Aus­sic clas­sic of­fered

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - CRUISE CONTROL | -

ONE of Aus­tralia’s best-known sports car spe­cials — an Ausca Road­ster from the late 1950s — will cross the block at Shan­nons Mel­bourne Spring Auc­tion on Septem­ber 19.

De­vel­oped by then-Repco en­gi­neer Paul Eng­land in con­junc­tion with his friend Bill Hickey, the Ausca was mod­elled on Maserati’s pretty AG GCS/53 sports-rac­ing car and, with its be­spoke 16-gauge steel tubu­lar frame, proved highly com­pet­i­tive in mo­tor­sport against more fan­cied op­po­si­tion from the out­set.

Eng­land’s per­sonal Hold­en­pow­ered car made its com­pe­ti­tion de­but at Mel­bourne’s Fish­er­man’s Bend in Fe­bru­ary 1956. A small run of copies of the orig­i­nal body was made, mounted on a va­ri­ety of chas­sis, in­clud­ing MG, Tri­umph and Healey.

Now recog­nised as a part of Aus­tralia’s mo­tor­ing her­itage, the orig­i­nal Ausca was re­cently dis­played in the Shift­ing Gear ex­hi­bi­tion at the Na­tional Gallery of Vic­to­ria.

The Ausca be­ing auc­tioned is one of just a hand­ful of these im­por­tant Aus­tralian spe­cials to sur­vive, with its MGA mo­tor re­placed by a later 1800cc power unit from an MGB.

The Ausca has un­der­gone con­sid­er­able refurbishment at some point, with its fi­bre­glass shell and paint both in good con­di­tion, while its clas­si­callysim­ple cock­pit is very clean.

As the car has been set up with in­di­ca­tors and har­nessstyle seat belts for road use, Shan­nons say this rare Aus­tralian spe­cial would make a won­der­ful club car, or could be mod­i­fied to run in his­toric events. It is ex­pected to sell in the $36,000-$42,000 range on Septem­ber 19.

Clas­sic Bri­tish sports cars from the same era in the auc­tion in­clude a nice­lyre­stored 1959 Austin-Healey ‘Bug Eye’ Sprite Road­ster ($26,000-$30,000), while a well-pre­sented, UK-de­liv­ered 1974 MGB Mk II Road­ster ($10,000-$14,000) and a very de­sir­able circa-1967 AustinHealey 3000 BJ8 Mk3 Con­vert­ible com­ing from longterm own­er­ship ($40,000$50,000) are both be­ing of­fered with ‘no re­serve’.

Fi­nally from the top shelf there is a 1963 Austin-Healey 3000 BJ7 Mk II Con­vert­ible ($70,000-$78,000) and a left hand drive 1954 Chevro­let Corvette Road­ster ($100,000$115,000).

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