Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Neutral Blog & Car Reviews

A collection of stories, reviews and rants

Auction Action - Shannons Classic Auction

auction1What do you do when in Melbourne with a free night?

Hang out with one of Melbourne's best automotive photographers at the auctions of course.

We have featured a number of Shannons auction updates on our news feed over the last year but we have never had the opportunity to get along to check it out.

So when the opportunity presented we jumped at the chance to spend a night with hundreds of other motoring enthusiasts in Cheltenham in Melbourne's south.

Our good friend and photographer Joel Strickland picked us up in the city and he just happened to be driving a new SS Sportswagon courtesy of Holden. A quick ride out while sharing thoughts on the SS and we arrived in a car lover's paradise.

Finding a park was the first challenge, the scarcity of parks was the first indication of the popularity of these auctions.

auction5Walking in to what looks like a modern commercial complex soon opens to a large auction venue filled with a magnificent collection of cars that are parked only millimetres apart, walls decorated with automotive memorabilia and what looked like a country homestead with a veranda out the front.

The veranda of course is the main stage for the auctioneer and in front every seat in the house is full and many many more standing to the point that they are almost out the door.

auction4Flicking through the auction program is like flicking through a catalogue of model cars, but the amazing part is these models are 1:1 scale and are on full display.

The auction kicked off soon after we arrived and the first items up for grabs are not cars but automotive memorabilia. A great collection of memorabilia from signs, tins, lamps, gages and even a 1950's Peters Ice Cream Cone light.

Minutes into the auction and its like being in an episode of American Pickers.

The auctioneer is clearly skilled in getting the best price for each item whilst at the same time entertaining the masses and keeping the auction moving. The auction moves through a mix of items from the memorabilia to cars, numberplates and back again.

auction6What makes these events great is not only the cars but the people who attend them. A quick scan across the room and you see young guys checking out the muscle cars such as the 1974 Ford Falcon XB GT Coupe. The guys who looked like they have owned and worked in a garage their whole life, fingers permanently stained black with grease and oil, hoping to relive their love affair with a classic that they once owned.

Then there are the hunters and collectors, the professional snipers who know the value of each and every item, they know the history and they know its worth. These guys are almost like black ops with a mobile in one hand a black credit card in the other.

You have to register to bid so if you scratch your nose you won't buy a $90,000 car by accident.

It is very easy to get caught up hype of the auction, if we had registered we would have walked away with a collection of framed F1 prints, a 1972 MG replica roadster and fantastic 1965 Ford Mustang.

This could be the trap of auctions, you could get caught up in the hype and end up paying too much for something. You need to understand what it is you are bidding on.

auction2Even though there are risks there are also so rewards, the program lists a price range that you could expect an item to go for. Some items get passed in even though they are in the range and other items go way above the expected price. Some items with no reserve go for much less than you would expect.

One set of items that proved popular on the night were the number plates, some of these included combinations such as 411, 311, 5-544, 11-888 and 4-004, the highest price paid for a single number plate was $60,000. For that amount you could have bought a few cars, we were amazed that someone would pay that much for a single piece of stamped and painted metal.

As the night goes on the venue thins out, some exit immediately after a particular item, but many stay till the end as we did.

If you are a collector, an enthusiast or even just looking to have a great night out doing something different we highly recommend attending a Shannons Classic Auction.

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