Mercs prove their collectibility

Restored roadsters grab buyers' dollars at classic auction in Sydney

The UK-delivered 1964 'Pagoda roof' Mercedes-Benz 230SL. Photo / Supplied
The UK-delivered 1964 'Pagoda roof' Mercedes-Benz 230SL. Photo / Supplied

Two striking SL Mercedes-Benz roadsters at Shannons Sydney Autumn Classic Auction this week caught the eye of collectors, who paid $109,597 for a cream, Australian-delivered 1959 190SL and $107,217 for a red, former concours-winning 1964 Pagoda roof 230SL - both comfortably above pre-sale estimates.

Adding to the strength of the result, the nicely presented 190SL was an older restoration from a deceased estate, while the 230SL was originally a UK-delivered car that had been restored to show condition.

The 190SL previously changed hands at Shannons Melbourne Spring Classic Auction in September 2006 for $80,000, underscoring the increasing collectibility of early Mercedes-Benz roadsters.

In other stand-out car sales, a beautiful, blue, 1972 Jaguar E-Type Series 3 V12 Coupe with chrome wire wheels sold for $67,000, while a US-delivered and converted to right-hand drive 1971 Porsche 911T 2.2 Targa 5-speed manual - fresh from a comprehensive restoration - sold for $54,000.

Among the offerings, a spectacular black 1962 S Series Chrysler Valiant, that had more than $60,000 lavished on its restoration, sold for $31,933, while a modified, metallic burgundy 1956 Holden FJ Ute and a 1974 Falcon XB GS K Code 351 V8 sedan both sold for $24,000.

A wonderful private collection of 1950s and 1960s British AJS and Matchless motorcycles sold with no reserve for a total of $122,626.

Highlights included a circa 1960 Matchless G80 Typhoon 600cc solo that brought $21,000, and a circa 1964 Matchless G80CS with a competition alloy 500cc single cylinder engine went for $17,400. A striking circa 1963 Matchless G12 CSR (Competition Sprung Roadster) 650cc twin-cylinder (dubbed the Coffee Shop Racer by its rivals because of its distinctive two-into-one "Siamese" exhaust system) made $14,400.

Memorabilia lots again were in high demand, with the most interesting sales items from the estate of former Touring Car champion and journalist, the late David McKay.

McKay's period 1950s Cromwell racing helmet sold after keen bidding for $1380, his circa 1967 Seiko stopwatch that timed the Brabham open wheeler and Ferrari 250LM sports car he raced, sold for $1200 and his 1960s era racing suit, gloves and bandana brought an even more impressive $1600.

- NZ Herald

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