Holden hits historic high
Two rare models push Holden to the forefront in prestige used cars, writes PAUL GOVER
AUSTRALIA’S first $1 million car could change hands before the end of the year. Bidding on rare and exotic Fords and Holdens has already seen prices top $900,000. The record stands at $920,000 paid for one of only two HRT 427 Monaro coupes last month.
The Holden result surpasses the $750,000 paid for a Ford Falcon GTHO Phase 3 last year.
Several low-key shoppers are still lurking, looking to spend $1 million or more for a Phase 3 with proven Bathurst race history.
Holden fans are also spending big. Canowindra car dealer Charlie McCarron recently refused a $900,000 bid for a 48-215 which he has pegged at $1.2 million.
And now Phil Munday, who has the oldest Holden in private hands — No.19 in the 48-215 production run— as well as a collection of other early-model humpies, is hoping he will be the one to crack the magic million.
‘‘I’d like to be the first to get $1 million for an Australian car. I probably have a couple that are worth that much,’’ Munday says.
‘‘I reckon the Goodwood car we built for Peter Brock to race in Britain in 2006 could make it. It was the last car he raced, in September of that year.’’
Chris Bowden, who sold the 427 Monaro from the Classic Throttle Shop in Sydney and has intimate knowledge of the multi-milliondollar Bowden Collection owned by his father in Queensland, believes a $1 million deal is just a question of time.
‘‘It will either be a good, proven race car or a classic old-timer — something from the track with the Brock or Moffat name attached,’’ Bowden says.
‘‘You just need the right car, with the right driver, with bulletproof provenance. For sure, we could get $1 million for the Peter Brock A9X from ’78 that is in the Bowden Collection. And we have the ’79 Bathurst winner, but we wouldn’t even entertain an offer for that.’’
Bowden says there is a lot of talk about the $1 million milestone, particularly after his latest sale.
The 427 Monaro sold to a Queenslander who goes only by the nickname ‘‘Chooka’’.
The Queenslander has one of each Monaro model since the 1960s and was very keen to add the HRT 427, which was one of only two prototypes built before the business plan for a full-scale production run of 50 cars collapsed when the probable showroom price surpassed $200,000.
The Canowindra car is still for sale and McCarron hopes it will make more than $1 million.
It is a black 48-215 and one of only 112 Holdens sold in 1948. McCarron bought it for $575 in 1970 with the deluxe option pack: leather trim, safety wheel rims and a passenger’s side sunvisor.
It still has only 35,000 kilometres on the dial.
But Munday believes his cars are better, even if he has no solid plans for a sale.
‘‘I have No.19, which has to be worth more than $1 million, but I’m not selling it,’’ he says.
‘‘Then again, if I were offered $1 million I might change my mind. It would be good to be the first.’’
Rare price: (above) Phil Munday with his immaculate 48-215 Holden and other early humpies. Left, the HRT 427 Monaro.