Shannons Winter Auction – I Want To Blow My Life Savings (Even Money I Haven’t Saved Yet)

There are a lot of classic car auctions these days, and there’s always something of interest in them. Problem? Most of the auctions that really pique one’s interest are in places far away and selling cars that only gazillionaires can afford.

The Shannons Melbourne Winter Auction is an exception. I’d still need to be a gazillionaire to justify buying everything I’d love to own, but this is the first local auction where there’s been so many interesting cars coming up for sale at one event.

The auction is scheduled for July 21.

I’ve pegged the prices mentioned below based on the middle of the expected price range published by the auctioneer. If I had a spare $250,000 laying around, here are the cars I’d buy:

(the last one is – by far – the most exciting)

1982 Porsche 924 Turbo

Price: $5,500 (est $4K – $7K)

OK, I wouldn’t buy this actual car. It’s not a genuine 924 Turbo.

It’s a 924 with an automatic transmission that’s had a big turbo bolted on, as well as a 944 head, 944 brakes, 928 cooling and power steering. The only real downside is the automatic. Otherwise this could well be an interesting car (and yes, I find 924 Turbos interesting).

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1971 Volvo P1800E Coupe

Price: $12,000 (est $10K – $12K)

If you can find someone who genuinely doesn’t like the Volvo P1800, kick them in the nuts. This is one of the most desirable 60’s-70’s cars there is. It’s sleek, it’s stylish and best of all, it’s Scandinavian. It oozes character and a 3-million-mile version of it in the US tells you that if you look after the P1800, it’ll look after you.

On that note, this particular P1800 needs some looking after. The pre-purchase inspection report says the motor is smoky and various electrical items are non-operational. Given that P1800’s usually sell at around $20K, this seems to be factored into the expected price range.


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1960 Citroen ID19

Price $17,500 (est range $15K – $20K)

The ID range of Goddesses was a lower-cost version of the better known DS badge. So this car looks like a Goddess and has the famed suspension system but it has less power and less equipment.

The pre-purchase report says this is a good one. The hydraulics are working and the car performed well on it’s test drive. There’s a small oil leak and the bodywork shows the cars age, but is solid. In the collector car world, that’s known as patina. The description claims this car is a recent show winner, too.


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1974 Alfa Romeo Spider

Price: $12,000 (est range $10K – $14K)

The pre-purchase report says it’s running well, but with paint blemishes and some under-body surface rust. The interior looks magnificent, though.

I expected the price range to be a little higher, to be honest. Classic Alfas are starting to move and the Spider is one of those desirable models that’s never going to go out of style.

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1960 Fiat 500 Garidiniera Wagon

Price: $17,500 (est range $15K – $20K)

If I told you a classic car had minor underbody surface rust and a minor engine oil leak, you’d say that’s par for the course. If I told you it was Italian, you’d say it was completely normal. Such is the case here.

You wouldn’t want to live in a hilly place as this car only has a 2-cylinder engine, but then it weighs as much as a can of cat food. And speaking of cats, it really is the automotive equivalent of a whole internet full of kittens, isn’t it? The cute-factor is almost overwhelming.

The only downside is the speaker installation in the rear door. What a cock-up!

Extra pictures, here. This car deserves it.


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1948 Citroen Light 15 Sedan

Price $20,000 (est range $16K – $20K)

Like the 924 Turbo, above, this is a car that I would not seriously consider buying but only because I don’t have much use for, or appreciation of, such an old vehicle. But take a look – it really is hard to resist even if only as a work of art.

The inspection report says it presents beautifully inside and out and drives as good as it looks. The downside includes a number of electrical faults that would have to be fixed in order for the car to be registered.

But wow. Just wow.


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1999 Rover Mini Cooper ’40’

Price $17,500 (est range $15K – $20K) but it’s selling with no reserve, so it could be had for less.

My mate Gavin will kill me for not knowing much about this. Rather than pretend to, I’ll just post the pictures and say this looks like a nice ‘recent model’ Mini for the money.


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1964 Jaguar Mk II

Price $29,000 (est range $26K – $32K)

Could this be the ultimate gentleman racer? The bargain of the auction? Yes and no.

From the description and the inspection report (“Not tested to full capabilities – test drive reveals enormous potential”), this is one cracking old Jag that’s built to perform and a history file to prove it’s accomplishments.

The downside: you won’t be able to drive it on the road as it has a full CAMS-approved roll cage. You’ll have to be a dedicated track-day helmsmith to enjoy this one.

A veteran of two Targa Tasmania events, in 1996 and 1997, this well known Jaguar Mark II has subsequently been rebuilt to Group Nb specification for circuit racing and club events by the current owner. The car underwent a comprehensive body restoration, with the shell strengthened and a full CAMS-approved roll cage installed. The engine is an over capacity 3.8 unit, with billet steel crank and rods, forged pistons, special oil pump and special billet cams. Properly balanced, the motor has a specially fabricated inlet manifold and triple 45DCOE Webers on an extensively modified B-series cylinder head, all cooled by an aluminium radiator. The gearbox is a Needham close-ratio straight cut unit and brakes are 3 pot callipers all round, with competition pads, the car has a limited-slip diff with adjustable Watts linkage and modified lower arms plus extensively reworked suspension, with Pedders shock absorbers.


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1986 Porsche 928S

Price – $12,500 (est range $10K – $15K)

What can I say? I’ve grown to love watercooled Porsches. This is a very clean ‘S’ and the inspection report lists no faults and a meticulous history. If that’s true, then the expected price is very good value because 928’s are (finally) starting to increase in value here.


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1983 Porsche 911SC Cabriolet

I’ll mention this one because I love the color – it reminds me of the Marble White used on my old Saab 99 Turbo – but this is not one that I’d actually buy.

  1. I’d prefer a hardtop (or a targa) over a convertible.
  2. Non-turbo car with turbo badge shows questionable judgement by previous owner that has to reflect poorly on vehicle history.

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1972 Renault-Alpine A110

Price $105,000 (est range $90K – $120K)

This is the reason we’re here. This is the car that really made me sit up and take notice of this auction. It’s in the pantheon of long-term wish lists, the very definition of desirability.

I’ll shut up. Here’s a 5-minute video that actually features the car that’s being offered for sale.

I’d prefer it in plain blue, without all the racing stripes and decals. The inspection report is clean. Just get in, drive and enjoy.

The Alpine A110 is pretty rare in world terms. Having one for sale in Australia – especially one in such great condition – is truly rare. I wonder how much I can get for a kidney?

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  1. Wonderful selection Swade. Especially the French ones.
    (BTW – you’re missing a header above the white Fiat wagon I think)

    1. Thanks Pete. Header fixed. Small bit of code missing.

      And yes, the French. They (used to) do it so well.

  2. Love the A110 …. sending you a pic of my ClioV6 sitting next to that exact car … I met the owner at the time …..

    as for not knowing anything about MINI’s …. oh the shame

  3. Nice work! I remember several times going to the Alpine Affair workshops in Ringwood and seeing 3 110s being ‘done up’. Wow! And then there was the 8 Gordini in the front room, oh and a genuine 17TS Gordini customer car being serviced. French heaven.
    Nothing can match the 110 for all round design excellence and engineering pedigree for the era. Truly brilliant motoring and if the car gets to 100K then a new high water mark will have been set. Might have to go and watch!

  4. The two Citroens are incredibly cool, although I’m not that fond of the paint job on the Traction.

    I’m not sure that 928 values will ever go up much. They will always be heavy, slow and expensive to maintain. Part of the appeal of old 911s is that they are fun to drive, and relatively easy to maintain. In terms of value, they compare very well to new 911s.