AUCTION ACTION

ANDY ENRIGHT

WHAT'S HOT ON THE BLOCK THIS MONTH

WHAT'S MOVING AND SHAKING VING NG

TOYOTA MR2 MK1

For such a landmark sports car, the first generation Toyota MR2 is being allowed to slowly vanish from sight.

Sure, many have lost their battles with rust, but find a good ‘un that is either stock or close to it and you’ll have a car that, once the penny drops that they’ve become rare, will always command decent money. Midengine, pop-up lamps and sweet handling? Sign us up.

HOLDEN VK GROUP III 1984

$81,000 SHANNONS, SYDNEY

The sale of Peter Brock’s personal Group III made for interesting watching.

You could view this sale one of two ways. Either that by just wheezing across the reserve line and making a sale at $81,000 that the Brock bubble has burst or, alternatively, that $30- $40k above the price of a ‘regular’ Group III was evidence that the name still carries some cachet. The truth would appear to be that nearly thirty years after Peter Perfect’s last Bathurst win, the pool of baby boomers willing to pay the premium is slowly drying up.

The other Brock car at auction, the HDT Monza, failed to sell. The times, they are a-changin’.

1959 MERC 190SL & TRAILER

$261,500 BONHAMS, GREENWICH

Sharing the same styling cues, suspension design and bore and stroke as the illustrious 300SL Gullwing, the four-cylinder 190SL was a more affordable ticket and sold well, shifting over 25,000 units in eight years of production. This car had a nut and bolt resto in 2013, at which time the trailer was commissioned from Mini Tears in Lakehead CA and finished in the same DB040 black paint. With sailboat-style sleeping area and a rear-mounted kitchen, it’s a real head-turner.

1938 MINNEAPOLIS MOLINE UDLX

$272,000 MECUM, LAPEER

Yes, the ‘Comfortractor’ might look like a Street Machine caricature, but this, the first tractor with a cab, was the height of luxury for those who’d survived the Dustbowl. The concept of a luxury tractor that you could use in the fields and then drive to town, was a case of right product, wrong time. Only 125 were ever built and only around 25 remain. With a top speed of over 70km/h and luxuries like a glove box, a lighter and opening windows, it was a genuine oddity and attracted big money at Mecum.

1980 TOYOTA LAND CRUISER BJ42

$44,000 SHANNONS, MELBOURNE

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the bull market in old Land Cruisers won’t have passed you by. For the troglodytes out there, the best FJ40s fetch over $140,000 in the US. These BJ42s are much the same, but equipped with a 3B diesel motor and not the F petrol lump and therefore the $44,000 this one made was a relative bargain. This looked the bid of the night in Sydney.

1978 FORD FALCON XC COBRA

$100,000 SHANNONS, MELBOURNE

You can keep your GT-HO Phase III. For me, this is the coolest Aussie muscle car silhouette and this one looked an honest example. Bidding just cracked six figures which looked about right for this 351ci car. The cabin of this one could have used some freshening to bring it up to show standard, but Cobra #077 would make a great ‘90 percenter’ project.

1981

AUDI QUATTRO GOODWOOD, UK – 26TH JUNE A$240,000 - $290,000

THIS IS the original Audi UK press demonstrator Quattro from back in 1981. As you may know, many press demonstrators lead a hard life and rather than tuck up some unsuspecting punter, Audi did the right thing and gave it to their rally team to use as a recce car. A roll cage and BBS wheels were fitted and it was used by, among others, Hannu Mikkola in preparation for the Manx Rally. The current owner bought the car in 1995 and earlier this year it was rebuilt to authentic 1981 rally specification, with UK specialist Dialynx upping power to 300bhp, a periodcorrect exhaust being fitted, and lights, wheels, tyres and bodywork all given a slap of Eighties rectitude. It might not be a short wheelbase car but it still looks utterly fantastic and, 35 years on, is a testament to how brilliant the Ur-Quattro was. A turnkey car to race in classic rallying events, it’s around half the price of an authentic Sport Quattro but with no actual competition pedigree, it’s a tough contraption to value.

1972JAGUAR E-TYPE SIII V12 COUPE

$34,000 BONHAMS, GREENWICH

Thirty-four grand for a Jaguar E-Type?

Seriously? Okay, so this was a barnfind that was a bit rough round the edges, but the price was a bargain if you’re patient, handy and enterprising.

It was good to see some sensible prices amongst the Greenwich blue-bloods and when brought back to its pomp, this Series III will be able to mix it with the very best.

1966SHELBY GT 350

$215,000 BONHAMS, GREENWICH

Another Greenwich barn find beauty, this Shelby GT350 logged a mere 55,000 miles before being driven into storage in 1976 where it remained unmolested for forty years. Just one owner from new, this 'carry-over' Mustang's fascinating backstory undoubtedly added to its perceived value with bidders. A real poster car for the survivor fans.

2016 FORD FALCON XR8 SPRINT

$93,500 GALABID, NSW

If you missed the boat amidst the scramble to place orders for the XR8 Sprint, Galabid offered an alternative that benefits diabetes research. Sprint #001 was donated by Ford and auctioned online, with the top bid registered at $93,500. That’s a hefty $33k over list for a manual car, so a big hat tip to high bidder David Pearce.

1993 ALFA ROMEO RZ

$82,000 RM SOTHEBY’S MONACO

Feeling starved of attention? Intensely dislike your neighbours? Wondering why the Happy Meal box has been overlooked as inspiration for car designers? If the answer's yes and you have $82k to spend, this Alfa RZ might well appeal. The years have done little to reduce the shock of Zagato’s brutalist styling but the RZ is an extraordinary and very special car.