HomeThe MarketAustralian record-setters heading to auction

Australian record-setters heading to auction


A pair of cars that set early Australian speed records — a 1924 Vauxhall Trans-Continental and a 1934 MG Q Type — are among those on the docket for Mossgreen’s October 14 auction as part of Motorclassica, the Australian International Concours d’elegance and Classic Motor Show in Melbourne.

1935 MG Q Type cockpit

MG launched the Q Type in 1934 on a chassis slightly narrower than that underlying its K3 model. George Harvey-Noble took a single-seat version around the Brooklands circuit at 122 mph, Mossgreen notes, and the normal two-seat version reportedly could achieve 120.

Offered at the auction is chassis No. 0257, the seventh of only eight such cars produced. It was sold new to Cec Warren of Victoria, Australia, in August 1934 and competed in speed runs on the 3-kilometer smooth sand surface of Sellick’s Beach.

MG (No. 19) in competition

Just before World War II, the car was sold to Hope Bartlett, who set a lap record for cars with engines of less than 750cc with a 3:47 time at Bathurst. After the war, the car posted a 20.1-second time in a quarter-mile sprint and finished fifth in the under 1,100cc championship road race despite suffering gearbox issues.

John G. Peek bought the car in 1948, won the car’s class in the 1951 Australian Hillclimb Championship and lowered its quarter-mile record to 19.55 seconds and then to 18.64. The car also turned a standing kilometer in 38.88.

“MG Q Type chassis 0257, whether originally dark green or black, as it is painted currently, presents a wonderful opportunity for its next owner to become a custodian of one of the purest British pre-war racing cars now available,” James Nicholls of Mossgreen is quoted in the auction house news release.
Mossgreen expects the car to sell for A$400,000 ($313,000 U.S.).

1934 MG Q Type

Vauxhall launched the OE version of its 30/98 in 1922, with a 4.2-liter engine but with no front brakes — they were added in 1923. Production ended in 1927 after 596 were produced.
Going to auction is a 1924 Vauxhall 30/98 Tourer OE86/100 that set Trans-Continental and Round Australia records.

Vauxhall encounters a river on one of its drives

OE100 was purchased as a gift for John Balmer by his mother. Balmer raced the car in hillclimbs and, with Eddie Scott, in 1936 set transcontinental records from Darwin to Adelaide, Fremantle to Adelaide and Adelaide to Melbourne. In 1938, Balmer and Richard Kent set a record by circumnavigating the Australian continent in 24 days, 11 hours, 58 minutes.

Such driving took its toll on the car, so Balmer took his car’s engine, front axle and gearbox and installed them into OE86, a similar car that had arrived in Australia at the same time as his OE100.

Repco advertisement showcases ‘Round Australia’ record

OE100 had been purchased new by R.S. Robinson as a wedding present for his fiance., Janet. The car was driven on a 300-kilometer commute as Robinson launched his dental practice.

Balmer and Robinson had become friends at the University of Melbourne and were pilots together for the Citizens Air Force, both in Australia and overseas during the war, and decided to merge the cars.

Mossgreen expects the car, now completly restored, to sell for A$330,000 ($235,000 U.S.).

1924 Vauxhall 30/98 Tourer OE86/100


Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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