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‘FX’ prototype achieves record Holden auction price

Thanks a million: This rare hand-built prototype of the first Holden is likely to fetch up to $1 million at auction on Saturday night.

Victorian enthusiast pays $672,000 for first Aussie-made Holden prototype

Holden logo29 Oct 2013

By RON HAMMERTON

THE first Australian-made Holden prototype fetched a Holden auction record $672,000 when the hand-made 48-215 went under the hammer at Motorclassica, in Melbourne, on Saturday night.

A Victorian buyer emerged for the rare 1947 car that was offered by Theodore Bruce Auctions on behalf of West Australian car collector Peter Briggs, who had displayed it at his York Motor Museum since acquiring it for $15,000 in 1980.

About three bidders vied for the old Humpy, with the hammer falling at $600,000. With the auctioneer’s buyer premium included, the cheque was made out for $672,000.

This price eclipses the $650,000 paid by the National Museum of Australia for the only other surviving 48-215 prototype, in 2004.

That National Museum car, which is now in Canberra, is believed to be an American-made pre-production car, built ahead of the Briggs car that is believed to be prototype No. 4 built by Holden in Fishermans Bend, Victoria, in 1947, ahead of production start up for the first Holden in 1948.

The highest price ever paid for a Holden is believed to have been $920,000 for an all-wheel-drive 7.0-litre HRT 427 coupe in 2002, but that was not at auction.

The Briggs car – registered KJ-400 – was tipped to fetch up to $1 million, but Theodore Bruce Auctions’ Peter Nicholls told GoAuto that seller Mr Briggs was pleased with the $662,000 sale.

“The seller is happy, the buyer is happy and we are happy in the middle,” he said.

A crowd of about 200 car fans watched the auction that also saw a world record price for a Lamborghini Muira P400 ($750,000).

The Lamborghini and Holden 48-215 accounted for more than half of the $2.1 million raised by all items on the night.

Other sales included $261,000 for a 1913 Alphonso XIII Hispano-Suiza and $119,000 1913 Nazzaro Tipo 2.

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