Car lovers raced to Donvale to catch a glimpse of a custom garage full of vintage models, helping the property sell the day before it was scheduled to go to auction.
The six-vehicle garage, which housed a 1937 Riley MPH Sprite, full size car hoist and milling machine, was a key selling point at 76 Woodhouse Rd, which sold for $1.95 million on October 25.
The property had a price guide of $1.7-$1.87 million.
Not content with picking up the keys to the five-bedroom house, the buyer is also in talks with vendor Ron Brownrigg and partner Pat about buying part of their collection.
“The funny thing is, the buyer is also a classic car collector – that’s why he appreciated the garage,” RT Edgar Manningham agent Alan Wang said.
“He wanted to talk to the vendor about the machinery, about the cars … he’s planning to buy one of the cars, also talking about the machinery in the garage.”
The buyer, who runs a luxury car hire business in Brunswick, will move into the property from Glen Iris.
He contacted Mr Wang after seeing the property in a Herald Sun article.
“Ron is very, very happy someone will keep using the garage,” Mr Wang said.
The 86-year-old vendor – a lifetime local who spent most of his career working in Blackburn and Nunawading – has had a love affair with racing since he was just a teenager.
“I’ve been interested in cars since I was 17 and I’m heading for 87 now – I’ve been involved with them for a long time,” Mr Brownrigg said.
Pride of place in his vintage workshop belongs to a restored 1928 Riley Nine Brooklands, raced by Barny Gentry in seven Australian Grand Prix between 1928 and 1937.
“I bought that as a wreck and I restored it,” Mr Brownrigg said about the car, which he has raced in since 2004.
Mr Wang said selling the property ahead of auction had reduced stress on Mr Brownrigg, who had been busily preparing the property for the day.
“He tried to clean the garden, clean the house, clean everything – at 86 you can imagine how hard it is for him,” Mr Wang said.
Other buyers that showed interest in the 2510sq m property were eager to convert the garage into a granny flat or office.
Mr Wang said low supply of housing meant buyers were willing to pay a “premium price” to get the right property.