AUCTION ACTION

WHAT'S HOT ON THE BLOCK THIS MONTH

MARK HIGGINS

Block party

WHAT'S MOVING AND SHAKING VING NG

HONDA S2000

We might be a little ahead of the curve here, but we can see good clean examples of Honda’s sexy S2000 roadster doing well over time.

Now here’s the real conundrum, do you go for the Mk1 (1999-2003) or Mk2 (2004-2009) version? The latter is unquestionably a better car, with numerous and substantial updates, some of which made it a far more stable drive.

However the quirky nature of the collector market means that better often isn’t more valuable – it’s the first edition that everyone wants.

So we reckon a clean early car with a service history could be a good thing to have. Just don’t drive it too hard…

FORD FALCON XB GT COUPE 1976

$134,000 SHANNONS, MELBOURNE IF THERE were any doubt about the strength of the current Aussie muscle car market, this should have removed it.

Owners of 70s Ford coupes have seen their values rising steadily over the last few years and that trend has, if anything, accelerated in recent time. This clean GT with a 351 V8 and three-speed auto fetched a very solid $134,000.

For owners of tired examples (if there are any left!) it means you can afford to spend a bit on a decent resto and stand a decent chance of getting your money back.

What intrigued us about this result was the fact it’s an auto didn’t deter bidders from having a red hot go at it.

1972 TORANA GTR XU-1

$107,000 LLOYDS AUCTIONS TORANAS ARE a hot item and, while everyone wants an A9X hatch, GTR XU-1 sixes are still much in demand, given their giant-killing reputation – successfully taking on the Ford V8s of the day – and helping to launch Peter Brock as a household name.

The LJ was a better-developed car than the LC and a nicer drive. That said, you’d be happy if either landed in your driveway.

The car shown here was a very clean example with a relatively rare exterior/ interior colour combo. This was a big result for the series, and proved previous $100k-plus prices were no fluke.

DATSUN 1600 1967 ROADSTER

AUCTIONS AREN'T all madness: this delightful-looking Datsun 1600 roadster went for just US$5000 (AU$6400) at Mecum recently. With a recent repaint and engine rebuild, it looks like a bit of a bargain.

The package included a factory hardtop. We’d be tempted to hunt down a set of bumpers for it, just to hold up its value at resale time.

This was the second-gen roadster – the first had a 1500 engine – and it claimed a healthy 72kW (96hp). They and the 2000 successor saw a lot of race action in the USA, scoring a fair number of trophies along the way. $5000 MECUM, DENVER

1976 TORANA SS HATCH

$92,000 LLOYDS AUCTIONS GOOD NEWS for hatch owners. This unusual SS had a 308 and some A9X dress-up bits – a real A9X hatch at the same auction fetched $250,000. And now we know what a lesser SS hatch is worth.

This was a well-presented car, albeit at big dollars. Still, you can see the logic: something that looks a lot like an A9X for under half the money? It does have appeal.

1974 CITROEN DS WAGON

THERE WAS something irresistible about this very special wagon. It represents interesting engineering, and a whole period of car styling that is long gone.

With 2.4 litre power and five-speed manual it also featured the trademark hydro-pneumatic suspension. 60s and 70s wagons are becoming hot property at the moment, and we reckon this example was good buying. $30,500 SHANNONS, MELBOURNE

1971 CHRYSLER CHARGER R/T E38 VH

MOSSGREEN CLEM SMITH AUCTION Sunday 20 August, 2.30pm Estimate: $120-150,000 CRACKING OPEN the bonnet on one of these things is always a bit of an occasion – the big straight six staring back at you with triple Weber carbs hanging off the side.

E38s are a limited-run car and very desirable in the world of local Mopar collectors. Basic stats for the R/T E38 include the 4.3lt (265ci) powerplant in 210kW (280hp) form, with a threespeed manual transmission. Way back when they were new, you could have had one for the princely sum of $3395.

This is part of the Clem Smith collection, which includes some very desirable local cars plus other transports of delight from around the globe. Look out for the collection of Hudsons…

1973 BMW 3.0CSI

WITH $100k-plus Toranas, some Euro alternatives are looking like red hot value – take this 3.0CSi BMW for example.

The 150kW 3.0lt six produces a lively performance and handling is excellent. They have a global following and their values have been rising steadily over time. This well presented example seemed like very solid value, particularly when you consider what it would cost to get a car to this standard. $53,000 SHANNONS, MELBOURNE

1971 HOLDEN HQ MONARO PROJECT

$42,5OO SHANNONS, MELBOURNE A DECENT project car always has strong appeal; this HQ Monaro was a great example.

With 4.2lt V8 and 4-speeder it was complete, but needed a lot of work. Body, trim and mechanicals all looked like they needed a refresh. You could see how, for someone with the right skills, it would nevertheless be an attractive proposition. Competition was fierce, hence the $42,500 selling price.

1974 LAMBORGHINI JARAMA S COUPE

$223,000 BONHAMS, GOODWOOD DESPITE HAVING had nine owners this Lamborghini has been serviced by the same specialist all its life, and so has the original books and an extensive history file.

The marque’s last front-engine model, it's said to be one of only 18 RH-drive S examples.

The condition was exceptional and, in the world of Lambo, it actually looked like decent value.

1961 FERRARI GT SWB BERLINETTA

WE'VE YET to see an estimate on this one, but start thinking well into eight figures. Prices in excess of $15 million are typical.

The 250 series has become so valuable that there is an international cottage industry in hand-building million dollar replicas that owners can actually drive.

This car has a library of documentation, a long show history, and has been serviced by the same workshop (albeit a specialist workshop to the stars) for 40 years. So the bidding will be fierce.

This auction will be worth watching as this is one of 13 high-end Ferraris on the block at the same event.