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by Tim Beissmann

A fully restored Monza Green 1971 Ford XY Falcon GT-HO Phase III lead the charge at Shannons Melbourne Winter Auction yesterday, sparking a fierce bidding war and eventually selling above its estimated price range for $331,000.

Bidding started at $260,000 for the legendary Australian muscle car with 107,000 miles (172,000km) on the clock, soaring by $10,000s before creeping up by $1000s to the epic final price.

The Falcon was one of a number of sales yesterday, with cars, heritage number plates and other motoring memorabilia leading to total sales of $1.7 million at almost an 80 percent clearance rate.

“We had many astute buyers looking for quality vehicles at the auction and the cars we offered realised the prices they deserved,” Shannons National Auction Manager, Christophe Boribon, said of the 500+ strong crowd.

Nostalgia played out to be the theme of the day, with a fully restored right-hand drive 1957 Chevrolet Belair Sports Coupe demanding $99,000 of its eventual successful bidder.

Celebrity also proved desirable, with a left-hand drive 1961 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible previously owned by rock legend Alice Cooper fetching $78,000. The car famously featured a “third fender” – a Fender Squier guitar signed by Cooper – which was included in the sale.

A 1946 Plymouth Woody Station wagon with a Chevrolet 327-cid V8 and Turbo 400 automatic transmission sold for $50,000, while a number of classics also rolled out the door at the lower end of the price spectrum.

A 1948 Fiat Topolino 500B Coupe that had been in the same family its whole life smashed expectations at $20,000, while a fully-restored 1968 Volkswagen Beetle ($18,500), a 1971 London taxi cab ($15,000) and a three-owner 1951 Holden 48-215 (FX) sedan ($12,000) all proved inexpensive options for buyers after old-world motoring charm in good condition.

Victorian black and white heritage plates were in high demand, all clearing for a combined figure of $631,000.

The top seller was 153, the plate affixed to the government car of Victorian Premier Sir Rupert “Dick” Hamer in the 1970s. It was purchased yesterday for $100,000, just ahead of 208 at $95,000 and 213 at $85,000.




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