Melbourne-based auction house Mossgreen dipped its toe into the Sydney automotive auction scene on Sunday May 28 as 20 vehicles went under the hammer in the Carriageworks facility at Eveleigh, just south of the Sydney, CBD.
Strategically positioned to catch the eye as you walked in, was a two-liter Aston Martin DB1 that finished 10th in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1949. While not to be auctioned, it was available through Mossgreen by private treaty.
The car that drew the most attention, however, was a Holden Torana A9X Hatchback that helped Australian privateer driver Bob Morris win the 1979 Australian Touring Car Championship ahead of the official Holden factory team headed by Peter Brock.
Initially built for U.S. drivers Johnny Rutherford and Janet Guthrie for the 1977 Bathurst 1000, it was later driven at such diverse circuits as Sandown, Symmons Plains, Wanneroo, Calder, Oran Park, Lakeside, Amaroo Park and Adelaide International Raceway.
In 1980 it was bought by West Australian enthusiast and collector Peter Briggs, who would go on to race the car a number of times at Wanneroo before it was retired to the York and Fremantle Motor Museums.
It was clear that a lot of people were at the Mossgreen auction specifically to see how the Torana would fare, especially as it was virtually exactly how it was last raced back in 1980. A time-warp piece of Australian motor racing history!
Bidding started at Au$480,000, but it quickly rose to Au$490,000 and then to half a million. The bids came in quickly, and the auctioneer clearly didn’t have to prompt for more. The half a mil was soon left behind when it was increased to $550,000 and then $600,000 where it was sold, to tumultuous applause. With buyer’s premium, taxes and all that, the total amount was Au$705,000 (US$535,800), a new world record price for a Holden sold at auction.
Auction Results – including buyer’s premium in Australian dollars