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EVIDENCE of a nation in lockdown and with restricted movement and inability to spend “normally” has seen a huge interest in the classic car and auto memorabilia markets with auction house Shannons this week finalising its Spring auction with an $8.5 million turnover.

The Shannons Times Online Spring Auction also saw 94 per cent of the lots sold and a Lamborghini Countach hit a record top price at auction of $490,500.

Number plates also grabbed buyer attention with a combined huge $2.65 million result during what Shannons described as a buyer “frenzy”.

The auction record was for an immaculate red 1989 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Coupe, which sold for $490,500 after late competitive bidding.

1970 Mini Cooper-S Mk-II

But interest was strong across the board with Ford and Holden V8 Supercars also battling it out for record prices.

A restored Ford XW Falcon GT-HO Phase II fetched $373,500 and a three-owner 1968 Holden HK Monaro GTS 327 coupe went for $301,000 after a final-hour duel between determined rival bidders.

Shannons reports that other top results for Australian-made cars included the $45,501 paid for a 1978 Holden LX Torana SL Hatchback in “project” condition and $50,000 for a restored 1968 Holden HK Kingswood utility.

Three air-cooled Porsches produced strong values, with a beautiful Australian-delivered 1971 911E 2.2 Sportomatic coupe fetching $225,500; a 1969 911T 2.0 Sportomatic coupe in “project” condition brought an excellent $115,000; and an early four-cylinder 1965 912 coupe sold for $93,000.

Ford XW Falcon GT HO Phase-II

Mercedes-Benz SL models continued to post strong results, with a classic 1968 280SL convertible selling for an impressive $189,000; a 1998 SL500 R129 convertible bringing $72,000; and a 2003 SL500 W230 Convertible also exceeding its pre-auction high estimate at $64,000.

Other solid results for German cars included a beautiful, Australian-delivered 1962 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Type 1 Coupe that made $62,800; a South African-delivered, right-hand drive 1970 Volkswagen Beetle Karmann Cabriolet sold for $38,000; a 1976 Kombi Camper van went for $46,500; and a beautiful, fully-restored and an on-trend Queensland-built Meyers Manx Beach Buggy achieved $35,000.

Equally impressive was the $146,000 paid for a converted right-hand drive Maserati V6-engined 1973 Citroen SM and an Australian auction record $80,500 achieved by a stunning 1970 Mini Cooper S Mk II.  There was also the $57,500 paid for a 1974 fuel-injected Citroen DS23 Pallas and $39,500 given for another 1970 Mini Cooper S Mk II.

Shannons said British sports cars also produced outstanding results, with $66,500 paid for a restored 1962 MGA 1600 MkI (upgraded to MkII specification) roadster; $104,000 achieved by a restored 1958 Austin-Healey 100/6 BN4 roadster; and $57,500 for a beautiful 1955 Triumph TR2 roadster.

Of the nine Japanese sporting cars, the surprise result was the $33,500 paid for a rare 1992 Autozam AZ-1 Turbo gull-wing door micro car that was expected to sell in the $16,000-$22,000 range, while a 2000 Mitsubishi EVO 6.5 Tommi Makkinen sedan and one of the 100 Australian-delivered Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R coupes each sold for $91,000.

The auctioneers said that the standout result of the classic American cars in the auction was the $256,000 paid for a right-hand drive (converted) 1968 Shelby Mustang GT500 Fastback; $130,000 given for an immaculate 1960 Chrysler 300F Coupe; and an excellent $82,610 paid for a spectacular left-hand drive 1961 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible.

The 22 motorcycles in the auction also saw some strong results, including $45,000 paid for a 1953 BMW R68 motorcycle; $37,750 given for a rare ‘sand cast’ 1969 Honda CB750 KO; $27,500 for a 1979 Kawasaki H2C 750cc three-cylinder superbike; and $30,500 for a British 1937 AJS V-Twin 37/2 990cc motorcycle.

Black and white New South Wales and Victorian number plates continued their popularity with collectors unabated, with all three-digit plates achieving more than $220,000, with the top price being $344,944 for VIC 247.

The top four-digit result was $180,500 for the VIC plate and birth year 1992.Meanwhile, GoAutoNews Premium has been told that interest in leasing or buying small warehouses has surged in Melbourne since the Covid pandemic with owners who have recently purchased classic cars looking for places to store them.

Lamborghini Countach

By Neil Dowling