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Wooden runabout nets nearly $1 million

After five days of high-energy crowds and eager bidding, Mecum Auctions announced total gross sales (excluding buyer's premium) for its 2011 Kissimmee Auction reached $39.9 million.

Nearly 1,500 cars went up for bid during the auction, which took place Jan. 26-30 at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Fla., and had a 73 percent sell-through rate.

The top seller, however, was a rare wooden boat known as "The Last Riva."

The 1996 Riva Aquarama Special, Hull No. 774, was one of the final six hand-built wooden boats constructed by the Italian boatyard Cantieri Riva. The yard crafted boats from 1842-1996.

The runabout, purchased new, maintained by the original owner, had 20 hours on its twin Riva Crusader 454 CI engines. The winning bid was $975,000.

Complete results are available to Mecum InfoNet members, which is free to join at Next on the Mecum schedule is the Spring Kansas City Auction, March 11-12 in Kansas City, Mo. Consignment, bidder and event information is available online at or by calling (815) 568-8888.