HAMMER TIME

> A LOOK AT WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING AT HIGH-PROFILE AUCTIONS

STORY SIMON TELFORD

THE classic car auction scene has been going off lately, with some big prices being recorded for classic Aussie muscle cars.

Up in Queensland, Lloyds has been running a monthly auction that always features some highly desirable iron – as well as the odd former Street Machine feature car. In February, the crew saw a HDT VK Group A sell for $121,000. A low-mile VN Group A fetched $88,000, while a mint VL Group A Plus Pak – the one with the Energy Polariser – was close behind at $84,500. In terms of chrome-bumper Holdens, an LJ GTR XU-1 Torana got a top bid of $110,000 and then went to negotiation, while three SL/R 5000s all scored bids around the $60K mark. There were some bargains to be had too, including a ’78 Ford LTD for $12,500 – a great car for someone looking to buy their first street machine, we reckon.

But the car that really had us misty-eyed with nostalgia from the Lloyds auction was the Jigsaw FJ Holden. Built by Dave Johnson and featured in the Oct/Nov 1987 issue of SM, Jigsaw took the great Aussie tradition of customising the FJ Holden to new extremes, incorporating many brand-new pieces and featuring stunning levels of detail. Not to mention a blown grey motor, decked out in custom billet accessories. Jigsaw reached a top bid of $41K before going to negotiation. It was great to see an important part of our heritage being recognised. You can read our full 1987 feature story on streetmachine.com.au; just search for ‘Jigsaw’.

Down in Victoria, Shannons christened its brand-new auction facility in grand style in late February. The star of the show was a Warwick Yellow HK GTS 327, which went for an eye-watering $302,000. And proving that it isn’t just the Bathurst models that are hot, an HK GTS 186S pulled $92K. Brock cars also did well at Shannons, with a VK SS scoring $61,500 and a VL Group A (not a Plus Pak, but very low miles) pulling $70K.

And while it can be depressing for those of us on the outside looking in at these kinds of results, there were again plenty of affordable options for those looking for a budget project.

I was seriously tempted by a grandpa-spec UC Torana SL, with a 173 red motor and fourspeed.

While no rocket ship, it would be an excellent basis for a sleeper or as a practical cruiser for just $7250, while a 253-powered HJ ute was a steal at just $8K. See, there is hope for us all!