• Huge bidder interest with 91 per cent sales rate
• Big demand for three classic Aussie ‘Muscle Cars’
• World Market Brough Superior SS80 ‘project’ makes $115,000
There was nostalgia in the air at Shannons Melbourne showroom on December 5 as the hammer fell on an era.
Thirty-five years after Robert Shannons pioneered classic vehicle auctions in Australia, the company he founded is moving in late January from its historical Warrigal Road home to a new, larger facility at 40 Corporate Drive, Heatherton, just 1.5km north of the current location.
Bidders crowded the old showroom in pursuit of 43 vehicle and 29 memorabilia lots in the Summer Auction, while near-record numbers of telephone and Internet bidders produced many long and lively duels on the night.
While the top sale of the auction was $140,000 paid for a 1983 Ferrari 308 GTSi ‘Targa’ coupe, it was a trio of classic Australian Muscle Cars, a bomb-proof Bentley, two rare circa-1933 Brough Superior motorcycles and a stylish 1936 Auburn 653 Phaeton that garnered the most bidder interest.
The high ground for the local Muscle Cars was $127,000 commanded by an Ultra White 1971 Ford XY GT Falcon 351 V8 automatic sedan presented in good condition, hotly pursued by a restored Purr Pull 1973 Holden Torana LJ GTR XU-1 that saw prolonged bidding before selling for $112,500.
A recently-restored Vermillion Fire 1971 Ford XY Fairmont GS 302 sedan fitted with the rare factory 4-speed manual gearbox option also sold strongly with ‘no reserve’ for $65,000, while a Pine-Lime 1978 Ford XC Fairmont GXL 302 Windsor V8 sedan brought $27,500.
However, the unlikely hero of the local Fords was a 1976 Ford LTD ‘P5’ Sedan that sold comfortably above expectation for $21,000 after a long floor and phone bidding battle – eclipsing the $16,500 paid for a nicely presented left hand drive 1963 Ford Thunderbird, also offered with ‘no reserve’.
Amongst the motorcycles in the auction, the standout was an Australian-delivered circa-1933 Brough Superior SS80 Deluxe 1000cc solo presented in ‘project condition’. It sold for a world market $115,000 after an extended bidding duel, confirming the model’s status as one of the world’s most sought-after sporting motorcycles.
Earlier, a circa-1933 Brough Superior 11.50 in non-original ‘project condition’ sold with ‘no reserve’ for $37,500. The good news is that both these magnificent machines are remaining in Australia.
British saloons were also in strong demand, with a bomb and bullet-proof 1995 Bentley Mulsanne Turbo originally built for His Excellency Sheikh M A Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Ruler of Qatar, being pursued by Perth and Gold Coast enthusiasts.
Offered with ‘no reserve’, the specially-equipped Bentley, with its 10mm thick armour plating and 40mm-thick window glass is now heading West, following a protracted bidding duel that dropped the gavel at $37,000 – more than double the car’s pre-auction high estimate.
A similar enthusiastic duel took place over a beautifully-presented 1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II Saloon before the hammer fell at $39,500, while a beautifully restored 1959 Alvis TD 21 Saloon sold with ‘no reserve’ for $51,000.
Heritage black and white Victorian numerical number plates also performed well, with the most spectacular result being $90,000 paid for the number ‘780’, while the top-selling four-digit plate was ‘1-115’ ($33,000) and the top five-digit result was achieved by ’67-911’ ($20,000).
In other auction highlights:
• a stylish right hand drive 1936 Auburn 653 Phaeton with a ‘Bay to Birdwood’ rally history brought $104,000
• a 1932 Ford Victoria ‘Hot Rod’ Coupe sold after the hammer for $53,000
• a modified 1974 Citroen DS Pallas ‘Convertible’ offered with ‘no reserve’ made $34,000
• a restored 1965 Honda S600 Convertible went for $25,000, while its coupe equivalent sold with ‘no reserve’ for $18,000
• a well-presented locally-built 1970 Ford Capri 1600 Coupe sold for $23,000.