Vintage 'Treasure Chest' at Shannons Melbourne Autumn Auction


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MELBOURNE – Marc 7, 2013: A fascinating private collection of sought-after Vintage sporting cars – including a chain-driven Frazer Nash that took part in the first Australian Grand Prix meeting at Phillip Island in 1928 – is a special highlight of Shannons Melbourne Autumn Auction on April 29.

The vehicles belonging to lifelong Victorian Sporting Car Club identity and competitor Ted Hider-Smith also include four early 1920s chain-drive GN ‘specials’ (two in ‘project’ condition), a rare and very desirable 1929 Riley 9 ‘Brooklands’ Sports and two Morgans – an ‘as new’ 1984 Triking ‘Morgan Replica’ 3-Wheel Roadster and a 1937 ‘Flatnose’ Morgan Roadster.

Affectionately known in Vintage circles as the leader of the ‘chain gang’, Ted Hider-Smith was one of the VSCC’s earliest post-war members is regarded as the Australian authority on early chain-driven vehicles.

He was a regular competitor in Victorian hillclimbs at Rob Roy, Mt. Martha, Templestowe and Lakeland and took part in many VSCC Sprints initially in his chain-driven GN specials in which he often recorded the fastest time of the day, beating much more illustrious machinery – and later in his 1927 1.5- litre, side-valve Frazer Nash Sports Tourer.

To save weight, his GNs usually ran without bodywork with Hider-Smith sitting proudly atop the bare chassis in a makeshift seat.

One of the two GN Morris specials in the auction is his famous hillclimb vehicle, which features a unique twin carburettor conversion to a Morris Cowley engine, chain drive for the rear wheels via a bevel box, a Ford front axle with a transverse spring and Ford front brakes and wheels.

Hider-Smith’s other GN hillclimb special also features a four-cylinder Morris engine, but has a three-speed Morris gearbox and chain drive. The remaining two GNs are both ‘projects’, one fitted with a Morris engine and the other with an early V-Twin.

Undoubtedly one of the stars of the auction for Grand Prix historians is Hider-Smith’s early Anzani-engined, chain-driven Frazer Nash that was took part in the first Australian Grand Prix meeting at Phillip Island in 1928.

Driven by Ed Cooper, the car was forced to retire during official practice when its rear axle moved, causing its rear-only brakes to become inoperative.

Another of Ted Hider-Smith’s cars certain to attract lively International bidding is his 1929 Riley 9 ‘Brooklands’ Sports. With just 100 Riley Brooklands produced from 1928-1932, the model quickly established itself as one of the most successful racing vehicles of its time, making surviving examples sought-after by collectors and Vintage enthusiasts worldwide.

Also rare is the Triking three wheeler in the auction. Replicating a classic, 1930s Morgan three-wheeler, the Motor Guzzi-engined Trikings were built in England during the late 1970s and early 80s.

The example being auctioned is one of three imported new to Australia, but due to an anomaly in Victoria’s Motor Car Regulations they could not be registered because they did not have a reverse gear.

This vehicle has only delivery miles recorded on its odometer and is in every way a ‘new car’.

A ‘flat-rad’ Morgan 4/4 is another sought-after pre-War car from the Hider-Smith collection.

Also in the same auction, but not from the Hider-Smith Collection, is a 1921 French T.H. Schneider 4.5-litre six-cylinder Tourer, still fresh from an older restoration.

All vehicles in the Hider-Smith collection can be viewed from now until the auction at Shannons Melbourne Showrooms, 321 Warragul Road, Cheltenham.

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