Thirty of the country’s top classic cars in the collection of Wellington businessman Roy Savage will be auctioned in early December.
They include a 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL, a 1955 Jaguar XK140 fixed-head coupe, a 1969 Jaguar E-Type and a 1965 Austin-Healey BJ8 3000 Mk 111.
Savage developed a Lower Hutt company, that began selling industrial gloves, and built it into New Zealand Safety, that, when he sold it, employed 400 people and had a turnover of about $100 million a year, with branches throughout New Zealand and in Australia.
1965 Austin-Healey 3000 BJ8 with hard top. Picture/Supplied.
Auction house Mossgreen-Webb’s says the cars, to be auctioned at the Southward Car Museum, north of Wellington, on December 4, represent one of the most interesting collections of classic cars offered in this country.
“This collection offers original and rare examples from the 20th century, with an emphasis on the post-war British period,” it says.
Savage’s interest in machines and automobilia started when he was a boy spending his holidays with his cousins on their family farm.
Receiving his driver’s licence at 15 enabled him to “adopt” his mother’s Morris Minor and, soon, the proceeds from various after-school jobs allowed the purchase of his first vehicle, a James 125cc motorbike, which was later upgraded to a BSA B31 350cc.
1969 Jaguar E-Type Series 2 4.2. Picture/Supplied
A sports car seemed to be the next logical step – and an Allard Palm Beach filled that bill until marriage and a family meant more practical cars were required.
A friendship with car enthusiast Bill Pyne, and the purchase of his 1929 Model A Ford in 1975, inspired a notion of owning “extra” vehicles for recreational use. MG and Jaguar were the chosen marques at first, inspired by boyhood images of Spitfire pilots and Stirling Moss. Since 1975, Savage has collected mostly British vehicles.
Mossgreen-Webb’s says each car has the right to be called “classic” because it has achieved some initial acclaim, while maintaining appeal in design and driving.
Savage focused his collecting on examples with low mileages, in original condition, and with ownership and service records.
Among the auction’s highlights will be a red 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL automatic, one of three Savage and his wife have owned. It has travelled 73,000 miles, and is worth $130,000 to $150,000.
1955 Jaguar XK 140 FHC. Picture/Supplied.
Among the Jaguars to be auctioned is a 1955 XK140 fixed-head coupe, worth $120,000 to $140,000, and a 1969 E-Type, worth $85,000 to $105,000.
Among the Mk 2 Jaguars to be auctioned is a 1966, 3.8 manual, worth between $40,000 and $52,000, and a 1967, 2.4 manual, worth $19,000 to $24,000.
Two classic Triumph models will also go up for auction: a white 1965 Herald 13/60, worth between $5000 and $8000, and a 1975 pale blue 2500 TC sedan, estimated to be worth between $3500 to $5500.