Sydney, AUS – The largest private collection of collectors cars ever offered for public auction in Australia will be sold by Bonhams & Goodman on Sunday 19 November 2006 in Sydney.
The collection of 153 cars belongs to one vendor – a gentleman who wishes to remain anonymous. He has been painstakingly researching and purchasing cars for over 30 years.
Astoundingly, the collection is not known to the general public, car clubs or trade.
‘When our car department first received the enquiry they were stunned’, said Tim Goodman, Chief Executive Officer at Bonhams & Goodman. ‘We have managed some very substantial cars sales – the Lindsay Fox collection, the John Laws collection and the MG Rover clearance auction, but this is without a doubt the largest single vendor car auction to have ever occurred in the country,’ added Goodman. ‘The collection kept unfolding. It took a team of 5 specialists a week to sight all of the vehicles’.
What makes this collection so unusual is its diversity. The cars on offer include British sports cars, American classics and Italian exotics from the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Featured in the collection are cars manufactured in the United Kingdom, the United States (many different states), Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Japan, France and Sweden.
Marques include Alfa-Romeo, Allard, AMC, Aston Martin Lagonda, Audi, Austin, Bentley, Bitter, BMW, Bricklin, Buick, Cadillac, Chrysler, Chevrolet, Citroën, Daimler, Datsun, DeLorean, DeTomaso, Fiat, Ford, Hillman, Holden, Iso, Imperial, Jaguar, Jensen- Healey, Lancia, Lincoln, Lloyd-Hartnet, Lotus, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mercury, MG, Mitsubishi, Morris, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Opel, Pontiac, Porsche, Reliant, Renault, Riley, Rolls-Royce, Rover, Tatra, Toyota, Triumph, VW, Volvo and Wolseley.
Many of the cars have remained undriven since nearly new (they have been stored and protected by dust covers) and the owner has been very particular about selecting cars with low mileage.
The current owner personally purchased the collection in 12 countries. American cars feature strongly in the collection. When asked why, the vendor said ‘American cars of the 50s and 60s were in many ways the pinnacle of manufacturing capability with features and options unheard of elsewhere in the world. My 1957 Lincoln for example has power windows and seats – and that was 50 years ago,’ he added.
When asked if he has a favourite in the sale, the vendor replied, ‘I tend to be more attached to the vehicles I have owned for 10 or 20 years rather than those purchased more recently. Dollar value bears no relation to my sentimental attachment; some of the least expensive cars mean the most to me.’
‘I am particularly interested in one-owner cars with low mileage – which have often been stored for many years. The best kept cars are invariably those owned by “senior citizens” who care for them over long periods and don’t follow fads of updating to a new model every few years. Such cars are time capsules from a bygone era – and many come with wonderful stories. Some have a paperwork trail dating back to original purchase order and every petrol receipt since!’
It goes without saying that putting together a collection of this scale has come with its fair share of logistical problems. All sorts of natural calamities have delayed collection – floods, snow, fire etc. Once during a hurricane, a tree fell directly on a car, flattening it before it was collected. ‘The seller was kind enough to refund my money on that one!’ the owner joked.
A recent health scare has meant the vendor is rationalising his collection and parting with some of his favourites. He plans to retire from collecting and enjoy the items he is keeping. ‘Collecting anything can become addictive, so rather like a reformed alcoholic, I am practising total abstinence!’ he proclaimed.
It is important to note that import taxes have been paid on each vehicle and shipping can be arranged. Because many of the cars were purchased in the United Kingdom and United States they can be re-imported without penalty since their original documentation survives.
The cars themselves are too many to list, so we encourage you to visit our website to view a full online catalogue at www.bonhamsandgoodman.com.au
Sale highlights include:
-Jaguar XK150S 3.8, freshly restored and off the road for 31 years; Alfa Romeo Montreal – one of best in existence; Allard M-1 – wonderfully original and with original build-sheets
-Bentley Mk 6 with HJ Mulliner body – fresh from expensive body and mechanical restoration
-Bentley S-1 Freestone & Webb – restoration opportunity of an Earls Court Show car
-Bitter CD – an exotic unknown in Australia
-BMW 2000 CS – one of the best in existence
-Bricklin – rare gullwing V8 sports car
-Buick Riviera Custom – reputed to be Marvin Gaye’s car which he imported into the UK
-1948 Cadillac Limo – custom Derham body; Citroen SM – the last car sold in the UK, hand built by Ligier, RHD conversion, low mls
-Datsun 240Z – concours restoration on iconic Japanese sports car
-DeLorean – the car made famous by the film Back to the Future
-Pantera – an Italian exotic but with simple mechanicals – prices now rising fast in the US for original examples
-1968 Mustang – restored 1 lady owner
-Capri RS 3100 arguably the lowest mileage in existence, 1 of 250 built and highly sought after in the UK
-FJ Holden – full restoration on an Australian icon, low mileage, known history; 1978 HZ Kingswood V8 – like new 28 year old Aussie favourite