Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Sold! Mecum Auto Auctions to “cover all the bases” at 2019 show

The scene at last year’s Mecum Auto Auction at the PA Farm Show building.

More than 100 years of automotive history soon will be up for sale in Harrisburg as part of the annual Mecum Auto Auctions, slated this year for early August.

The Harrisburg auction, chosen specifically because of its central location to the densely populated northeast, is one of Mecum’s 13 national auctions this year and will feature more than 1,200 cars.

“What’s interesting about this auction is that we’ll have $5,000 cars, and we’ll have cars that sell for a $1 million, and everything in between,” said John Kraman, Mecum’s consignment director and TV commentator/analyst. “We really try to cover all the bases, so everybody who wants to do business with Mecum Auctions has an opportunity.”

The four-day auction includes vintage and model cars, motorcycles and road art—memorabilia like tin signs and gas pumps. The less expensive cars will be sold on Wednesday and Thursday, while the more expensive, main attraction cars, with estimated prices of upwards of $2 million, will be sold on the last two days of the auction.

Most of the cars are from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s, according to Kraman. However, the auction will feature cars from the last century, late-model European exotics and model American performance cars, such as Camaros, Mustangs and Chevrolet Corvettes.

“The different time periods these cars represent take us back,” Kraman said. “It’s how I feel when I’m behind the wheel. That’s my escape to a different era.”

The auction is a dynamic, fast-paced show, with cars driving around the noisy venue. About 35 cars run per hour, meaning something new will always be rotating onto the auction block.

“We’ve had people tell us it’s the best car show that they’ve ever attended because it has a pulse that the average car show doesn’t,” Kraman said. “It’s loud, there’s a lot of lights, color, excitement and high stakes. For car people or for adrenaline junkies in general, it’s a mecca.”

The Todd Werner collection, a main attraction boasting more than 40 vintage cars and racecars, is gaining national and international attention, according to Kraman. Other collections include the Boca Raton, Kurt Cunningham and John Powers collections, among others.

“With the addition of the Todd Werner collection this year, this would be the first year where we can call this a national-level event,” Kraman said. “Just because of how important a lot of these cars are, people are definitely going to come to Harrisburg to be there for them.”

Although the auction attracts car dealers and hardcore collectors, many people also come to buy their dream car or just browse the show. If you don’t have the budget for a car, don’t despair, as plenty of road art and memorabilia is sold half an hour before the main auction each day.

As an extra attraction this year, NASCAR legend Richard Petty will be on hand both Aug. 2 and Aug. 3 for autograph sessions and photos.

The Mecum Auctions Harrisburg Automobile Auction is held Wednesday, July 31 through Saturday, Aug. 3 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex, 2300 N. Cameron St., Harrisburg. It starts at 1 p.m. on Wednesday and 10 a.m. Thursday to Saturday, with doors opening at 8 a.m. The show will also be broadcast on the Mecum Auto Auctions show on NBC Sports Network. For more information, visit

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