In Australia we watch on in envy when the rest of the world showcases iconic cars at auctions, cars and coffee, organised rallies, Youtube…you name it. Often they are cars that never made it here for any number of reasons, but it doesn’t stop insurer Shannons from putting on auctions for the cars we do have, and sometimes a few surprises turn up.
I recently went to a Shannons auction preview for the 2018 Shannons Sydney Autumn Classic Auction & Rare Number Plates event to be held Monday 12 March to get a taste for the type of vehicles that are typically offered at these auctions. The previews are held so potential buyers can get a good look at the vehicles before bidding as on auction night there’s very little opportunity to get up close and personal. Held in a warehouse the cars are displayed thoughtfully surrounded by numerous memorabilia and other automotive and nautical artefacts which helps to add to the vibe.
Stepping into the slightly dark warehouse interior it’s hard not to race to a car you may have been having your eye on but in this case, that car was front and not quite centre. The Mazda RX7 SP is an Australian only car which must rank equal to the RX7 FD historical significance than the last of the line Spirit R Type A.
With 3 Bathurst 12 hour victories (prompting the JDM only Bathurst version) and a host of motorsport derived improvements it was superior to any other FD RX7 in the world at the time officially offered by Mazda, and ultra rare with only 29 made for homologation. Walking around the car it was clear it’s still the prettiest car to come out of Japan at the time and quite possibly the most beautiful Japanese car ever, but time will tell. It will be interesting to watch how much this ends up going for but I suspect it could fetch six figures.
The 1960 Mercedes Benz 190SL Convertible close by looked like it was ready for someone to invest time and resources into making it like new again. Originally a light blue and also with non-original red trim, the new owner will have some choices to make.
Having fallen hard for Porsche 930 Turbos of late I couldn’t delay any longer in getting up close and personal with the 1982 Porsche 930 Turbo Coupe nearby. I used to baulk at 70s browns but now I think they have a certain charm all of their own, as if they are sticking two fingers up to the Signal Oranges and Slate Greys of this world, and the Rosewood Metallic paint on this example was stunning. Top of the market Australian delivered 930 Turbos have been advertised at obscene prices lately but the auction guide from Shannons of $160,000 – $185,000 for this car seems reasonable.
Right next to the 930 Turbo was a BMW M3 Competition Package that was very difficult to ignore if only for the absolutely incredible Interlagos Blue colour beaming in all directions. The Shannons price guide of $60,000 – $70,000 I think makes this car a steal particularly since this is a rare manual version.
Also on the floor were a considerable amount of Australian classic cars as well as a ginormous 1933 Rolls Royce Phantom II which actually smelled antique. Making my way to the back of the warehouse there were cabinets housing number plates, fuel pumps, model sailing ships, vintage posters, model cars and more.
At the back, an inspection was being carried out on the 1971 Ferrari Dino 246 GT Coupe for sale for a client. I’m not sure I’ve met someone who doesn’t like the original Dino with its curves, low stance, and wonderfully focused interior. These used to go for around $100,000 or under in Australia around 10 or so years ago, but now the auction guide has them pegged at $620,000 – $680,000. Incredible.
At least these cars exist in Australia and it’s fun to walk into a Shannon’s auction preview and imagine where you would drop your money. The whole world is captivated by how much these automotive icons are fetching but for most enthusiasts we hope to see these cars out and about on the road.