Revs and prices rise at Shannons auction

Rare Aussie muscle cars expected to fetch boom prices at Shannons spring auction.

Examples of three of Australia’s most coveted performance cars from the ’70s muscle car era will be among the classics listed for sale at the forthcoming Shannons Spring Online Auction

Leading the charge is a 1977 Holden LX Torana SLR 5000 A9X four-door sedan (pictured above). 

Painted in eye-catching Dynasty gold metallic, it’s said to be the only surviving example of two factory-built A9X four-doors in this colour and the only one with its paint and two-tone tan vinyl trim interior combination. 

That sort of rare combination, along with the fact the A9X’s hatchback sibling has come to be regarded as one of the greatest Aussie race cars of all time, will no doubt attract plenty of bidders. 

This particular example was delivered in Warrnambool, Victoria, in November 1977 and retains its unique A9X floorpan, featuring a Salisbury rear axle, rear discs and a 3.08 differential.

As the 360th example of just 500 A9Xs made, of which just 95 were sedans, it also has the wider flares and 3.08:1 differential found on later-build cars.  

Shannons said the beautifully presented A9X was given a bare-metal restoration in 1992, during which time its 5.0 litre V8 L31-spec engine was rebuilt by a former HDT engine builder. 

The car retains its correct road-going M21 close-ratio four-speed gearbox, whereas competition variants ran a Borg Warner T10 four-speed unit.

Showing just 122,673km on the clock, with less than 15,000km of that clocked up in the past 30-odd years, the A9X sedan also carries the signature of the late Peter Brock on its glove box lid.

There’s no suggestion Brock’s signature will enhance the car’s value but it certainly won’t hurt, with Shannons expecting a sale price in the $180,000–$220,000 range at the Spring Auction, which runs from November 11-18.

1972 LJ Torana GTR XU-1

An earlier Holden also listed among the auction inventory is a freshly restored 1972 LJ Torana GTR XU-1 (pictured above) in rarely seen Zodiac blue with a black vinyl interior. 

Originally a North Queensland car, the XU-1 was delivered through Mackay’s British & Continental Motors and spent most of its life among the cane fields, before finding its way into the hands of its current Sydney owner, who carried out a ground-up bare-metal restoration over a five-year period.

Interest in the diminutive LC and LJ Torana XU-1s was at an all-time high, said Shannons due to the fact they boast Bathurst-winning heritage and are relatively rare with only about 3300 produced and very few unmolested original examples remaining intact.

“Prices of genuine XU-1s have therefore shown rapid appreciation in recent times and this trend looks set to continue,” said a statement from Shannons, which estimates the car will sell in the $125,000–$145,000 range.

The auction is not all about Holden heroes, however, with another of the more notable lots being a Bathurst-spec 1971 Valiant Charger R/T E38 “Big Tank” coupe, (pictured below) equipped with the mighty 265 cubic-inch six-cylinder engine, triple Weber carburettors and four-speed manual gearbox.

1971 Valiant Charger RT E38 coupe
 
Like all other E38s this car came equipped with the Track Pack, which consisted of alloy wheels, stronger brakes, quicker-ratio steering and a limited-slip diff (with a choice of rear axle ratios) while a long-range 159-litre fuel tank (code A84), better known as the “Big Tank”, was also available as an option for those who intended to race the car.

The E38 and later E49 Chrysler coupes are arguably the most collectible Aussie Mopar products, renowned for boasting performance close to the legendary Ford Falcon GT-HO Phase III.

As with most muscle cars from this era, particularly ones with Bathurst racing pedigree, surviving E38s are highly collectible with this example expected to bring between $160,000–$180,000. 

As expensive as that may be, it seems a relative bargain when compared with the prices of the aforementioned Ford Falcon GT-HO Phase III, examples of which have been known to sell for as much as $1 million. 

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