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Classics rake in money


More than $Au1.1 million was paid for an eclectic mix of Australian and US Muscle Cars and American and European classics on offer at Shannons 2007 Sydney Motor Show auction.

Among the 32 special cars on offer, the top price paid was $Au200,000 for a fully restored Sebring Orange1969 Holden Monaro GTS 350 coupe, with a very low mileage (21,592 miles).

A 1972 LJ Holden Torana XU-1 finished in Lone O’Ranger (the orange car pictured) sold for $Au143,000. Both were record prices for these vehicles at auction.

An immaculate 1958 Mercedes-Benz 190SL sports car (pictured) fetched $Au103,000; a magnificent and rare 1929 Hudson Super 6 Dual Cowl Phaeton, originally owned by the Wirth circus family, sold strongly for $Au100,000; and a spectacular 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Seville coupe customised by legendary American hot rod builder John D’Agostino went for $Au80,000.

Neither of the two Falcon GT-HO models on offer sold during the auction.
Other outstanding vehicle results were the $Au35,000 achieved by a very original 1953 Spearmint Green 50-2106 Coupe Utility (top).

Built in early 1953 – two years after the variant was added to the new ‘48-215’ (FX) model range – the Holden Coupe Utility was light, strong and surprisingly fast, thanks to its rugged 138-cid (2.3 litre) Stovebolt six-cylinder OHV engine (later called the grey motor) that produced 60bhp (45kW) at 3800rpm.

Cheaper than any of its rivals, it was the answer to Australian farmers’ prayers.

So many people lusted after it that the waiting list grew to 70,000 before the end of the first year.

And although the FX Ute’s strengthened load floor supported an official payload of 7cwt (355 kg), this limit was blithely exceeded by many owners.

Just like the 48-215 sedan, the new Holden Ute could cruise all day at 65mph (100 kmh), take steep hills in its stride and return remarkable overall fuel economy figures of 30mpg (9.4 litres/100km).

Enterprising owners also discovered you could use it to round up the sheep and when reverse-parked, it became a great double bed at the Drive-In movies.

The vehicle auctioned by Shannons was sold new through Southern Motors in Dandenong, Victoria.

Being one of the last of the first series models, it was fitted with the telescopic front shock absorbers and wider rear springs introduced a few months later on the updated FJ Holdens in mid-1953.

The Ute remained in Victoria until 1998, spending some years in an early Holden collection and being restored in painstaking detail along the way. It then passed through the hands of owners in Queensland and most recently, New South Wales, when its odometer showed just 83,100 miles.

Other prices paid included $Au34,500 paid for a rare fibreglass1959 Australian-built Ascort sports coupe, $Au41,000 achieved by a 1929 Austin 7 Wasp sports car and $Au50,000 paid for a 1973 Ford Escort RS2000 prototype.

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