Auction watch: HX Premier, EL XR6 manual, VS Statesman, R32 Skyline

We take a look at some of the best-value no-reserve lots up for grabs at this week’s Grays classic car auction


Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past 18 months, you’ll know that classic car auctions have very much become a sellers’ market. Sales prices (and therefore reserves) have been climbing weekly, which does beg the question: is there anything left for the average joe to bid on?

So, for this week’s Grays classic car auction round-up, we’re focusing only on listings that’re still cool but have no reserve, giving them a chance to sell on the cheaper side and make them more attainable. While they aren’t AU$2000 clappers, we still think they could prove to be a cheaper way into a cool ride without having to re-mortgage the house.

All the figures are accurate at the time of publication, with bidding closing from 7pm AEDT on Tuesday 22 February.

First up is this ’76 HX Holden Premier, which has a cammed 304 V8 in place of the thongslappin’ 253 it originally had.

The HX presents as a fairly tidy thing, with velour interior, a monster tacho and replica Center Line spinners.

Bidding is at $13,000, and even if that doubles, it will still be cheap for a V8 Prem.

While there’s not much more in the way of chrome-bumper metal crossing the block that doesn’t need a full resto, there’s still plenty of 90s Aussie stuff up for grabs.

The days of sub-$10K VR and VS SS Commodores are long gone, but cheaper 90s V8 Holdens like this 1998 VS Statesman can still be found.

Being a ’98 Series III actually makes this Statesman a bit of a gem, because the final runs of VS Statos and Caprices came with the roller-cam version of Holden’s 5.0-litre V8.

The Statesman name also means you get all the cool 90s luxuries like climate control, power everything and a plush interior. The car has 238,000km on the clock and the service history is well documented for the first half of its life.

With a top bid of just AU$1900, it could prove to be a bargain V8 luxo cruiser.

If you like the idea of the Stato but your preferred flavour is Ford, then this 1996 V8 EL Fairmont is the perfect alternative.

It also presents in mostly original condition, with a set of XR fish-hook alloy wheels and the dappling of luxuries you’d expect from the upmarket Fairmont.

The top current bid is only AU$2600, and we reckon that if you could nab it for less than AU$8K you’d be doing well.

For those in the market for something along those lines but with a sportier drive, this ’97 EL XR6 with three pedals and five manually selectable gears is worth a look.

It’s largely accepted that the Tickford-fettled version of Ford’s 4.0-litre Intech six-pot was just as good the V8 of the time (if not better), especially behind the T5 manual ’box.

XR6 and XR8 Falcons of this era now look likely to follow the earlier EA-ED Falcons in rising market value, so even with 247,000km on the clock, it would be wise to grab this now if you want one, especially considering the top current bid is only AU$1499!

The days of tripping over AU$20K R32 Skyline GT-Rs are long gone, with even the poorest examples now asking well over double that.

A strategy for snaring a more affordable Skyline of the period is to look at the lower-trim models, and a GTS-4 like this is the closest you’ll get – and in this particular case you’ll also get a lot more bang for your buck.

The ‘4’ in the GTS-4 name stands for 4WD, just like the GT-R. While they came with the smaller 2.0-litre RB20DET rather than the GT-R’s RB26, this car has receipts for over AU$24,000 of modifications to create the 292rwkW belter it is now. A quick glance at the extensive mods under the bonnet confirms it’s a pretty serious build.

Combine that with the widebody, Midnight Purple paint and GT-R interior and you’ve basically got yourself a mini-GT-R. With current bidding at only $19,500 and standard GTS-t/GTS-4 R32s selling for over AU$30K in good nick these days, anything less than AU$40K could be a massive win for whoever takes this one home.

Another Japanese hero car hitting the block is this Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, considered by many to be the greatest Lancer generation to wear the Evo name.

This one looks as stock as a rock, which is a rarity for any Evo, and combining that with 123,000km showing and a well-documented service history makes it a pretty tasty proposition.

The top bid of AU$45,009 may seem steep, but the current going rate of Evo IXs ranges from AU$60 to $90K, and with standard ones few and far between, it presents as quite good value. Bidding on this one closes earlier on 20 February from 7pm AEDT, so we suggest you jump on if it takes your fancy.

You can check out all the listings in this week’s Grays classic car auction by following the link here.