Three Bathurst legends to cross the auction block

Shannons Bathurst auction trio

If you missed out on a GTSR W1, but you’re still itching to offload around $200K on some Aussie muscle, you’re in luck.

Three examples of Australia’s strong connection to motor racing, circa 1970-ish, are to go under the Shannons auction hammer in early May this year.

A 1969 Holden HK Monaro GTS 327 'Bathurst', a 1970 Ford XW Falcon GT-HO Phase II, and a 1971 Chrysler VH Charger R/T E38 'Bathurst' are looking for new owners, and will make their new owners very happy (and their wallets lighter) on May 8 at the Shannons Melbourne Autumn Classic Auction.

Given the recent onslaught of classic Australians emptying bank accounts at the fall of a hammer, it wouldn’t be surprising to see any of these three exceed their estimates.

The oldest of the trio, the GTS, houses a 5.4-litre Chevy small-block, married to a 4-speed manual.

The year before this specific example came to life, Bruce McPhee famously drove one to beat both Holden and Ford’s factory racing teams in the Hardie-Ferodo 500 at Mount Panorama. All three podium finishers were GTS 327s.

Though the Shannons vehicle report lists a couple of elements of the car as “requiring attention” (the engine has an oil leak and there’s “free play” in the gear linkage), it’s been owned by the same family since new.

This, along with its Bathurst nameplate and low(ish) 116,000km, should render it quite valuable to punters – Shannons reckons it’ll head out the door for between $180K-220K.

The middle child, and most likely to exceed its estimated value if recent history is anything to go by, is the XW Phase II.

With a little bit of a chequered history, including damage-by-mechanic and a subsequent engine rebuild and update, the GT-HO has still managed to retain a paper trail of its past.

So much so that Shannons knows it “ran a 14.5sec ET at the Surfers Paradise Drags in the 1970s”. It estimates a sale in the same range as the GTS.

Last, but only least in terms of its cylinder-count and estimated value, the Charger R/T is the loudest-looker of the three.

Though it’s running on a “hotter” replacement motor, the original is included in the sale, along with transmission.

Shannons says “the E38 Charger remains in fabulous condition throughout and has travelled approximately 30,000 miles since the rebuild was completed”.

Relatives of the Hemi Orange beast never made it to a Bathurst win, foiled by the blitz of Phase IIIs overall, and a Torana XU-1 in its class.

But the car is legendary in its own right, and remains one of the most collectible Mopars Australia ever produced. Thumbs up for this Charger.

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