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Shannons celebrates Sports Car Centenary

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SYDNEY – July 1, 2013: Shannons will celebrate the Centenary of the world’s first ‘sports car’ at its Sydney Custom & Collectable Auction at Meguiar’s MotorEx on July 21 by putting an iconic circa 1921 Vauxhall 30/98 E-Type Velox Tourer under the gavel.

Introduced in 1913 and based on the Vauxhall Prince Henry chassis, the 30/98 was the first British sports car to reach 100 miles per hour (160km/h) in production form, something Vauxhall guaranteed it would achieve at Brooklands. It was also the first British car with a four-speed transmission.

Its designation was reportedly an amalgam of its 30 horsepower (22kW) produced at 1,000rpm and the 98HP (73kW) developed at 3,000rpm.

The Vauxhall weighed 400kgs less than a Bentley 3.0-litre, had a powerful 4.5-litre four cylinder engine and a high axle ratio and became renowned as a high-performance car that could swallow long distances with ease.

It was developed in just 71 days and went on to spawn a production run of 584 cars over a 14-year period, despite a break for World War I.

In a testament to the model’s significance, around a third of these cars still survive, including the superb 30/98 E-Type being offered at Shannons MotorEx auction.

The vehicle, chassis number E319/E447, has been in the hands of the same Australian owner for the past 45 years and was painstakingly rebuilt from a chassis frame and back axle upwards over a 20-year period from 1971-1991 to its present outstanding condition.

Correct period components from other 30/98 cars were used for the Vauxhall recommissioning, including its L-head 4.5-litre side-valve four cylinder engine stamped E447, its four-speed transmission and front axle, which bears an ‘OE 32’ factory stamping.

The Australian-made four-seater Velox tourer body of the 30/98 being auctioned also replicates the standard light and lithe factory-fitted coachwork fitted to 1920s model E-Types. While elegant, its sides were so low that rear-seat passengers were warned that they were ‘travelling at their own risk’!

Ready to rally and to embarrass 3.0-litre Bentleys, this 30/98 is expected to appeal to an international audience at its anticipated realistic selling range of $250,000-$290,000.

Also very appealing to the world market is the 1928 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Tourer that Shannons are offering at the MotorEx Auction in ‘project’ condition.

Chassis no. 24FH is the near culmination of a long-term restoration project by a Sydney panel beater, and requires only an interior to complete it.

The Phantom’s fully restored body, which came from a Packard of the same era, has been painted in period blue black and presents beautifully. Shannons understand that the car has been restored mechanically. The engine runs but because of its lengthy lay-up during restoration, they are advising potential purchasers that the car will need to be fully recommissioned.

The Phantom is expected to sell easily in the $60,000-$80,000 range to a Vintage car or Rolls-Royce enthusiast.