A fully restored 1971 Ford Falcon XY GT-HO Phase III – which, according to The Australian newspaper, was previously owned by a Perth businessman whose investment scheme failed while owing at least $240 million to investors – sold last night for $1.15 million making it the highest price paid for an Australian-built road car.
It eclipses the $1.05 million paid for one of four HSV Maloo GTSR W1 utes, which was sold at auction earlier this month.
In 2018, a Ford Falcon GTHO Phase IV went under the hammer in a Lloyds auction for $2 million, however the car wasn't sold and it didn't change hands as the deal fell through after the auction closed.
The immaculate 1971 Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III sold last night after online bidding on Monday night “broke the internet” once bids reached the $976,000 mark.
Auction house Slattery Auctions managed to jump-start its online portal and bidding re-commenced last night – 24 hours after the original schedule – after sending a link to the final 80 bidders.
The previous night, the Slattery’s auction site collapsed due to the high number of bidders. Organisers said more than 100,000 people were watching the auction on Monday night and up to 1000 people were bidding.
Other Holdens – believed to be put to auction by the same owner as the Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III – also fetched big money, netting a combined $3 million.
Other cars sold included a 1977 Holden Torana A9X ($435,500), a 2017 HSV Maloo GTSR with 20km on the odometer ($230,500), a Bathurst edition Valiant Charger ($253,000), a 2017 HSV GTSR W1 (build number 206) fetched $365,000, and a 1971 Holden HQ Monaro – the only vehicle not to be reconditioned – sold for $171,500.
In a media statement the auction house said the fully restored 1971 Falcon GTHO Phase III was in “better condition than when it rolled off the production line”.
“It has not been driven in recent years and it’s still like a brand-new car. The team from the Ford museum in Perth had a look at it and in their opinion it’s one of the best in Australia,” the auction house claimed.
Meanwhile, Rian Gaffy from rival auction house Grays Online – who specialises in rare automotive finds – says high prices are here to stay until the novelty wears off. Or until a generation of buyers moves on.
“The surge in prices definitely has a lot to do with the COVID lockdowns and travel restrictions; people aren’t spending money on holidays,” Mr Gaffy told CarAdvice yesterday.
“The closure of Holden of course has also had a fairly strong impact on prices. And with Holden not being the face of motorsport any more, people are starting to realise there are no more Commodores and no more HSVs and they’ve decided to start collecting them.”
Mr Gaffy says the price rises won't ease any time soon. “I think it’s just getting stronger and stronger. People have reached an age where they’ve got an income to spend a bit of money on the cars they dreamed of or couldn’t afford when they were younger.”