IN A FORMIDABLE display of the strength of the Australian classic car market records tumbled at the D’Alberto Brothers private collection auction held in mid-April
Conducted by Burns & Co auctioneers, it had buyers weighing in with fistfuls of dollars, keen to secure a piece of Australian motoring history.
A quartet of Group A Commodores headlined the auction along with many other classic and modern Holdens, all in mint condition. While expectations were high, nobody envisaged the feverish bidding and prices that would be achieved on the day.
Topping the sale price was a 1988 VL Commodore Walkinshaw Group A SS, build number 333, that was owned by the D’Alberto family since new. A total of 66 bids got it to the record-setting figure of $340,000. The never-registered pristine Walkinshaw had been the pride of the D’Alberto family collection, having only 1308km on the clock.
Another HSV Group A SS, this one a 1994 VN model with 1867 km showing was keenly sought, due to its unique build number – 333. Although only 302 were built; given that the D’Alberto family already owned three other Group As with the same build number, and being a prominent Holden dealer, a special-build plaque #333 was assigned to this vehicle. It fetched $210,000
The zenith of Brock Group A SS Commodores, an as-new 1985 VK HDT Blue Meanie owned by the D’Albertos since new, also featuring build number 333, had travelled just 2375 kilometres. It sold for $305,000.
The fourth Group A SS under the gavel was the final model built by Brock. The VL Group A SS, the first unleadedfuel version, was a shadow of its Blue Meanie predecessor performance-wise. However this gem, in D’Alberto hands from new, again with build number 333, achieved $155,000 after 33 bids.
A rare 2008 HSV W427 was highly sought and with just 114km showing, it sold for $220,000 on the 44th bid.
Early to late Monaros featured prominently. The highest bid going to a 1970 Monaro GTS 186S coupe, its interior still wrapped in plastic and sitting on original tyres. There was no service history, as it was yet to receive its first service, having done a mere 504kms and spent most of its life in the first owner’s garage. It was then acquired by the D’Alberto family, before spending a short time in Lindsay Fox’s collection. It sold for $240,000 after 68 bids. An HT 308 Monaro went for $170,000. The last generation Monaros also fared well with a 2002 HSV GTS Coupe fetching $132,500, bookended by a 2005 VZ Monaro CV8Z that sold for $155,000.
One of the biggest surprises of the auction was the eyewatering $165,000 paid for a 1970 LC Holden Torana GTR, a price not seen for an XU1, let alone its less-powerful sibling. Another offering that surprised the sizeable crowd was the $95,000 forked out for a 1966 Holden HR Premier X2 Holden. And there was huge applause when the car that started it all, Holden's first-ever 1948 48-215 FX, with build number 46 and just 35,780km sold for $130,000.
But there were a few bargains to be had as well; a six-kilometre old 2017 VF SS-V Redline Magnum ute, with buildplate 17 of 250 went for a modest $67,000 and a rare 1999 HSV XU8 with only 389km got the nod at $57,000. A 1980 Holden TE Gemini sedan with 52,000km achieved a solid $7000, while a Series II 2000 VT Commodore SS sedan, one of five built as a pilot car for the Sydney Olympics torch relay was snapped up for $35,000.
Commenting on the auction Ashley Burns said, “Naturally we are delighted for the D’Alberto family on the results we achieved. It’s rare to have such a collection of superbly preserved and well-loved cars together like this. All have been garaged throughout their life, all are mechanically perfect, all have low kilometres and all are rare. That’s why the bidding on the day and enquiry leading up to the auction was so strong.
“There’s no doubt benchmarks have been set, but these were 10 out of 10 cars and every future car to come up for auction will be judged against them.”