November 12, 2010 / 11:11 AM / 9 years ago

"Mythical" Aussie racing car to go under the hammer

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Gentlemen, open your wallets.

A piece of Australian racing history so rare some say it approaches myth goes up for sale next week: a car once owned by motor sport legend Peter Brock.

What’s more, the 1987 red Holden VL HDT Director is said to be the car that led to Brock’s breakup with automaker Holden, which he represented for decades.

The classic Director, one of eight cars that Sotheby’s Australia expects to sell by the end of business on Tuesday, is predicted to fetch around 300,000 Australian dollars ($297,900).

“This car hasn’t even been seen by the public for nearly ten years so it’s almost mythical,” James Nicholls, National Head of Collectors’ Motorcars, told Reuters.

“The reason this car is so important is it was a very advanced car in Australia for its time.”

Considered by some aficionados the most scarce and sought-after car ever built in Australia, it was purchased for A$87,000 and restored by its owner to what Sotheby’s terms “meticulous condition.”

Sotheby’s said it has travelled only 12,000 kilometers (7,456 miles) and still has its original paint.

It also includes an “energy polarizer,” a controversial device that Brock promoted. Said to include magnets to improve handling, the polarizer was widely criticized by many in the Australian motor racing community as pseudoscience.

“It was a very, very controversial car,” said Nicholls, noting that Brock used to buy cars from Holden and personalize them as Peter Brock cars under his HPT brand.

“They started to go down divergent routes and it became a very complication relationship. Ultimately Brock wanted to go in one direction and Holden in the other direction.”

Other cars on offer include a 1937 SS Jaguar 100, a 1958 Austin-Healey 100-Six BN6 and a Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 2500 Coupe, also from 1958.

Brock was killed in a car crash at the age of 61 when the car he was racing hit a tree during a rally in Western Australia in September 2008.

Editing by Elaine Lies

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