The Mecum Auction Co. and West Coast Customs are coming together next month to lend a helping hand to U.S. soldiers who have been severely wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns.
The Mecum Dallas Auction will hold a sale on Oct. 7 at the Dallas Convention Center to auction off a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro customized by West Coast Customs founder and chief executive officer Ryan Friedlinghaus.
The customized Camaro will include camouflage colors intermixed with one another and will be sold at no reserve. In addition to on-site bidders, the auction will take bids from the Web and via phone.
The entire proceeds from the sale will be donated to Operation Mend, which is a partnership that includes the Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center; San Antonio, Texas’ Brooke Army Medical Center; and the Veterans Administration-Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.
These parties aim to treat troops who have suffered serious injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Having the opportunity to create and auction a one-off custom Camaro to benefit Operation Mend is an honor for me and the entire West Coast Customs team,” Friedlinghaus said.
“Having met patients, families, doctors and volunteers really helped provide inspiration for this build,” he added. “We have the opportunity to honor the men and women who have dedicated themselves to protect our freedoms, which is a privilege for me.”
The steps to customize the Camaro will be revealed on Inside West Coast Customs, a show on Discovery’s new Velocity network (formerly HD Theater).
Also, the Mecum Auto Auction: Muscle Cars & More show will broadcast the sale of the car live.
"Our company is honored to sell this custom Camaro to benefit Operation Mend, and we are grateful that we can do our part to help the brave men and women who have sacrificed themselves to protect our country and our families here at home," said Mecum president Dana Mecum.
The winning bidder will get to drive the car as the grand lead marshal during New York’s Veteran’s Day Parade on Nov. 11. Also seated in the car will be NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew Cuomo as well as Operation Mend beneficiaries.
“On behalf of all of the wounded military personnel that will benefit from the proceeds of this wonderful opportunity provided to Operation Mend by West Coast Customs, Mecum Auctions and The Constellations Group, we thank you,” stated Tim Miller, who is lead surgeon for UCLA’s Operation Mend Program.
“Operation Mend is funded by generous donations from caring Americans and this will go a long way to providing more medical care to those who so proudly serve our nation," he added.