Collectors And Investors Go For Number Plates
This 1950s Austin J40 sold for a record $9300 but it's still a cheap way to pick up an eligible Goodwood Revival race car.
The recent sales of a set of numberplates for $745,000 and a pedal car for almost $10,000 have provided strong evidence the classic car market in Australia is finally coming in from the cold.
These two Shannons auction sales on May 22 came shortly before the record-breaking sale of the ex-Bob Morris Holden Torana A9X on May 28 for $715,500, which was sold by Perth collector Peter Briggs through the action house Mossgreen.
Most surprising of all is even though the A9X last month became the most expensive Australian car ever sold at auction, its price wasn’t enough to surpass the amount paid six days earlier for two old bits of government- issue pressed tin.
The pricey plates were for New South Wales and bore the number 29 which, according to Shannons, drew enough to eclipse the previous auction record of $689,000, which was paid for the NSW number 2 plates in 2003.
Number 29, left, was worn in 1915 by a Sydney-based 26HP Minerva.
Long before it sold for a record $745,000, this number plate was worn in 1915 by a Sydney-based 26HP Minerva.
In July 2016, $530,000 was paid for the Victorian plate number 21.
The pedal car mentioned above was a beautifully restored Austin J40 dating from the 1950s.
Similarly well-restored examples of this iconic pedal car have previously sold for between $3000 and $6000, and the $9300 paid for the J40 at the May auction is believed to be a record for this pedal car.
Still, this would have to be the most cost-effective way to get a car that’s eligible to race at the Goodwood Revival in England.
The Settrington Cup is a one-make race for Austin J40s at the September historic motoring festival.
Of course, the race is open only to children, so you’ll have to race vicariously.
But you’ll still be able to say things such as “Sorry, I can’t mow the lawn, I’m preparing the race car for Goodwood”.
If you’ve noticed large numbers of classic car enthusiasts wandering the streets looking bewildered, irritable and listless, it’s not just because they own old English cars.
The other reason is, as you may have noticed, Idle Torque has been AWOL in the previous two editions of Saturday’s WestWHEELS.
Now though, after a two-week sojourn in Wednesday’s WestWHEELS, we’re back in on a Saturday, and should be here for a while.
Also, please don’t write in about that gentle dig at old English cars.
To the contrary, some have been known to be very reliable, and on a sunny day with a tailwind, can travel up to 14km with hardly any maintenance.
How close a series of letters or numbers are to a real name of word: if the match quality is high (and the numbers and letters are very convincing in making a popular word), the value of the registration plate will be higher. This means that a match like 5IMON, for the name Simon, will be worth a lot more than a more obscure set of letters and numbers that are not as convincing a match, such as S17 MMM for the name Sam.
The style of the plate: this means establishing if it is a new-style plate, an older-style format or if it is dateless or Irish, for instance. Other options are that it is a prefix-style plate or a suffix-style plate. New-style number plates, which have been produced since 2001, tend to be the least valuable because they are a bit less appealing to some collectors, plus the rule about not having plates that are newer than your car can also come into play, putting people off from buying a newer-style plate for their older car. Prefix-style number plates, which were in production between 1983 and 2001 can be more popular as more vehicles are entitled to have those licence numbers, and they may have fewer characters in total. Suffix-style plates, issued from 1963 to 1983 are relatively rare, which means they can attract higher prices than prefix-style plates and newer designs. Dateless number plates, also known as cherished number plates, were produced between 1903 and 1963 and are nearly always the most valuable number plate configurations; they have fewer digits and their dateless nature means that people can hide the age of their car. Irish number plates are similar to dateless number plates, especially because they don’t have a year identifier. They also tend to be cheaper than other types of vehicle registration plates.
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