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Aussie muscle cars bounce back


Australia’s general election and change of government did nothing to dampen buyer enthusiasm or prices at last Monday’s Shannon’s Melbourne Summer Classic Car Auction.

Bidders paid top prices for an eclectic mix of classic cars and memorabilia.

The large crowd snapped up 73 per cent of all 69 lots on offer, for total sales of $Au1.9 million, with vehicles ranging in age from a 2006 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, sold on behalf of a finance company for $Au372,000, to a 1925 Chevrolet Superior K Tourer that went unreserved for $Au8000.

Top retail prices were paid for European sporting classics, with a concours-winning 1960 Porsche 356B Super 90 Roadster (pictured) that had been restored at a cost of more than $Au150,000 selling well above estimate for $170,000 to an overseas buyer.

A very original and unrestored black 1950 Jaguar XK120 with a lifetime of Australian history sold for $Au112, 000 to a Sydney XK enthusiast after strong bidding.

Other noteworthy European sporting car sales were a 1988 Guards Red Porsche 930 Turbo Cabriolet that sold for $Au80,000; a 1976 (red) well-maintained, original right-hand drive Maserati Merak coupe that went for $40,000; and an Australian-delivered 1962 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Coupe described by Shannons as being in “exceptional condition” that sold for $18,000.

After slowing slightly in the pre-election period, Australian muscle cars bounced back to perform strongly.
A matching numbers 1968 HK GTS 327 Holden Monaro Bathurst coupe in signature Warwick Yellow sold for $185,000.

A comprehensively-restored 1974 Holden LH Torana SL/R 5000 L34 sedan brought an excellent $110,000 and a 1972 LJ Torana XU-1 made $85,000.

The $31,000 paid for a very original 1971 Chrysler VG Hemi Pacer Coupe offered unreserved also pointed to the increasing strength of second-tier Australian muscle cars.

Other interesting vehicle sales were $75,000 paid for a stunning customised Hot Red left-hand drive 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Sports Coupe, recently given away as a readers’ prize by Unique Cars magazine and $45,000 paid for a beautifully-restored Packard 526 Sedan with a long Australian history.

However, it was the strong performance of a series of restored and original 1960s-era Holdens that highlighted the growing interest in affordable Australian classics.

A pair of 1966 HR Premier Sedans sold for $11,250 and $10,000, and a 1968 HK ‘Police’ Panel Van, a 1962 EK Panel Van and a 1960 EK Utility each sold for $9000.

Heritage black and white number plates were in high demand and sold strongly, with the top sale of $78,000 belonging to the three-digit Victorian plate, 560, followed by $62,000 for 367 and $60,000 for 744.

Other interesting plate sales were $30,000 for 8.667, $29,000 for 1.357 and $25,000 for 2.999. The cheapest plate in the auction was 236.624, which sold unreserved for $8500.

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