Unique racing cars set auction tongues wagging

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 22nd November, 2016

The Chamberlain 8, an innovative racing car built in 1928-29 with a space frame chassis, front wheel drive and independently sprung suspension, is the unique highlight among an extraordinary selection of sports and racing cars, magnificent vintage tourers and motorcycles that will go under the hammer at Mossgreen’s forthcoming Collectors’ Cars, Motorcycles & Automobilia auction in Melbourne.

Built by renowned Australian engineer Alan Hawker “Bob” Chamberlain and his brother Bill (from the enterprising Melbourne family who founded Chamberlain Tractors and Australian Ball Bearing Company), the Chamberlain 8 continued to evolve until 1935 with Bill building his own 1-litre 2-stroke engine, 4 cylinders with 8 pistons, two crankshafts and Roots-type blower.

This car is the perfect opportunity for museum curators and highly eclectic private collectors to add an unusual piece of history, highly designed masterpiece and Australian icon to their collections.

The auction will be held from 2.30pm Sunday November 27 at Lorbek Luxury Cars, 327 Plummer Street, Port Melbourne.

Another headline grabber is the Molina Monza, built and raced by Melbourne restaurant identity Lou Molina.

This unique racing car appeared in the race scene of the 1959 film “On the Beach” starring Gregory Peck and based on Nevil Shute’s post-apocalyptic novel.

The Molina Monza features a front mounted 2.1-litre straight six-cylinder Roots-type supercharged Holden Grey engine with Repco Highpower head and four speed manual transmission.

Both the Molina Monza and Chamberlain 8 featured in the National Gallery of Victoria Shifting Gears Design Innovation and the 2015 Australian Car exhibition.

Collectors should be fascinated by another auction highlight – the rare 1938 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina Cabriolet, one of the most important pre-war motor cars.

This vehicle is believed to have been delivered new to the Italian Ambassador in London and has been held in current ownership for the past 44 years.

Slightly earlier models of the Lancia Astura won this year’s two most celebrated Concorso events.

In May, at the Concorso d”Eleganze Villa d’Este, the Coppa d’Oro went to the 1933 Lancia Astura Series II with a Berlinetta body by Castagna, while in August the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance best of show winner was a 1936 version of the car for auction.

The 1938 vehicle is joined by more recent versions in the auction including the highly original 1963 Lancia Flaminia 2.8 GT Touring Superleggerra, a 1969 Lancia Fulvia HF Fanalone 1600 and a 1991 Lancia Delta Integrale Evoluzione 1.

Collector hearts should beat a little faster at the sight of a 1934 Lagonda M45 Rapide, which appeared on the front cover of the December 1934 issue of Motorsport magazine and has been in the same family since new.

Other pre-war cars include a 1928 Rolls Royce Phantom I, chassis number 24FH, with excellent provenance and a rare 1911 Hotchkiss four0-cylinder in very good order.

Other highlights include an Australian delivered, a fully restored 1971 Ferrari Dino 246GT, a 1977 Aston Martin V8 Coupe, and a low mileage 1954 Jaguar XK120 drop head coupéwith heritage certificate, owned by the vendor for the last 38 years.

There also is a fine example of the much sought after Jensen CV8, a resplendent orange Ford Escort LotusTwin Cam and a beautiful 1976 Ferrari 308 GT4.

Another interesting machine is the 1996 Julien et Boyer Matra-Honda500cc Land Speed Record Car accompanied with the original concept drawings and the speed attempt technical records. 

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