A piece of Australian petrolhead history goes up for auction later this month when Holden Torana that won the 1979 Touring Car Championship goes under the hammer with a price estimate of $850,000-1,050,000.
The 1977 Torana A9X was driven by racing legend Bob Morris as part of the Ron Hodgson Channel 7 Team in the touring car championship.
In the 1970s, the Torana was the fastest streetcar available in Australia, and for racing fans, it was always an epic battle with the XC Ford Falcon in which the Holden showed its superiority. The Torana, up for auction for the first time, campaigned for three years and finished second behind Peter Brock’s Marlboro Holden Dealer Team in the 1978 championship, before making history in 1979 with Morris behind the wheel in what was the first time a privateer team had managed to beat the factory teams to win the championship. Brockie came in second.
The current owner, Peter Briggs, bought the car in 1979 and the last time it raced was at Wanneroo in July, 1980. Since then it’s spent most of its retirement at the York Motor Museum in Western Australia.
The Morris Torana is just one of an estimated $5.8 million worth of classic cars going under the hammer at Carriageworks in Sydney on Sunday, May 28.
Cars specialist James Nicholls, from auctioneers Mossgreen says the Torana is still in running order and original condition with the 1979 livery.
“An exceptional rally car, it holds a special affection with Australian motorsports enthusiasts, and is of particular significance to the Holden brand and its list of Australian automotive sporting achievements,” he said.
But even at an estimated $1 million for a ’70s Torana, it’s not the most expensive lot – that accolade goes to a car that will make every James Bond fan’s heart race – a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 estimated at up to $1.6 million. If you miss out on that one, there’s a 1970 Aston Martin DB6 MK 2 Vantage with an estimate of up to $850,000.
That makes the 1913 Model T Ford with a $32,000-36,000 estimate look like a bargain.
The other big ticket car is a 1959 Maserati Tipo 61 “Birdcage” Recreation, with a $600,000-650,000 estimate, the most recent, a 2013 Chevrolet Corvette 60th Anniversary 427 Convertible, estimated at $135,000-145,000.
All 21 lots, which include vintage Mercedes, Porche, Ferrari and Rolls-Royce vehicles, as well as the New South Wales registration number, “36”, with a whopping estimated price of up to $440,000 will be on show at Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh, May 26-28 before Sunday’s 4pm auction.