UPDATE Sept 29: Barry Hart's 2011 Ferrari California failed to sell at auction today after bidding stalled at $275,000. The car, forced to auction by GE Finance, would have cost around $450,000 new. It had just 349km on the clock, and a guide price from Turners of $400,000.
The Ferrari was subsequently sold by negotiation for an undisclosed price to one of the bidders.
A second vehicle, a 1969 MG also failed to sell at auction after bidding topped out at $9500, under the reserve.
Mr Hart's 2002 Aston Martin DB7, expected to sell between $50,000 to $60,000, went for $52,000.
The third vehicle, a 1958 Wolsely 6/90 decked out as a police car, sold for $6000.
Barry Hart's Ferrari California under the hammer
Sept 26: Struck-off crime barrister Barry Hart’s 2011 Ferrari California will go to auction this weekend, despite reports his former clients are claiming it and other cars.
The near-new Ferrari California (pictured) barely made it out of the showroom, with just 349km on the clock before being handed over to Turners Auctions.
The car, and several others in Mr Hart’s collection, were repossessed by GE Finance – adding to heavy financial woes, which include a $30 million-plus debt to ANZ National.
“It has barely even used a tank of gas,” Turners chief executive Graham Roberts says.
The car is a convertible GT and a reincarnation of the classic 1957 Ferrari California 250.
Turners says it features subtle air intakes on the bonnet and the side of the chassis, mirroring the distinctive features of its predecessor, but has a retractable hard-top.
Its mid-front mounted 4.3 litre V8 engine delivers 480 horsepower via a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox with F1-style paddle shifters on the steering wheel.
This "race-bred black beauty" is capable of 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds, Turners says.
It would have cost about $450,000 new.
The auction house expects it will fetch between $250,000 and $350,000 when the car is auctioned at midday on Saturday at Turners Penrose.
Mr Hart’s Ferrari will go under the hammer alongside some of his other cars – a 1969 MGC and a 2002 Aston Martin DB7.
With a six-litre V12 engine putting out 420 horsepower, the Aston Martin is expected to sell for $50,000 to $60,000.
A news website today reported one of Mr Hart’s former clients claimed he had been pledged the cars over a $150,000 debt.
Mr Roberts told NBR ONLINE there has been a number of interested people coming and making claims on the cars.
But he had spoken to GE Finance today and confirmed the sale would proceed.
Turners is aware the auction will attract a higher profile than usual because of Mr Hart’s widely publicised financial woes, and agrees it was “not a downside” for the auction.
He says he is not expecting any opposition on Saturday, but the company will be prepared.
The volume of repossessed vehicles on Turners’ books has subsided from the peak of the global financial crisis two years ago.
The company will hold one more prestige auction of classic and exotic vehicles before the end of the year.
Mr Hart’s colourful legal career was halted earlier this month when he was struck off after the New Zealand Law Society found him guilty of professional misconduct in grossly overcharging some of his clients.
He has appealed the ruling and until the appeal is heard in December he remains suspended.
But yesterday Mr Hart asked Auckland High Court if he could continue working as a lawyer until his appeal is heard in December, a request strongly opposed by the Law Society. Justice Graham Lang reserved his decision.
Earlier this month the court ordered Mr Hart to vacate a 40ha Waimauku property he no longer owns. The land was sold in a mortgagee sale by ANZ National in July.
The taxman is claiming just over $72,000 from Mr Hart’s estate and his company, BJ Hart, has been liquidated.
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