Aussic classic offered
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).