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Car-veat emptor! Collectors warned classic Holdens face export ban as ‘Australian protected objects’

Rare and superbly restored classics, like this FJ, are rated a key part of Australia's cultural heritage. <i>Photo: AAP</i>

Rare and superbly restored classics, like this FJ, are rated a key part of Australia's cultural heritage. Photo: AAP

A series of vintage Holdens up for auction could face an export ban if they are given “protected” cultural status.

Lloyds Auctions says it plans to put the vehicles under the hammer on Sunday, January 29, as part of a larger classic cars sale.

But the federal government says some of the Holdens – valued in the millions – could be classified as Australian Protected Objects.

The protected status bars objects of significant importance to Australia from being exported.

Other objects that enjoy the same status include sacred Indigenous artefacts, pieces of Ned Kelly’s armour and Victoria Cross honours awarded to war veterans.

Lloyds chief operations officer Lee Hames said the collection of vintage cars, which includes the Holdens, is worth tens of millions of dollars.

Foreign bidders beware

“We have notified all foreign bidders and interested parties that they face possible challenges in exporting some of these special classics,” he said.

Australian Protected Objects are broken into two tiers, class A and B, with the latter able to be exported with permission from the government.

Class B objects include items of historical significance and art.

Holdens ceased being manufactured in Australia in 2017 following failed negotiations over subsidies between US owner General Motors and the then-Abbott government.

-AAP

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