A 1971 Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III left to rot in a shed for decades – missing an engine and had been attacked with an axe – sold for a mind-boggling $400,000 at auction at the weekend.
Bidding on Grays Online passed $200,000 within 24 hours of the undriveable vehicle being listed last week, but it was passed in on the weekend once bids reached $350,000, having not met its reserve price.
However, negotiations after the auction saw the battered and bruised muscle car change hands for $400,000.
The 1971 Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III is one of only 300 high performance road cars built by Ford to qualify for motor racing in the early 1970s – of which fewer than 100 genuine examples are suspected of still being in existence.
After the car was sold, it was revealed 32 dents on its beaten-up bodywork came from an inexplicable axe attack.
Industry experts estimate a full restoration would cost close to $200,000.
The location and identity of the buyer are yet to be revealed, however the website says the car must be collected “as is” – and with a tow truck or car trailer from the auction house in Victoria.
The car was advertised as a rolling chassis without an engine under the bonnet – and was even missing basic essentials such as headlights – however some mechanical parts came with the vehicle.
In the description of the vehicle, the Grays Online website says: “We are selling this car on behalf of the executors of a deceased estate. It is a one owner GTHO Phase III. It does require a restoration to bring it back to its former glory.
“The GTHO Phase III is without a doubt the most collectable and valuable Australian muscle (cars) of all time. Nearly all Phase III Falcons have had multiple owners and history is sometimes clouded. This car being a one owner eliminates any doubt about its validity.”
The website also advised: “Sale description is a guide only as (the) vehicle may have unsighted damage/issues. Full inspection is recommended.”
That “damage” appears to be axe marks in 32 places in the bodywork, perhaps the result of a drunken rage or a wild party while it was relegated to a shed. Only the car knows what really happened.
Either way, the new owner, who has asked to remain anonymous, will have quite a job ahead of them returning this car to original condition.
Aside from the neglected and abused bodywork, it appears the vehicle was used for drag racing at some point in its history.
In online forums, enthusiasts mocked the fender flares that had been added to the vehicle – as they detracted from its originality – however such add-ons were popular in the 1970s.
As CarAdvice reported earlier, previous prices paid for a Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III include $640,000 for an immaculate example just four months ago.
In recent years prices have ranged upwards of $700,000. About a decade ago, one was rumoured to have changed hands for more than $1 million, though that amount was not verified or published publicly.
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