The West

Idle Torque: Ferrari s howl
Organised gatherings of rare cars are fun, but being surprised by one on a lonely Perth street was like passing a movie star while walking your dog. Supplied picture

_IT HAPPENED _more than 25 years ago, but I will never forget one of the most freakishly unexpected and out-of-context car sightings I've experienced.

I was riding my bike at night on a deserted western suburbs street when a Ferrari 330 GT howled past. Long after its unmistakable tail-lights had disappeared into the night, its engine was still in earshot.

Seeing such a rare purebred rumbling along a quiet Perth street was like passing a movie star while walking the dog.

It was gone as quickly as it appeared and suddenly I was back to being surrounded by everyday vehicular riffraff.

If that was my response to seeing one rare Ferrari, I wonder what it would have been like to see 60 of them at once.

That many did congregate at the Silverstone grand prix circuit in the UK on July 22 to mark the Ferrari F40's 25th birthday.

The noise alone of those 480 turbocharged cylinders must have been staggering. But I think the experience of seeing just that one 330 GT, so far from its birthplace and right next to me on a Perth road, was more memorable simply because it was such a welcome surprise.

What's the most surprising random car sighting you've had in WA? Email your responses to and we'll mention them in coming weeks.


It's not often that a group of cars once owned by royalty is offered at auction.

But that's just what happened on July 26, when 38 cars from the collection of the late HSH Prince Rainier of Monaco were auctioned in his home town.

Surprising many market experts were the high prices paid for what were mostly - apart from their royal ownership histories - relatively common classic cars.

According to the auction house, Paris-based Artcurial, most of the cars in the sale sold for at least twice their pre-auction estimates.

Prince Rainier's personal car, a 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC AMG, had been estimated to sell for between $17,500-$29,200. It eventually sold for $137,300.

By way of comparison, at the time of writing there was a 500 SEC for sale in Margaret River for $13,500. Although, critically, there was no mention of it having been touched by the hands of AMG or royalty.


AUGUST 18-19
Hot Rod & Street Machine Spectacular, Burswood Dome.
Father’s Day Hot Rod Show, St Patrick’s Primary School, Fremantle, 10am-4pm.
Phone 0417 767 566.
Shannons One-day Classic Rally, Perth and surrounds.
Midwest Show ’n’ Shine, Maitland Park, Geraldton.
Phone 0418 939 285 or visit
GM Muscle Car Heaven, Cannington Greyhound Track.
Phone 0410 437 136 or visit

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