entire event takes at least an hour to fully peruse the infield where the very best cars sat under bright lights for inspection, past the lineups leading up to the auction block, through the technical inspections where Mecum's crew vets titles and VIN stamps, and all the way to a fun setup from Dodge SRT offering drifting and autocross driving with a fleet of Challenger and Charger Redeyes.

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Auctioneers Take Center Stage

Mecum Glendale Wednesday 3
via Michael Van Runkle / HotCars

But no matter where in State Farm Stadium we walked, the sound of auction action pervades thanks to a network of loudspeakers broadcasting the staccato rhythm of Mecum's auctioneers banging through lots from 8 and 9 o'clock in the morning til well past 6 o'clock in the evening. The 1,500 cars that Mecum attracted to Glendale required about 350 to cross the block per day—the sheer time commitment of ramping up the crowd for each individual example, then bidding up as high as possible, required four and five auctioneers to switch off every half hour or so, each with their own unique twang and style.

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Dodge Adds To The Spectacle

Mecum Glendale Wednesday 5
via Michael Van Runkle / HotCars

The Dodge Power Party experience outside gave me a chance on Wednesday to step away from essentially a park-and-show meet mixed with an actual sales floor, instead letting me hop into a Dodge Charger Redeye while a drifting professional who said his name was Chase Crawford (but definitely not that Chace Crawford) took me through a series of tight donuts and figure-eights to show off the unreal potential of 797 horsepower to shred rear tires. By the time I rode along around midday, he'd already smoked through two sets of rears and seemed well on his way to a third tire change sometime soon.

The Dodge Power Party drew a long line of eager participants for most of the time I spent at Glendale, though as much as Mecum likes to add to the spectacular experience, surely increasing the carnival-like atmosphere outside seems likely to take away somewhat from the actual bidding going on inside.

RELATED: Rare Ferrari Mecum Calls Possibly 'The Ultimate Barn Find' For Sale

American Classics On Display

Mecum Glendale Wednesday 4
via Michael Van Runkle / HotCars

Without a doubt, the majority of cars waiting to cross the block at Mecum's auction hailed from the heydays of American motoring, with famous models like Cobra, Mustang, GTO, Camaro, and Trans Am dotting the indoor and outdoor parking areas in various stages of condition, from Concours-level restorations to pristine original builds and even borderline barn finds. Some of the rarest I spotted include a Plymouth Road Runner Superbird, a Shelby GT500 King of the Road, and a Dodge Charger Daytona—cars even amateurs can identify as worthy of big bids. But even run-of-the-mill Corvairs, chopped Chevelles, street-rodded Novas, and Ford Falcon drag racers made up plenty of the day's action.

RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: How Two Consecutive Pre-Production Mustangs Ended Up At Mecum's Glendale Auction​​​​​​​

Amid A Diverse Lineup

Mecum Glendale Wednesday
via Michael Van Runkle / HotCars

And the truth remains that while Mecum undoubtedly draws a ton of American classics, the sheer variety still manages to impress. Modern European sedans and sports cars, SUVs from Germany or the UK or Detroit, Italian sports cars, and Japanese tuners all fit into the mix. Highlights ran the gamut from a Brabus-modified Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6 to a Ferrari 275 GTB/4 and even a Porsche Carrera GT—arguably the hottest of all Porsches at the moment, when even formerly undesirable P-Cars seem to fetch ludicrous figures on the regular.

Massive pickup trucks like a Ford F-650 literally hauling a full Smart Fortwo in the bed, off-road-ready Jeep Gladiators with serious suspension travel, and even a tuned Ram TRX from Hennessey cranking out over 900 horsepower parked out front also drew onlookers to check out the epitomes of excess on display.

RELATED: 1-Of-9 Lamborghini Centenario Roadster Headed To Mecum At Monterey​​​​​​​

Project Cars And More

Mecum Glendale Wednesday 2
via Michael Van Runkle / HotCars

While Mecum's auctions undoubtedly attract attention anytime a car like the Flying Mustang helps lead to over $200 million in total transactions at January's Kissimmee 2022 in Florida, a fair number of project cars also cross the block at far lower figures. I checked out the Bricklin SV-1 above that obviously wore a rattle-can paint job with overspray visible on just about every corner. A Porsche 944 Turbo with a body kit I've never seen before also drew my eye, as did a film car that David Carradine (aka Bill of Kill Bill) drove in the 1970 movie Death Race 2000. A couple of 957-generation Porsche Cayennes also required a closer look, especially one sporting a Eurowise lift kit and tubular bumpers that I considered for my own Cayenne off-roading build.

All in all, just hoping to catch everything at a massive in-person auction like Glendale definitely requires more than one day. I went home the first night in Arizona excited to check out more cars and trucks up close, as Mecum even promised to fire up some of the more spectacular engines assembled in and around State Farm Stadium. Stay tuned for another full day of coverage from HotCars, coming soon.

Sources: mecum.com, youtube.com, dodgegarage.com, statefarmstadium.com, and azcardinals.com.

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