Classics on the block
One of New Zealand largest and most luxurious car auctions will be held in Wanaka this month with millions of dollars of classic cars, motorcycles and warbird aircraft going under the hammer.
Webbs Auction House chief executive officer Neil Campbell said the auction would result in up to 30 private classic cars, 20 classic motorcycles, three Warbird Aircrafts and memorabilia up for sale on March 30.
Large auctions were usually held in the North Island but there was a lot of South Island collectors selling and buying so it was decided to bring this auction south, Mr Campbell said.
All of the items on sale were from the South Island.
''I'd have to say this is the finest selection of cars we've seen in New Zealand on offer at once. There is some very rare machinery,'' Mr Neil said.
While auction lots will range in price, some of the items expected to reach more than $200,000 was 1924 3L Bentley, with a price tag of about $350,000, a 37 Packard Victoria, ''one of the most luxurious cars ever built'', and a 35 Alvis Sports 20, worth about $250,000, which was one of only 12 of the vintage vehicles in the world.
The auction house was known for high price tag car sales and last year sold a 63 Ferrari Lusso for $1.2 million.
Many of the items for sale have a rich history connected to them, including a Tiger Moth flown at the first War Birds over Wanaka airshow and a 1902 Norton motorbike, one of the oldest in the world.
The Warbirds and Wheels Visitor Attraction will host the auction, which was expected at attract several hundred people as well as overseas bidders who were expected to take part by phone or online.
So far the auction had attracted interest from buyers in the United State, Australia, the United Kingdom and Germany.
Auction lots, which include cars and motorcycles from the South Island, will be on display at the Warbirds and Wheels Visitor Attraction room March 27.
Mr Campbell urged the public to get along to check out the items and have the chance to appreciate them before they disappeared back into private collections.
Warbirds Over Wanaka general manager Ed Taylor said it would ''gauge the interest'' of those attending this year's auction and if it was a success it was hoped it would become an annual event in Wanaka.
''We want this to become an annual auction and expand it to make it a major event on the car calendar,'' Mr Taylor said.
It was hoped car shows and displays could be held at the same time, he said.
The Southland Times