The high powered Holden Special Vehicles HRT 427 coupe was owned by Cairns collector Shawn "Chooka" Ryan and sold at the Pickles Auction on Monday for $350,000. It was one of just two built and the only driveable one. The other remains with Holden.
Mr Ryan paid $920,000 for the vehicle two years ago but auctioneer David Hyde said the industry believed that the price paid for the red car in 2008 was too much. He said the deal may have also involved another car so there were doubts that the figure of $920,000 was the actual cash price for the vehicle.
"$350,000 is the right price," Mr Hyde said.
The car was sold to ananonymous Queensland buyer. American-based basketball millionaire Andrew Bogut, who showed keen interest in the Holden coupe at the auction, was not the buyer. Twenty-four of the best of Mr Ryan's car collection were put up for auction on orders of receivers PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Two of his companies, Ausco Firestop NQ Pty Ltd and Ryan Group Holdings Pty Ltd, are in receivership with debts of $10 million.
Mr Hyde said all but one vehicle, a 2007 HSV Maloo ute, was sold. He said the sale totalled just under $2 million. Mr Hyde said the cars were bought by individuals and he believed they would remain in Australia. He said he did not know if any of the vehicles would return to Cairns.
Mr Hyde said there were 300 people bidding online and 500 at the auction described as the finest collection of muscle cars sold in Australia. "Overall it went better than expected," he said. "I think these are bullet-proof as an investment goes."
Mr Hyde said most of the vehicles sold for the estimated price or above. He said there was a lot of interest in the auction and people were returning to buying muscle cars. "There were no bargains," Mr Hyde said.
Mr Ryan made national headlines after he wandered into a Sydney car showroom in shorts and thongs in April, 2008 and bought the red coupe, the most expensive price ever paid for a Holden.
Muscle car auction
- 2002 HRT 427 coupe: $350,000
- 1956 Chevrolet Belair hardtop: $77,000
- 1969 Holden Monaro HT GTS coupe: $72,000
- 1973 Holden Monaro HQ GTS coupe: $71,000
- 1978 Ford Cobra XC coupe: $70,000
- 1968 Holden Monaro HK GTS coupe: $69,000
- 1977 Holden Torana LX coupe: $38,500