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Why the Holden Monaro, Torana, Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III and other classic Aussie cars are going gangbusters at auction

The Holden Monaro is a nameplate that is expected to easily fetch six-figures at a car auction these days.

Aussie cars are well and truly back in vogue, with record prices on sought-after rare examples seen at recent auctions expected to continue for at least another three years.

Shannons national auction manager Christophe Boribon told CarsGuide that the heat is yet to cool on interest in a wide range of increasingly rare Aussie gold.

He said the combination of the pandemic keeping people at home and searching for playthings, and interest rates at historic lows, means the classic car market is booming.

“Money’s cheap, people aren’t travelling overseas and people who have always wanted a classic car are getting out and buying,” he said.

“We will see that trend, especially in Aussie cars, continue for at least the next few years.”

Recent sales have stirred up attention in Australian cars. An HSV GTSR Maloo W1 hit $1.05 million in January this year before being thumped by the $1.15 million spent a month later for a 1971 Ford Falcon GT-HO Phase III.

Providence has its place high on the ladder of prices paid for Australian cars. The Holden Torana LX that raced in the hands of legendary driver John Harvey in the Australian Touring Car Championships in 1977, 1978 and 1979 went for $910,000 last November, while a Torana A9X hooked $450,000.

A rare ex-Bob Jane Torana L34 SLR5000 placed up for auction last week by Lloyds failed to meet reserve, with the highest bid at $360,000.

Even those that never saw competition are being snapped up with a 1969 Holden Monaro HT 350 GTS changing garages for $715,000 in mid-2020; and a Ford Falcon XC Cobra coupe going out the door for a relatively modest $194,000 along with an XB Coupe on auction for $50,609.

“We are seeing generational things taking place, such as the 1970s cars getting a strong run for their money up to the pre-GFC levels as Baby Boomers and Gen-X start spending,” Mr Boribon said.

“The Baby Boomers are really coming back into the market, but the money that’s out there is mainly from Gen-X buyers, so it’s the 35 years to 65 years age bracket that’s the main buyers.

“Some of the Aussie cars from the 1980s and 1990s – and even some later cars, particularly HSVs and FPVs – are attracting a lot of interest from Gen-X buyers.”

Mr Boribon suggested that there was a bit of movement in Gen-Xs towards the Australian muscle cars and perhaps a bit of a move away from the Japanese performance cars.

It’s not only the rare Aussies that are garnering interest.

“We are noticing that the last of the HSV and FPV models, and even early stuff in the Commodore VR and VS series, are being pursued by enthusiasts,” he said.

“Those cars have picked up in value because the HSVs and FPVs of that era are now more affordable on the used market.”

But Mr Boribon warned that not all of the early Australian cars were bringing in the big bucks.

“The general rule of thumb with Aussie muscle cars is you have to buy the correct car that has limited production with the right history and providence and with the right books and service papers – that’s the things that are needed to give a better price now for sellers, and a better return in the future for buyers.”Aussie Classic Watchlist

Aussie Classics Watchlist (prices correct at the time of writing)

ModelPrice
Ford Falcon XB Coupe 1974Current bid: $50,609 (Grays)
Holden Monaro HK GTS 1968Current bid: $100,109 (Grays)
Ford Fairmont Ghia ESP 1982Current bid: $62,009 (Grays)
Ford Sierra RS500 ex-Glenn Seton racer 1987Current bid: $95,000 (Lloyds)
Ford Falcon AU V8 Supercar ex-Tony Longhurst 1999Current bid: $92,000 (Lloyds)
Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo Production Car Australian Championship spec 2007Curent bid: $11,000 (Lloyds)
Holden Monaro HK 327 1969Opening bid: $100,000 (Slattery)
Holden Ute SS-V Redline Magnum 2017Opening bid: $30,000 (Slattery)
Holden HD Premier sedan 1965Opening bid: $40,000 (Slattery)
Holden Commodore SS VK 1984 Opening bid: $50,000 (Slattery)
Ford Falcon XW GT 1970Estimate: $150,000-$170,000 (Shannons)
Ford Falcon FPV F6 Typhoon $293Estimate: $30,000-$40,000 (Shannons)
Holden Commodore VE HDT Group A 2009Estimate: $58,000-$68,000 (Shannons)
Holden Torana LC GTR 1971Estimate: $65,000-$75,000 (Shannons)