• Ex- Holmes a' Court 1939 Rolls-Royce Wraith sells for $190,000
  • Steel-bodied 1932 Ford 5-Window 'Hot Rod' coupe makes $75,500
  • Low-km Subaru STi highlights value of modern Classics

Unique older Classic vehicles were in high demand at Shannons Melbourne Summer Auction on December 9, with keen bidding leading to strong prices for the diverse selection on offer.

A globally-significant 1939 Rolls-Royce Wraith Gurney Nutting Sedanca Coupe previously owned by Australian businessman Robert Holmes a' Court, achieved one of the best results of the auction, selling for $190,000 –  above its guiding range of $140,000-$160,000 – after strong bidding from the floor and phone.

A pair of now sought-after factory steel-bodied 1932 Ford Model Bs from the estate of noted Californian Hot Rodder and Bonneville Land Speed Record holder, Harold Johansen, were also pursued by traditional Ford enthusiasts. They attracted a total of 19 floor, phone and internet bids, driving their sale prices well above their pre-auction estimates.

The left hand drive Model B 5-window coupe built in the early 'hot rod' style that was powered by Ford's 201-cid 'four banger' four-cylinder engine fitted with a very, rare Riley overhead valve cylinder head conversion, eventually sold for $75,500 after competitive bidding.

Meanwhile, a raised-roof, left hand drive Ford Model B Panel Delivery from Johansen's personal collection – possibly the only one in Australia – brought $46,000 against its estimate of $30,000-$35,000.

However, two of the most sought-after lots of the auction were a pair of early Austin 7 racers, with a 1929 aluminium-bodied roadster attracting 30 bids before selling for $40,000, while a 1928 Austin 7 supercharged roadster in similar demand sold for $34,000. Another early and rare British sporting car of the same era – a 1932 Wolseley Hornet 6-cylinder Sports Tourer – achieved $30,000.

The top-selling vehicle of the auction was a German-delivered and restored, now right hand drive 1965 Porsche 356C Cabriolet, which sold on estimate for $236,000. Earlier, a nice, left-hand-drive 1961 Porsche 356B Coupe in good 'driver condition' attracted plenty of interest before also selling for $85,000.

Outstanding results were achieved by two appreciating, modern sporting Classics, with $86,000 paid for a Queensland- delivered 1999 Subaru WRX STi Coupe showing just 18,643km on its odometer, while a restored, right hand drive 1988 German BMW M3 Evo 2 coupe sold for $94,000.

Our new car market may have slowed, but Classic Australian vehicles were sought after at the auction.

Those achieving good results includeds a 1973 Chrysler VH Charger XL 245 Coupe ($39,000), a 1969 Holden HT Monaro Coupe fitted with an updated 253ci V8 engine ($57,000) and a very low kilometre 2006 HSV GTO VZ Coupe showing just 4,915km on its odometer brought $79,000.

Particular interest was shown in early 1960s Holdens and Fords, with multiple bidders driving the price of a beautifully restored and presented 1955 Holden FJ 'Business Sedan' to $46,000.

A lovely, lightly-modified 1964 Holden 179-cid EH Premier and a nice, two-owner 1962 Ford Falcon XK Sedan showing just 59,098 miles, sold for $31,500 and $26,000 respectively.

A very cool, lowered with wheel spats and venetians 1965 Ford Falcon XP Deluxe Sedan fitted with the optional 170ci 'Pursuit' six-cylinder engine, brought $25,000; a bare-metal-restored, 1966 Holden HR utility with its engine rebuilt to X2 specs and offered with a matching panel van trailer, went for $34,000 and a 1973 Ford ZF Fairlane K-Code 351 V8 sedan brought $21,000.

More results in the auction were:

• $51,000 paid for a 1963 Split Window Kombi van with room for further improvement;

• $26,000 given for a 1968 right hand drive Jeep Wagoneer 4WD;

• $37,000 paid for a 1962 Jaguar MkII 'improved' 3.8 Manual saloon.

For the full results of Shannons December 9 Melbourne Summer Auction, visit www.shannons.com.au 

For information on specific lots, contact: Christophe Boribon on (03) 8588 0809, or 13 4646 (Option 6).

For media information and publication-quality photos, please contact:  Michael Browning 0418 324 328
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From December 31 this year, IHS will be retiring the Australian AutoNews service. Consequently Shannons will be moving its auction and events news website and its auction news and photographic archive to the Wieck Group and its Autodeadline news service located at http://autodeadline.com.au

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