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Magnificent Modifieds at Shannons Melbourne Summer Auction

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MELBOURNE – Nov 20, 2013: For many motoring enthusiasts, the cars others dream of owning are just the start of their motoring journey. They want something unique and usually much more than the manufacturer ever intended and are prepared to lavish many thousands of dollars to get it.

Shannons has a fascinating selection of these Modified classics going under the hammer at its Melbourne Summer Classic Auction on December 2.

Pride of place goes to a stunning 1953 Holden FJ Modified 'Street Machine' finished in the arresting colour scheme of Pearl Peach with a matching interior.

Originally built by Australian Custom ‘guru’ Darryl McBeth as a ‘money-no-object’ project, this custom FJ was featured in Street Machine magazine's June 1995 issue and was the joint winner of the coveted 'Street Machine of the Year' award in 1996 – the highest accolade in the Australian Custom vehicle scene.

However the FJ was not just a show pony. Equipped with a blown 327 Chev V8 and TH350 transmission – both solid-mounted to the 2x4 mild-steel full chassis – a nine-inch differential and disc brakes all round, it turned a best time at Calder of 11.9 seconds at 116mph in its heyday, making it one of the Australia’s most admired Customs.

The FJ has lost none of its magic today, although its two later owners have made improvements to render it more tractable for street use.

This has involved fitting a naturally-aspirated 350-cid Chev V8, a fuel cell has replaced its previous 20-litre drag racing fuel tank, the disc brakes are now power boosted and McBeth’s Centre Line 15-inch billets have been replaced by even more dramatic 17-inch Boyd Coddington wheels.

Shannons say the FJ would cost well over $200,000 to build today and with very little work could be upgraded to be a show stopper once again, as well as a gob-smacking road car and are quoting a guiding range of $48,000-$54,000 for this unique classic.

Also ‘out there’ and with Chev V8 power is a nicely modified left hand drive 1951 Ford F1 Pick-up that packs a well-worked small-block 327-cid V8 with World Sportsman 2 heads under its bonnet.

Re-painted last year in the BMW colour Sepang Bronze Metallic, this first generation F-series Pickup also comes with a four-speed Muncie gearbox and a 4:88 Ford 9-inch differential, with its extensive mechanical work all documented by an extensive receipt file.

According to its vendor, the Ford has travelled around 10,000 trouble-free miles since its completion. It has been fully registered in NSW and has recently been on Victorian Club plates, making it a useable and BBQ-stopping classic at the $30,000-$34,000 guiding range that Shannons are predicting.

Another fascinating Modified in the auction is a nicely presented and well-equipped 1964 Ford XP Futura 'Modified' Convertible.

Coming from long-term ownership, the Ford began its life as an XP Futura Hardtop that was professionally morphed into a fully-engineered convertible with a hood made from Mercedes-Benz canvas in 1988 by Elliot Engineering of Bayswater, Victoria.

The Ford was also repainted in its original factory metallic blue at the time of its conversion, but otherwise remains in essentially original condition.

Notable features include power-assisted front disc brakes, a 170-cid Super Pursuit engine with three-speed manual transmission, an original factory radio, heater and bucket seats.

Since its ‘haircut’ the Ford has been stored, but used on special occasions, including the weddings of each of the vendor's three daughters and the 35,358 miles shown on its odometer are believed to be correct.

Shannons expect this unique Australian Ford to sell in the $26,000-$32,000 range.

Equally ‘look at me’ is a bright red with black interior and hood Cobra Replica roadster that is believed to have covered just over 20,000km since it was completed.

This engineer-built, ‘Cobra’ was acquired by the vendor from the car’s original owner in November 2008 and is equipped with a strong Windsor 302 V8 mated to a Supra five-speed gearbox and Torana underpinnings.

The car is being sold with an engineer's certificate and current Victorian registration, with Shannons quoting a $30,000-$35,000 guiding range.

Finally, for those preferring to walk quietly but carry a big stick, there is a very rapid 1964 Jaguar Mk II ‘Improved Saloon’.

Starting life as a 1964 2.4-litre Mark II, the current owner bought this stunning Jaguar in 1996 and had Melbourne specialists Spiteri Jaguar undertake an extensive program of restoration and upgrades from 1998.

The body was stripped to bare metal and repainted in the current, stunning shade of Clarendon Blue, with chrome wire wheels and contrasting cream Connolly leather with Wilton carpet.

Under the bonnet, a reconditioned 4.2-litre block was matched to a new five-speed Getrag manual gearbox and a limited slip differential are fitted, while the suspension was overhauled with new shock absorbers and bushes at the same time.

The addition of power steering and air conditioning have made this Jaguar a very useable classic, with Shannons listing a guiding range of $32,000-$38,000.