AUCTION ACTION

WHAT'S HOT ON THE BLOCK THIS MONTH

ANDY ENRIGHT

WHAT'S MOVING AND SHAKING

MERCEDES-BENZ SLK 32 AMG

Always overshadowed by the Porsche Boxster as a sporting drop top, the SLK 32 AMG now looks the sort of car thatís due a market reappraisal.

Theyíre trading from $25k for a good 'un and the pert Series 1 shape just looks better and better each year. A supercharged 260kW V6 gives this one more oomph than any 986 Boxster too.

SHELBY COBRA CSX2442 1965

EST $1.3M

AUCTIONS AMERICA, FORT LAUDERDALE Lyle D. Groenwold was not a careful guardian of CSX2442. He acquired it new for $6070.05 from Rossetter Ford, Inc. in Peoria, Illinois on October 30, 1965, promptly crashed it and then had it repossessed. Its next owner, a body and paint guy, took a bit more care keeping the car for over 50 years. Repainted from its original white, it runs with its original 289-cid, 271-hp V8 and four-speed tranny. The brakes are four-wheel discs fitted with painted knock-off wire wheels with AC two-eared spinners. The US market for cars a step down from ultimate and unblemished is a tough one at the moment though, and CSX2442 failed to nail its reserve.

1991 HSV CLUBSPORT

$9200 LLOYDS, CARRARA Crashing back down to earth, hereís a car thatíd make a sound investment and a cheap daily smoker. Less than ten grand for a V8 HSV Clubbie with a modest number on the odo seems like a smart piece of business, especially as this one would now be eligible for club rego in Victoria. The key to late 80s/early 90s cars like these is to be patient with any price gains. Itís not going to put your kids through college but it might mean free motoring for a few years.

HOLDEN MONARO 1970GTS 350 AUTO

This would be our headliner most months, but this big-money coupe is something special. Treated to a two year nut and bolt resto and full galvanization, this matching numbers Monaro is one of 275 made with an auto box, which seemed to do little to dent the enthusiasm of bidders. With a beautifully restored red leather interior, wax top battery and two-speaker radio with under dash OEM fader, this was a $310k glue trap for starry-eyed baby-boomers. $310,000 LLOYDS, CARRARA

1953 FIAT 8V SUPERSONIC

$1.8M

RMA, AMELIA ISLAND Back in the 50s, Fiat was known for city tots, not sassy sports cars. The 8V featured an OHV light alloy 2.0-litre V8 engine, Siata-fabricated chassis and fourwheel independent suspension. Raced by privateers the world over, the 8V was a darling of coachbuilders, Ghia of Torino converting 15 of the 114 8V chassis built to Giovanni Savonuzziís jaw-dropping Jet Age design, best known as the Supersonic.

1995 BMW M3 LIGHTWEIGHT

$190,000 GOODING & CO, AMELIA ISLAND After getting stiffed on the full-strength 286hp 3.0-litre M engine, the Yanks had to make do with a 240hp lump in their E36 M3. As a measure of recompense, BMW built 126 US-only Lightweights. All white and fitted with flag decals, the LWT had 102kg of flab stripped out. Chassis 07534 shows just 7,500 miles and we think it might be the most expensive roadgoing E36 M3 to sell at auction.

1988

ALPINA C2 2.7

Shannons, Melbourne, 8th May Itís still a rare sight to see genuine Alpina C2s come up for sale here in Australia, but this one looks the business. Itís one of the later catalysed cars with an engine upgraded by the Buchloe manufacturer to make 210hp. Thatís more powerful than a contemporary BMW E30 M3, so this was something very special back in the day. Many buyers chose Alpina over an equivalent M car for the availability of automatic gearboxes but this oneís a particularly rare combo: two-tone paint, a soft top and a manual 'box.

You wonít see another one like this.

1989MAZDA 767B

$2.28M GOODING & CO, AMELIA ISLAND As if winning its class at the 1990 Le Mans and being just one of three 767B racers ever built wasnít enough, for many this quad-rotor Mazda is the best-sounding racing car ever built, bar none. Donít believe me? Just Youtube Ď767B Dynoí, slip on your best headphones, crank up the volume and prepare to be grin like an idiot for the next few minutes. We donít often feature racing cars here, but weíll make an exception for Hiroshimaís Group C masterpiece.

1970 NISSAN FAIRLADY Z 432

$222,000 RMA, AMELIA ISLAND The ultimate Zed, the Z 432 got the 1989cc Hakosuka GT-Rís engine with hemispherical combustion chambers, a 24-valve cross-flow alloy head, and triple Mikuni carbs. Only 420 of these Japanese market specials were ever built and this restored example comes from a collector who had sourced the Holy Trinity of Japanese collectibles, the Fairlady Z 432, the Mazda Cosmo and the Toyota 2000GT.

1987 FERRARI TESTAROSSA

$175,000 LLOYDS, CARRARA Bargain of the night at Lloyds? I'd nominate this Miami Vice-spec Testarossa. Originally delivered new to Japan, this 31,701km car features an extremely tidy if somewhat retina-searing red interior that is pure, unashamed 1980s excess.

A 390hp set of shoulder pads on five-spokes, this Testarossa is proof positive that lunch is for wimps, greed is good and paying $175k for a car worth $300k all day long never really gets old.

1937-39 MASERATI TRIBUTE

We donít really know where to start with this one, other than the fact that we had to handcuff editor Guido to his own toilet plumbing to prevent him buying it. It was built by Ferris de Joux between 1999 and 2002, based on the 1937 design and features an authentic 3.5 litre Maserati engine that was found sitting under a bench in Ferrari enthusiasts Allan Cattles' Auckland workshop. Weíd guess it took at least three times the sale price to build. $73,500 LLOYDS, CARRARA