By Leonie Thorne
How much would you spend on a 30-year-old Holden Commodore? $3,000? $30,000? How about $300,000?
The idea of old Holdens fetching as much as new Ferraris might be jaw-dropping to some, but at an auction in New South Wales over the weekend, dozens of people battled six-digit bidding wars over some rare models.
A 1988 Commodore Walkinshaw sold for $340,000 after 66 bids, and several other rare Holden models sold for more than $150,000 each.
“Holden as we know it is finished in Australia, so there’s a real sort of frenzy in relation to certain models,” Burns & Co principal and auctioneer Ashley Burns said.
“The appeal of those cars suited the taboo bikie right through to the retirement-aged investor.
“When you’ve got those [markets] competing on the car of course you’re going to have a good result.”
The 1988 Walkinshaw, an SS Group A model and one of only 750 ever made, had never been registered — which is part of why it was so desirable.
“In a way it’s a new old stock car,” Mr Burns said.
“It would be the best example of that particular model on the planet.”
Other Holdens fetching hundreds of thousands of dollars included a 1985 VK HDT Commodore Group A Brock Edition, which sold for $305,000, and a 1994 Commodore Walkinshaw that fetched $210,000.
A 1970 Holden GTS 1865 Monaro Coupe, which came with its original black-and-white Victorian number plates, sold for $240,000.
While all of the models sold “exceeded expectations” at the auction, Mr Burns said the high prices paid for the cars was not a surprise.
“It’s about supply and demand — there’s very little supply on low-kilometre Group A cars and a lot of demand,” he said.
“Of course you’re going to have a good sale.”
A lot of the buyers wouldn’t be purchasing the cars to drive, Mr Burns said, but purely for superannuation or investments.
The auction could be good news for other vintage Holden owners too, with the high prices potentially creating some equity.
The cars were sold as part of a sale of the D’Alberto Brothers’ private collection of Holden cars, which was collected across three dealerships over several years.
“The D’Albertos showed patience and they showed restraint and they showed the ability to be able to buy [the cars] initially,” Mr Burns said.
“For them to be patient and just hold the cars with low kilometres on them and not drive them — that’s not easy to do because they were made to drive.”