A unique 1922 Delage special was the top-selling automobile at Shannons Summer Online Auction; part of $15.2 million achieved at the 8-day auction that concluded on 1 March.
As has become the norm with these auctions, black and white heritage number plates delivered some outstanding results and accounted for $9 million of the auction’s total sales.
The 1922 Delage that topped the automobile consignments was a one-off vehicle, originally built by the proprietor of the Delage Garage in Richmond, Victoria, for his personal use.
Based on a 1922 Delage CO2 chassis matched to a Hispano-Suiza ‘8’ SOHC V8 aircraft engine of similar vintage, the retention of the car’s original chassis and front and rear axles was possible thanks to the engine’s light weight.
Proven in various allied aircraft during World War I, the liquid-cooled Hispano-Suiza 8 displaced a substantial 18.5 litres and produced “only” 261kW, but maximum torque was a stump-pulling 1,355Nm.
Replacing the inline six normally fitted to a CO2, the V8 aero engine was mated up to a Delage four-speed manual transmission, with the car’s radiator, brakes, steering gear and friction-disc front suspension retained, too.
Onto this package, a reproduction body in the style of a 1923 Delage LSR was fitted, skinned in aluminium and featuring a boat tail rear. Inside, ostrich leather was used to upholster the seats.
Initially registered in Victoria, the Delage CO2 next went to Tasmania, then the Sydney-based consignor in 2013.
Entered at Motorclassica in 2014, as well as the 2019 Australian Concours d’Elegance (taking out The Elegance award) and 2021 Sydney Harbour Concours d’Elegance (winning its class and the People’s Choice award), the Delage CO2 came to auction with a spares package, car cover, a CD documenting the engine rebuild and invoices covering the work carried out.
Believed to be one of less than ten CO2 chassis in existence, this unique creation sold for $555,000 against a pre-auction estimate of $530,000 - $580,000.
This easily trumped the next best seller; a 1956 Porsche 356A 1600 that went for $216,000 and a 1973 Holden LJ Torana XU-1 that sold for $211,500.
Other six-figure sums included $165,000 for a 2005 Porsche 911 Turbo S, $150,000 for a 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE, $136,250 for a 1964 Jaguar E-Type coupe, $134,000 for an “350 enhanced” 1971 HQ Monaro coupe, $126,500 for an earlier 1962 E-Type, $115,500 for a 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS convertible and $110,500 for a 1966 Mustang ‘A-Code’ fastback, while a 1957 Ford Thunderbird went for a surprising $117,500.
Interesting results included $44,500 for a one-off V8/4-speed manual Chrysler CL Valiant originally built for the Australian Federal Police, $62,000 for a stock 1973 HQ Belmont ute and $46,000 for a 1981 Leyland Moke Californian, while two FC Holden sedans, one restored and the other customised, sold for $50,000 and $70,000, respectively.
Perhaps the most unusual lot was a 1971 Holden HG Belmont panel van fitted with a ‘Suttons GTS Pack’. A precursor to GM-H’s factory Sandman panel van, the Suttons GTS Pack was a dealer special developed by Suttons Motors in Arncliffe, NSW. On a base-model Belmont panel van with a 253 V8 or 186 six, the Suttons GTS Pack added a GTS grille and bonnet, mag wheels, a roof rack, bodyside stripes and contrast paint on the sills and tailgate.
Advertising from C1971 shows that panel vans with the Suttons GTS Pack were available in Yellow Dolly, Plumdinger, Lina-Mint and Rally Red – all GM-H factory colours.
Despite needing interior refurbishment and showing evident rust throughout the body, the Yellow Dolly example consigned for this auction sold for $51,800.
For more results and further details from this auction, go to: shannons.com.au