"These are moments that you dream about": amazing shed find
AN UNASSUMING shed on an Alstonville property has revealed one the of rarest collections in motorsport history, and set the scene for a multi-million dollar auction this weekend.
Two ultra-rare cars built by Australia's legendary F1 pioneer, Jack Brabham, are just the tip of the iceberg in collector Brian King's astonishing race car collection.
The iconic vehicles had two visiting auctioneers in 'disbelief' when they visited Mr King's property last month.
"We just though he had a few Ford Escorts," said Bill Freeman, the senior auctioneer at Gold-Coast-based Lloyds Auctions.
"We walked in and the first thing we when he pulled back the doors were 50 very rare petrol bowsers dating back to the early 20th century.
"Then he pulled the covers off a Formula 3 Brabham car, which is believed to be the most successful Brabham car ever built."
Another cover revealed a second, even more valuable Brabham car - a one-of-a-kind prototype built between 1966 and 1967. Brabham had just won the F1 world championship in 1966.
"It has a rare Cosworth engine... Cosworth only made three of these engines, they gave one to Jack Brabham, they don't know where the other one is, and the third one is sitting in the Cosworth museum in Britain," Mr Freeman said.
"These are moments that you dream about. This is like Indiana Jones stuff."
And the surprises weren't over - Mr King, an engineer by trade, also had a phenomenal set of US-made Indy cars - a 1950 Sampson, a 1947 Kurtis Kraft Offenhauser midget, a 1974 Edmunds VW 'El Toro Garage' car, and a 1985 Chevy-powered Watson.
"These cars are like they have just been made brand new... you could shave in the paintwork," Mr Freeman said.
And yet the owner himself is rather modest about his grand collection.
The auction comes about as a result of a lifestyle change, with Mr King and his wife opting to downsize and move back to Canberra after a 10 year stint on the Northern Rivers.
"I will be upset when all these cars go," he admitted, adding he was keeping just two cars "so I will have something to look at".
The auction at noon on Saturday will be broadcast to the world via the internet where anyone can bid.
Mr Freeman said interest in the collection was global.
"We've had to man our phones 24 hours a day, I was getting calls last night at 2.30 in the morning from California.
"We expect these cars to be very strong, we expect them to get serious in the six figures and it goes from there."
"To have this collection in Alstonville is unheard of. You might find one or two cars, we've found at least five very rare internationally important cars."
The King's Garage Collection is available for viewing on Friday and Saturday morning before going under the hammer at noon.
The address is 496 Pearces Creek Rd, Alstonville, on the corner of Willowbank Drive, with entry to the garage on Willowbank Drive.
It's open from 10am to 4pm on Friday and from 8am on Saturday. Bidding on every item starts at $1.