A 1977 HDT LX Torana A9X raced by John Harvey has become one of the most expensive Holdens to sell at auction, trading hands for $910,000 on the weekend.
Driven by John Harvey in Australian Touring Car Championship in the years when nine-time Bathurst winner Peter Brock had left the HDT team, the number 76 Marlboro-liveried Torana race car fell short of its $1 million-plus auction hopes.
Auctioneer Lloyds had even optimistically said it could top $2 million.
But the $910,000 price – along with the 7.5 percent ($68,250) buyer’s premium – makes it among the most expensive Holdens ever snapped up.
Earlier this year a 1969 HT Monaro race car sold at auction for $715,000 and in 2018 Brock’s 1982 and 1983 Bathurst-winning VH Commodore sold for $2.1 million.
“It was bought by a passionate Australian collector,” said Lloyds Auctions chief operations officer Lee Hames, through a PR representative.
He added the collector wishes to remain anonymous but that the car will be staying in Australia.
The racing Torana was crashed at Mount Panorama in 1978 by Harvey’s co-driver Charlie O’Brien but was repaired to later finish third in the 1979 Australian Touring Car Championship.
It has been in various hands since retiring from full time racing and was restored in 1993 before being displayed at museums in Bathurst and Phillip Island.
The sale comes as the Harvey family confirmed on social media that John Harvey was suffering from terminal lung cancer.
While the number 76 Torana was the highlight of the auction lot, it also included various spare parts and race gear claimed to be worn by Harvey.
They include “worn Jacket, boots, helmet, trophies, racing records and an enormous array of memorabilia items”.
However, Harvey’s son Gavin took to social media on the weekend claiming some of the extras were not genuine.
“It’s a complete FAKE, no doubt!!” said Gavin Harvey of the helmet.
Lloyds’ Auctions Hames said the auction market remained strong despite the turmoil of 2020.
“It never really slowed for us, we have been going strong the whole way through,” he said, pointing to everything from classic cars to jewellery, pinball machines and “man cave memorabilia”.
“People are spending more time at home, they’re looking for things to enjoy … and to make their spaces more appealing.”
Source: Lloyds Online