IT’S happening in April, and it’s not an April Fool’s joke.

An ongoing hassle with the Tax Office has prompted the nation’s biggest classic car dealership to not only sell all its cars — many of them never before seen in Australia — but its Gosford premises as well.

It’s a sad day for the company and the Central Coast region, but it does present opportunities for classic car enthusiasts to snap up some very rare machinery, many of the vehicles unique to Australia.

The company says the dispute with the ATO centres on whether Gosford Classic Cars was entitled to the same tax exemptions as other motor dealerships.

It says it fully complied with the tax rules, but has been caught up in protracted battle with the ATO for the past three years that has badly affected its trading.

This has resulted in a significant loss in sales revenue, with car sales reducing from up to 59 car sales a month to as low as just five a month, the company said.

“Without a conclusive answer from the ATO on why the benefits available to other motor dealers are not accessible to us and given the expected lengthy time frames for resolving disputes via litigation, we could not continue to sustain the trading losses and decided to close our doors,” manager Jason Fischer said.

It’s a blow for the Central Coast, where Gosford Classic Cars employs some 40 people with future plans to extend to about 200 jobs.

“The factors that set us apart from most used-car dealerships made the business well loved in the region,” Fischer said.

“This is a major loss for the Central Coast.”

Gosford Classic Cars has now closed and the stock is to be sold in a predominantly no-reserve auction organised by Lloyds Auction House, on April 6 and 7.

There are a great many cars on the floor, the diverse range including US, Australian and Euro classics and luxury models.

From an American La France fire engine and a Humvee to a 1927 Nash Tourer and 2006 Maserati Merak.

Fancy something to justify your fondness of vodka? How about a 1968 Volga, with less than 10,000km on its odometer?

Or a Moskvitch? Maybe a Gaz?

Big US vehicles include a Hudson Hornet and a Rambler Matador, a Mercury Cougar and a ’67 Chevy Stingray and, if you want something really different, how about the Aussie Invader III LSR Jet, the record breaker built by WA’s Roscoe McGlashan?

It has a Mirage jet fighter plane engine and has been clocked at a speed camera shattering 1025km/h.

Oh, there’s a Brock Commodore too, plus scores of others, none of them in the ‘ordinary’ category.

Heard of a Dacia? an AWZ P70?

Your dream car might well be in the Gosford collection, and possibly at a bargain price.

dispute - Russian Gaz 1 - If classics don’t getcha, taxman will

CHECKOUT: Spooky tale of Tassie sportster

CHECKOUT: How a car helped elect the President

Buys

Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.