Investors, start your engines

Petrol heads with vintage racing cars gathering dust in their garages could be holding a valuable asset, following the news that Peter Brock’s HDT VH Commodore SS, which won the 1982 and 1983 Bathurst races, sold for $2.1 million.

Hopes for another $2 million sale at the auction were dashed when Brock’s 1984 Commodore Bathurst race car, “the big banger”, was passed in at $850,000.

Lloyds Auctioneers and Valuers sold the car at an auction earlier this month, creating an Australian auction record for a car. The car was the first to win two Bathurst races in a row.

Lloyds also sold a Walkinshaw Andretti United ZB Commodore for $250,000.

A Craig Lowndes racing suit was sold for $20,000 with proceeds going to drought relief.

In all, 30 Brock cars went under the hammer at the sale. About half were passed in. They came from the collection of car enthusiast Peter Champion, who accumulated a fleet of racing cars dating back to the 1970s.

Champion opened the Brock Museum in Yeppoon, Queensland, in 2007. The museum closed in 2013 but the collection was moved to theme park Dreamworld in 2015.

Rian Gaffy, the classic car curator for Lloyds said most of the cars not sold at auction would be sold in coming weeks.

The previous record for an Australian car was $1.03 million, set in June this year when a Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III road car went to auction.

In the international market, in 2014 auctioneer Bonhams sold a Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta – one of only 39 built – for a world record price of US$38.1 million.

Bugatti’s head of tradition, Julius Kruta, says not every old car is valuable. “It should have a story,” he says.

“Also, people love competition, therefore the most sought after brands have been known for racing and for speed. Celebrity ownership is also important.”