Patané owns a number of vintage cars, mostly from the 1970s, including a 1970 Giulia Super Alfa Romeo, a 1971 GTV 105 Coupé and a Alfa Romeo Spider, circa 1975. His collection also includes a mint condition 1977 Maserati Merak SS and a 1979 GTV 116 Coupé.
I love the raw sound of the motor, at three-and-a-half thousand revs per minute
The Maserati Merak SS, complete with it sky blue velour interior, was limited to production of just 1800 cars.
“It’s like being on a stage set for an Austin Powers film,” says Patané.
“I love the raw sound of the motor, at three-and-a-half thousand revs per minute,” says Patané, who purchased the two-door coupe about 12 months ago for $110,000.
After some minor work, it now has an estimated value close to $150,000.
The 1970 Giulia Super was purchased for $5,000 in 2010 and today commands a price of more than $50,000. “But I would have spent $20,000 over the years rebuilding the motor and restoring the body,” Patané says.
The Alfa Romeo not only evokes childhood experiences for Patané, it’s also revered for its history.
“The Alfa is a jewel when it comes to vintage cars, but you need to make sure that it’s ‘honest’, meaning no major modifications,” says Patané.
Bob, from a bayside suburb in Melbourne, is also an avid collector of vintage cars.
In his small but highly coveted “stable” are two rare Bugattis, including a Peugeot Bébé designed by Ettore Bugatti in 1914.
Rebuilt from shell
Bob has meticulously pieced together these cars with what he describes as an “oily rag” look, with original parts sourced from around the world.
The shell of the Bébé was displayed in a tree out the front of a car yard in Sydney until the 1950s and went to a succession of owners, the last being in New Zealand, from where it was finally purchased by Bob.
The other Bugatti, from 1927 and daubed the “Grand Prix,” is now estimated to be worth more than $500,000.
“It’s not really about the price,” says Bob. “People who own these cars are proud of the provenance and the design.”
You feel connected to nature when you’re behind the wheel
A bright red A.C. Ace, circa 1960, brings him just as much pleasure. It was purchased from an English owner who kept it for 46 years and is now worth almost as much as the Bugattis.
The car features a two-litre Bristol motor and a sleek and curvaceous body.
“It was a highly successful racing car in its time and, as you can see, it’s in completely original condition,” says Bob, who enjoys being connected to the elements.
“You feel connected to nature when you’re behind the wheel. You’re not disconnected from the road,” he says.