There are some things you just do without question; acts that are almost mandatory given another related occurrence. You never change oil without also changing the filter, and you never get behind the wheel without first belting up. In what’s becoming somewhat of a similar ritual, you never make a visit to Sydney without also stopping in at Classic Throttle Shop.
In the 21st century we are connected to the world in an unprecedented way – I’ll bet at least some of you are even reading this from the bathroom. The impact of technology is changing the world forever and can be felt everywhere in our society; even frontiers seemingly unrelated are being forced to adapt or die. For example, the internet is replacing newspapers as a primary method of news delivery which leaves the door open for magazines to deliver a material experience, and online shopping is apparently devastating the retail industry. Adapt or die, right?
Any smart business person will tell you that a threat is often opportunity in disguise, and what we’re learning is that technology can’t deliver an experience. Industry leader Deus ex Machina is brilliant at delivering an experience, and new players like Zen Garage are fast catching up. I’m sure the Peel Microcar sitting on the shelf in this image is a hint at where I’m going with this, which is why Classic Throttle Shop has quickly become an essential Sydney destination. I wonder how many people with the necessary means stop by for a relaxing Saturday morning coffee only to spot a lithe Porsche 911 in the corner, stew over it for the weekend and then return during the week to make a purchase.
Case in point – this track inspired but oh-so-clean E30 M3. It made me weak at the knees on first sight, and had I the means it would be eating away at me right now. And the fact that it was converted to right-hand drive at brand new in the UK by the dealer just sweetens it further.
The car has been mothballed for the last 36 years, and still wears its last registration sticker from 1979. It unfortunately received a low quality paint change from its original Light Grey to British Racing Green at some point, however they think that with enough patience and enthusiasm it might be possible to rejuvenate the original colour.
Other than paint the car is all original, and still has all of those little clips and clamps and stickers that are usually lost during years of continual use and renovation, as well as the original Ferris radio. A careful recommissioning process would make this one of the most interesting E-Type’s around, and as such the price was listed as POA.
You can find pretty much anything at Classic Throttle Shop provided it is somewhat of interest and in immaculate condition, such as this ’76 Ford Escort RS2000 which carries an interesting tale. Before the RS2000 was built here, Ford Australia imported 25 examples from Germany to meet the CAMS homologation rules for Group C racing. This allowed the factory to enter Bathurst and other races/rallies with the RS2000, and many of those 25 homologation road cars were used for this purpose by privateers. This example has been a road car its whole life, and benefited from a full restoration in 2007 when it was built up to the period Group C regulations using a ton of unobtainable Ford/Ford Motorsport parts. It is fitted with such goodies as a Quaife quick rack, Quaife LSD, Ford Motorsport Group 1 struts, radiator, dipstick, airbox, Ford type 9 5 speed gearbox with Quaife internals, Ford Motorsport Group 1 boot mounted 69l fuel tank and original twin Weber 44IDF’s with Ford Motorsport tags. They reckon its the closest thing to a brand new RS2000 Group 1 you’ll ever get.
Keeping with the fast Ford theme but this time a home-grown example is this original, unrestored matching numbers 1971 XY GTHO Phase III. $320,000 is a lot of money for a car that really wasn’t that great even when it was new (lots of power… nothing else), but they have a bit of charm these days and $320k seems reasonable in comparison with the rumored $1,000,000 they were trading for less than a decade ago.
A thorough restoration can turn a tatty car into a concours winner, however there’s simply no substitute for a car that’s simply been well looked after over its 43 year life. I’d take a car like this any day over a freshly restored show queen.
Whilst I do prefer quality original cars, you can’t knock the sheer presence of an A-class restoration like this 1937 BMW 327. Its $199k asking price is likely less than the cost of its professional restoration, too.
… and for those with a competition bent, a 1955 Jaguar D-Type Toolroom Replica, built in 1980 by Classic Autocraft. It may have the word ‘replica’ in its name but this is far from some of the fiberglass kit cars you see – this is a complete, rivet for rivet facsimile of the original, using many original parts such as the wheels. It has the correct stressed and riveted aluminum tub with bolted sub frame, torsion bar suspension and a 3.8 motor built to the correct specs using identical components and impossible to find but original Weber DC03 carburetors. It is an exact D-Type for all intensive purposes.
The cafe was sadly closed for renovations during Any Given Reason’s visit, however the guys told me to poke my head around anyway to see this stunning pair of early Porsche 911′s attempting to beautify the construction site.
This 1969 911S is the 24th car of of 1492 built that year and wears its original Tangerine colour. It was fitted with some tasteful period modifications, equal in their subtlety and appropriateness such as the pea shooter exhaust…
With my early 911 cravings satisfied I headed up stairs, only to discover a mean 968CS track car and this ’73 Carrera RS. With no further details on the car it was tricky to determine if it was an original or not, but I suspect it may be a replica. Not to worry though, because as far as original Carrera RS’ go I think you’d probably have more fun in a decent replica anyway.
Sitting along one wall was this Historic Group S prepared 1968 911T, in my opinion the best Porsche buy of the day. It lacks the originality of the ones downstairs which is sure to displease the purists, but its $104,000 price tag makes it $31,000 cheaper than the Tangerine 911S and its 200hp 2.0 six with titanium rods and valves, hollow torsion bars, Billstein shocks, hand made stainless exhaust and a Quaife short ratio box would surely make it bucket loads more fun. And it’s road registered, too!
Built as a limited edition with revised engine, turbo, suspension and those lovely Cup wheels, this Turbo S is an English car and has been in an Australian collection since its importation a few years ago.
Alongside the Pagoda was a pristine 280SE fitted with the ultimate period accessory – a Becker Mexico radio. A quick scan on eBay revealed several $1200+ asking prices for Mexico’s just like this one.
There were a few more cars of interest on the split level just below, the standout of which was easily this 1992 Lancia Delta Integrale Evoluzione 1 Martini special edition, converted to right hand drive. The pumped and flared guards of the Evo’s are something special, and this low mileage example looks to be one of the best.
With fear of overstaying my welcome I decided it best to head back to Circular Quay, across the Harbor Bridge as I dodged the pointing and marveling tourists snapping shots of the Opera House. They may have been joyous at finally seeing the sights of Sydney, but with the scents of stale fuel and old leather still imbedded fresh in my mind I felt happier than all of them combined.
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