IT’S a car lover’s dream.
Some 2000 items ranging from books to posters, signs, spare parts and about 50 (mostly rare) cars will go under the hammer next week in one of the biggest motoring auctions seen in the district for many a year.
About 3000 people are expected to flock to Moama to attend the clearing auction of D’Alberto Holden Motors.
Since retiring in November last year, Ezio D’Alberto has spent most of his time preparing for next week’s auction.
The four-day sale will start in Deniliquin on Thursday, April 12 before attention shifts to the storage site in Moama for the following three days.
Ahead of the auction, anyone interested to see what is on offer can view the items for themselves at an open inspection tomorrow and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.
Even with all that time, it may still not be enough to fully appreciate all the items up for sale.
That includes a rare 1921 Model T Ford with a crank handle.
‘‘We bought that in the 1990s,’’ Ezio said.
‘‘It’s all genuine original. The only thing that’s been done is it’s been resprayed.’’
Built in Canada, the original owner accompanied his chauffeur from Melbourne to Adelaide to pick up the car.
However, the owner soon reverted back to his horse and coach. Several tyre punctures on the Model T frustrated him to the point that he put the car on blocks in his coach house, leaving the coachman to turn the engine over once a week.
There’s also a 1927 Buick and nearby is a dilapidated 1927 Chev ute.
‘‘That was from a farm at Kyabram,’’ Ezio said of the ute.
‘‘The guy’s parents owned it. It’s all original, straight from the factory. It’s drawn a bit of attention (from potential buyers).’’
Looking at the state of the 91-year-old vehicle it’s hard for the casual observer to imagine anyone wanting the ute but according to Ezio that’s exactly what car collectors are after.
‘‘It’s called a barn find,’’ he said.
‘‘That’s what people today want. They want a barn find that hasn’t been touched.
‘‘Whoever buys it will probably leave it as it is because it’s more valuable the way it is than being restored.’’
A highlight of the offering are the Group A Commodores — a Brock VK SS Group A Blue (2336km on the clock), a Brock VL SS Group A Red (5279km), a Walkinshaw VL SS Group A Met Light Blue (1271km) and a Walkinshaw VN SS Group A Red (1630km).
All four were built to race at Bathurst and had a limited production run.
The four models in the D’Alberto collection are all numbered 333.
‘‘They made 502 of the Brock VK, 750 of the Walkinshaw VL and 500 of the Brock VL,’’ Ezio said.
‘‘There was meant to be 500 of the VN but they only made 300.
‘‘Because I had 333 on the others, I requested they number the VN they gave us as 333.’’
There’s a W427 Walkinshaw with a 7-litre motor — ‘‘only 103 of them were built,’’ Ezio said — and a 1974 Statesman de Ville with a 350 V8.
‘‘Not many had that,’’ Ezio said. ‘‘Not many of them were built at all. It’s quite a rare car that one.’’
Another rare car is a 1948 Holden FX. It was owned by the late Charlie McCarron who launched Canowindra Motors in central NSW in 1959.
The Holden FX (48/215) was one of only 150 made in the first run and is one of only six left in Australia and is stamped with a body number of 46.
Mr McCarron had owned the car since the 1970s and it is also notable for having been driven around Bathurst by the legendary motorcar racing driver Peter Brock.
There’s also a 1951 FX in the collection and a 1962 EK Holden in magnificent condition which has its own interesting story behind it.
It was bought new on July 21, 1962 in Kew, Melbourne by 62-year-old Mrs M. McCracken.
She requested an unusual two tone colour scheme for the car which prompted an Australia-wide search.
The car she wanted was found in Sydney and it was delivered to Mrs McCracken in Melbourne, although she rarely drove it.
There was only 25,862 miles on the speedo in the 36 years she owned it and it was put in storage for 12 years before the next owner bought it in 1998.
With the car already in excellent condition, he took just six months to restore it to its original glory.
There’s a HD and a HR on offer and a 1970 LC GTR Torana which D’Albertos have owned for more than 35 years.
‘‘It’s all original,’’ Ezio said of the Torana.
‘‘It’s even still got the original shockers on it. Nothing’s been changed which is not bad for a 47-year-old car.
‘‘That’s drawn a lot of attention (from buyers) too.’’
There’s a left-hand-drive 1973 Cadillac Sedan de Ville which has only had the one owner who only clocked up 15,000 miles in the car.
‘‘It comes with the import papers tracking its history,’’ Ezio said.
‘‘Most of these cars here would have the owners manuals and service books in them.’’
A 1969 Chevy Corvette 427 sits among a line of Holdens.
‘‘That was the last of the steel big block engines,’’ Ezio said.
‘‘After that they went to alloy.’’
There’s an EH with an extremely rare colour, so rare that not even Ezio can describe it — salmon pink maybe.
One of only five 2000 VN Commodores used in the Sydney Olympic torch relay — and painted in the sting red colour — is also up for sale.
‘‘It has a police pack in it,’’ Ezio said which allows the flashing lights to work on top of the vehicle.
Another rare car is the VL Calais turbo five-speed manual and a 2000 VN Olympic edition which is ‘as new’ with only 400km on the clock.
And, of course, there’s the 1970 Holden GTS 186S Monaro two-door coupe.
Having been in storage for the bulk of its 48-year life, it is completely original — from its pristine interior to the original engine, the original Dunlop Guardian tyres and even the original car battery that was installed almost half a century ago.
In all that time the car has only been driven 313 miles and had just one oil change. In fact, the car is yet to have its first service.
It still has the original 186 cubic inch engine under the hood and the original black-and-white Victorian number plates in the boot still wrapped in plastic.
The car is expected to fetch about $300,000 at auction.
In fact, online bidding for the auction has begun with three or four cars up over the $100,000 and $1.3 million already committed overall.
It’s not only cars attracting interest.
A pre-1926 Shell sign is tipped to fetch $50,000 and there’s posters galore, including one with a direct VFL/AFL link featuring the words — ‘‘Help save Fitzroy and win a Holden ute’’.
Peter Brock’s race suit from 1996 is also up for sale and the dominant images of the racing legend and his memorabilia prompts a personal recollection from Ezio.
‘‘We went to Bendigo to film TV ads for Holden and Peter Brock was there,’’ Ezio said.
‘‘It was school holidays so I took my daughter Clare and an exchange student who was staying with us at the time.’’
During a lunch break, Brock spent time chatting to Clare and the exchange student.
About 10 years later, Ezio bumped into Brock and was stunned at the racing driver’s memory.
‘‘He asked me how Clare and the other girl were going like he was talking to them the day before,’’ Ezio said.
Looking around the storage shed, it was hard for Ezio to nominate any one favourite car
He first pointed to the Walkinshaw VL SS: ‘‘Just because it’s different’’.
Then it was the GTR Torana. ‘‘Because that was our era.’’
While he is looking forward to the auction wrapping up, he does admit he will probably shed a tear when he sees the last car drive away to finally close the door on his life as a car salesman which has spanned almost 50 years.
‘‘I will but what do you do? Just hang on to them until you die and have them buried with us? Or move them on to someone who’ll appreciate them.’’
‘‘It was a passion of ours,’’ Ezio said of the car dealership which he built up with his brothers.
‘‘I’m keeping fairly positive they will go to people who have that same passion.’’
The auction run by Mildura-based agents Burns and Co starts at Deniliquin on Thursday of memorabilia, old parts 640 items, books, workshop manuals, signs.
The auction starts on Thursday next week in Deniliquin and continues Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Moama.
Selling starts 9am each day with the feature motor vehicles being sold from 1pm Sunday.
An open inspection of the vehicles and other items will be held tomorrow at 17 Graham St in Moama and on Sunday from 10am.