A government department has made an extraordinary last-minute intervention before a rare Holden Monaro is expected to fetch $1 million at auction on Saturday.
Lloyds Auctions revealed that the federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications had contacted it to block the car from leaving Australia.
The reasoning is that the historic vehicle could be classified as an "Australian Protected Object".
Old Holdens have become especially more sought-after since the February decision by US parent company General Motors to end the brand.
Lloyds Auctions chief operations officer Lee Hames supported the prohibition.
"We have been recommending General Motors buys this car and donates it to an Australian museum as a parting gift for them leaving the country," he said.
The particular Torana on sale Saturday was the first of its kind – it was the vehicle that started Holden's motor racing history.
Hames said earlier in the week it would become "the most expensive Holden ever".
“While we’re seeing rare classic cars like Holden Toranas and GT Falcons selling for hundreds of thousands, none have the colourful backstory or cultural significance of this Monaro, which is what makes it so rare and special."
The online auction takes place at midday AEST on Saturday.