• Low volume Australian-built HSVs motivate collectors
• Strong results for ‘world market’ German classics
• ‘Time warp’ 1957 VW Kombi makes $81,000
• Classic Americans popular with enthusiasts
• B&W numerical number plates maintain investor interest
Bidders were excited by low-volume Australian-built HSV models at Shannons Late Spring Auction in Melbourne on November 26, driving hammer prices above expectation in some cases.
The monster near four-hour auction, which saw more than 90 per cent of all 83 vehicle and automobilia lots sell for nearly $2.9 million, confirmed that interest in locally-built ‘hero Holdens’ has never been higher.
A stand-out result was the $77,000 paid for a rare, 300kW HSV GTS VX Commodore sedan that had covered just 17,800km from new.
Build number 1 of the 286 built, the 2001-model HSV finished in the model’s highly desirable dark metallic green paint attracted a swathe of bidders, who pushed its price well above its $40,000-$50,000 guiding range.
Another strong result was the $87,000 paid for a 2005 four wheel drive HSV Coupe 4 with its performance enhanced by a Harrop supercharger. Meanwhile, a restored 1964 Holden EH Premier Sedan rebirthed at a reported cost of $140,000 with a 5.7 litre Chevrolet LS1 V8, sold for $60,000 and a modified 1972 HQ Kingswood sedan went for $25,000.
World-market German classics were the top-sellers of the auction, with two determined bidders driving the price of a very rare and beautifully-restored 1960 Mercedes-Benz 220SE ‘Ponton’ Cabriolet to $245,000.
Number 28 of only 36 RHD models manufactured, the Ponton was fitted with all of the updates incorporated in late-series models and had been restored to a very high standard over the past eight years.
Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts also pursued a rare, factory four-speed manual 1965 230SL Convertible that had been given a full restoration in the early ‘90s, with the collectible and stylish ‘Pagoda Roof’ car selling for $140,000.
Meanwhile, an Australian-delivered 1982 380SL Convertible offered with ‘no reserve’ sold for an excellent $41,000, signalling the appreciating value of these 107-series SL Benz convertibles.
Porsche collectors found an Australian-delivered 1982 Porsche 930 Turbo Coupe offered at ‘no reserve’ to be enticing, particularly since it had been reconditioned mechanically over the past four years. It eventually sold at its high estimate for $190,000.
The other ‘no reserve’ ‘German’ that captured everyone’s imagination was the final lot of the auction: a time-warp, Queensland-delivered 1957, 11-Window 1957 Volkswagen Kombi Van.
Presented in largely unrestored condition, it capitalised on the world-wide surge of interest in early VW commercial vehicles to sell eventually for $81,000 against its pre-auction guiding range of $55,000-$65,000.
In other notable vehicle sales:
• a faithfully-restored 1954 Holden FJ- 2106 ‘Department of Supply’ Utility sold after strong floor and online bidding for $46,500;
• a 2000 Dodge Viper RT/10 Series II Roadster with a factory removable ‘bubble-top’ hardtop that had been converted to right hand drive sold for $95,000;
• a 1973 Jaguar E-Type Series 3 V12 Coupe in excellent condition sold for $89,000;
• a restored 1923 Vauxhall 23/60 Tourer – a model that shared many parts with Vauxhall’s famous 30/98 – sold on estimate for $70,000;
• a 1971 Alfa-Romeo 1750 GTV coupe presented in nicely restored condition was good buying at $36,000, highlighting the appreciating values of these Alfa-Romeo 105-series models;
• a circa-1970 MGB ‘Overdrive’ Roadster offered with ‘no reserve’ sold for $32,500 after strong competitive bidding – a tribute to the quality of its restoration.
The classic American cars in the auction all sold on estimate, with the best result being $31,000 paid for a restored 1965 Mustang Convertible and a lovely customised 1962 Ford F100 Pick-Up fitted with a 351-cid V8 , followed by $29,500 for a right hand drive 1964 Ford Thunderbird Coupe.
‘No reserve’ motorcycles in the auction also sold well, with the highlights being the $21,000 paid for a circa-1961 Lambretta 3-Wheeler; $10,000 for a circa-1959 Vespa VBA 150 Scooter and $13,500 for a 1970 Triumph TR6 650cc motorcycle.
Victorian numerical black and white numberplates continued their sales momentum, with ‘325’ bringing the top price of $150,000; ‘1.989’ producing the best four-digit result at $67,000 and ’96.969’ doing the best of the five-digit plates at $39,000.
For more information on the auction contact Christophe Boribon on (03) 8588 0809, or 13 4646 (Option 5) or email email@example.com.