WHAT'S HOT ON THE BLOCK THIS MONTH
If you’re one for playing the longer game, try the first-gen Merc CLS 63 AMG for size.
The normallyaspirated 378kW 6.2-litre M56 engine will always be a big drawcard in a world of blown mutes while the Baroque banana styling of the early CLS was a flamboyant blip for a Benz.
That combo is more than enough to ensure this car’s future collectability.
Choosing this month’s leader wasn’t too difficult. The last Bathurst homologation Monaro was always going to do good business at Shannons Sydney sale and this survivor car had all of the special sauce that was certain to pique the interest of serious collectors, bidding sailing well north of its pre-auction $150,000 high estimate. The Verado Green Metall ic paint had seen better days as had the Sandalwood interior, but the car presented honestly with all the right numbers and with a solid history.
It’s another indicator that there’s still punchy demand for top-drawer Aussie muscle cars. Which leads to a question for you to chew over: How much would this month’s cover car be worth?
There’s something both infuriating and intriguing about so-called barn find cars but in recent years they seem to have taken on an aura all of their own. Take this structurally sound but cosmetically tatty XK120 that attracted quite some interest at Motorclassica. A couple of lots later, a 1953 XK120 in immaculate nick ran out of steam at $120k yet transforming this one into concours nick for forty grand seems a stretch at best.
How long before the rise of the faux barn find phenomenon?
Bargain of the month? If you measure value in terms of raw fun, then there’s no competition. This Gryphon’s powered by a Fiat 1500 cc engine fitted with a Marshal supercharger. It was built here in the mid-late 1960s to compete with Brabhams, and today is classcompetitive in historic racing events.
It comes with a trailer, a stack of documentation and the opportunity to have triple the fun of the guy taking it all too seriously in his 911 GT3 RS.
While we tend to use iconic vehicles like the Phase III as barometers as to how the Aussie muscle car market’s doing, one good or bad result can skew a lot of people’s thinking. Take this example. The pre-sale estimate of $400-450k didn’t look unreasonable, but bidding petered out at $360k. Does this set a new level for existing GT-HO owners? Of course not. A sample size of one doesn't make the market.
With real Carrera RSRs a long way north of a million, those hankering after the look of Porsche’s most iconic racer can scratch that itch with a car like this 1975 Carrera. It’s got some RSR styling tributes and features a 3.0-litre 310hp turbocharged engine and a caged interior. It’s also a huge bargain. It’s not far off entry-level air-cooled price for something that’ll really turn heads.
On the block
RMA Duemila Ruote – 26th November Estimate: A$250-280,000 AMID ALL the mega-million dollar tackle at the huge RMA Duemila Ruote sale in Milan, there’s a stack of interesting lesser lights that we adore.
Catching my eye instantly was this lovely Ferrari 365 GTC/4. It’s effectively a long wheelbase Daytona with vestigial rear seating and more elegant styling, but also introduced refinements such as side-draft carbs and power steering. The best thing about this car is that it tends to fetch about a third of the price of an equivalent Daytona, which makes it a bit less obvious and a bit cooler. There are elements of Maserati Khamsin about the gossamerthin pillars, Filippo Sapino’s styling being both graceful and restrained. The 365 GTC/4 is sometimes described as the most under-rated Ferrari or the best sounding Ferrari ever made. It might just be both.
Realising an auction record for an AMC Pacer, this is the original ‘Mirthmobile’ from 1992 cult classic Wayne’s World.
It was given away after the movie wrapped, spent some time in a museum in Oregon and ended up with a pensioner in Florida. Rick Harrison of ‘Pawn Stars’ fame restored it to movie spec, complete with liquorice dispenser and mismatched wheels. Cue a bit of Bohemian Rhapsody.
This early-production Boss 429 was sold by the original owner with all of the original documentation and just 21,400 miles. This matching-numbers unrestored car packs the 429ci V8 S-code NASCAR lump with a 4-speed manual box.
Originally purchased from Oakley Motor Co. in Memphis, TN, this pony was the highlight of the night in Vegas.
It takes a pretty sizeable set of cojones to pitch a car like this into an auction with no reserve, this Blue Meanie counting on the sheer weight of numbers attracted to the Shannons auction to come good.
We saw some healthy bidding to $106k for this 327/500 Group A SS. A bit of cosmetic tidying would have this one in show specification.
Wayne Gardner reckoned he’d spotted a niche between regular Holden vehicles and the increasingly costly HSV wares, but the Wollongong Whizz found this slice of the market to be sliver thin and these WGR-badged Commos are ultrarare.
They’re pretty tasty though, with a body package from Sydney design studio Talon, custom Recaro seats, a Momo wheel and a carbon fibre console.