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CLASSIC car prices took another leap this month as three national auctions reflected soaring demand from collectors and enthusiasts stocking their garages as COVID restricts investment in their traditional overseas excursions.

National auction house Manheim recently cleared a very rare and highly desirable Lamborghini Huracan Performante with practically no distance under the tyres.

The 2019 example, with all-wheel drive and a 5.2-litre V10 engine, had travelled only 1059km when it was placed on the block.

It was sold to a corporate buyer for a price said to be in the vicinity of $520,000. When new, the Performante had a list price of about $485,000, plus on-road costs.

Manheim also sold a 2017 Holden HSV GTSR W1 reported to be just over $350,000, compared with its price when new of $169,990 plus on-road costs.

Importantly, the W1 was the last new model to be developed from the Zeta-platform Holden Commodore that ended production in October of that year.

Lamborghini Huracan Performante

Adding to its allure is that it has the title – which is unlikely to be broken – of being the fastest and most powerful (474kW) production car ever built in Australia.

The car was located in Brisbane but the buyer was in Perth courtesy of Mainheim’s national online auction system.

Shannons’ recent Timed Winter Online Auction showed 165 lots and finished with 90 per cent of them sold and total sales of $6.96 million.

The highlights included a Ferrari Dino 246 GT which set a new world market record and was the auction’s top seller at $640,000. A “barn find” Holden HQ SS went for $85,500 and a 1938 Matchless Model X “V-Twin” motorcycle sold for $70,000.

Shannons reported strong interest and hints of FOMO (fear of missing out) as many lots were subjected to what the auctioneer described as “an avalanche of final-hour bids”.

The Dino, which was a stunning car that was the subject of a full restoration, had bidding that soared by $105,000 in the final moments of the auction.


The auction also sold a restored 1966 Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Series 1 Roadster which was also caught in a late bidding frenzy that took it to a close of $271,000.

Shannons reported that the exotics were not alone in securing high sales prices, with Australian muscle cars, Japanese sports cars and classic motorcycles and scooters also cashing in on the attention.

The auction house reported that three Aussie supercars were the subjects of intense bidding that ended with a 1969 Ford Falcon XW GT-HO Phase 1 setting a price of $190,000, followed by a “no reserve” 1973 Falcon XA GT that fetched $145,500 and a 1970 Holden LC Torana GTR XU-1 that sold for $140,000.

There was also interest in an unrestored “barn find” 1972 Holden HQ SS 253 V8 sedan that went for $85,500, and a similarly unrestored 1978 Holden HZ GTS Monaro manual sedan which sold for $80,500.

Japanese sportscars were in high demand as well with a rare 1995 Mazda RX-7 SP rotary coupe selling for $166,000, a 1994 Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R coupe that found a buyer above its high estimate for $142,500, and a 1983 Mazda RX7 Series 3 rotary coupe that sold for $46,000.

Shannons said that one of the outstanding results of the auction was the $70,000 paid after 50 bids for what it described as an “exceptional” 1938 Matchless Model X V-Twin that came out of long-term storage. The price was double the pre-auction estimate.

Other motorcycles included a 1959 BMW R50 and matching German Steib sidecar also sold above estimate for $52,500; two desirable Kawasaki sports bikes – a freshly-restored 1976 Z900 A4 and a fully-restored, highly-valued 1973 H2A 750cc – sold for $35,200 and $32,500 respectively; while a 1961 Lambretta Li 125 Scooter offered with “no reserve” nearly doubled its pre-sale high estimate at $17,500.

Ferrari Dino 246 GT

Automobilia also featured 16 heritage number plates in the auction. The top price went to a NSW three-digit plate “809” for $250,000, followed by three Victorian three-digit plates “827”, “623” and”‘481”. These sold for $160,500, $172,000 and $180,000 respectively.

Lloyds Auction House also recently sold a very rare Holden Torana A9X Hatch – one of only 33 built and with just 475km on the odometer – for more than $800,000.

The car was the subject of a bidding battle between an online and phone bidder that lasted for over a quarter of an hour.

Lloyds’ chief operations officer Lee Hames said: “We are not surprised at this result because this is the holy grail of Holden motor collector cars in the country and since the closure of Holden, they have only become all the more popular.”

As an indicator of the significant increases in Holden values in just over two years, the last Holden Torana A9X General Motors Part & Accessories model sold at Lloyds for $500,000 in 2018.

The latest Torana, which has a verified 475 kilometres from new, was the last Holden model raced before the team switched to Commodore V8s.

Lloyds said that in the past 12 months, it has seen other rare and significant Holdens increase in value. These included the very last Holden off the production line that sold for $750,000; a Harvey A9X Torana that went for $910,000; and a special one-of-four Holden Maloo Ute that found a buyer at $1,100,000 in January.

By Neil Dowling

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