ONES THAT GOT AWAY

CLIFF CHAMBERS

THE CARS WE SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT OR ARE JUST GLAD WE DIDN’T...

Tell us in 60 words the one you should have bought. Or were clever enough to snap up.

Send your tale to uniquecars@bauertrader.com.au with ‘Gotaways’ in the title

IAN BROWN - ROEBOURNE, N --W WA

1973 DINO 246 GT Sometimes listening to your mates does you no favours at all. I was working in London during the late 80s and had found a 246 GT looking a bit sorry for itself but nothing a little spivving wouldn’t sort. A trader friend convinced me that it had no potential and sold me a low mileage Vauxhall Royale coupe instead. That still smarts. 1f fff f wws s

NOVEMBER 1994 FORD XM FALCON PANEL VAN

.NOW $8,000 $18-22,000 8 18

Old Falcons once were everywhere. No one took much notice of them until suddenly there were virtually none left and enthusiastic vendors started asking massive money for once commonplace cars. This van is of particular interest; firstly for its near-showroom condition and because it hasn’t had nasty chunks taken out of the sides to accommodate load area windows.

In 1994, even the most ardent of Ford collectors would have baulked at that $8000 asking price, but in 2015 you could easily charge $10,000 more.

FEBRUARY 2004 ALFA ROMEO DUETTO SPIDER

.NOW $25,900 $55-60,000

Even if it hadn’t found immortality via a film entitled The Graduate, this most elegant of Alfa Romeos would still have become an icon of 1960s automotive design. Later versions with the chopped-off ‘Kamm’ tail lost some appeal and haven’t been able to match the pace at which original, round-tail Duettos have appreciated. This one looks to be a stand-out car; possibly one of the original batch imported in 1967 that seemed all to be white (some with black hardtops) or red. A car of this quality should surely survive and have grown in value.

DECEMBER 1994 1936 FORD V8 ROADSTER

.NOW $ 30,000 100,000- 120,000 $ 1 $

On the market in time for Christmas 1994 and looking perfect as Santa’s summer runabout, this bright red Ford Roadster would still have turned many potential owners grey with its massive $30,000 pricetag.

Hot-rodders love open-top 1930s Fords however and any cars that survive with all of their original attributes untouched are scarce and seriously expensive. A Deluxe Roadster in outstanding condition recently hit the North American market at US$90,000 and there is no reason that can’t be achieved here as well.

JANUARY 2003 ASTON MARTIN DBS

.NOW $ 100,000- 120,000 34,500 10 $1 $3

The DBS did play a role in one James Bond film but that brief glimmer of stardom wasn’t enough to send resale values soaring in the manner of ‘Goldfinger’ DB5s. Six-cylinder DBS Astons are nonetheless nice cars; many with 242kW Vantage engines that fling them along at speeds approaching 225km/h. They seemed more popular with Australian buyers than the immediately-prior DB6 and they pop up for local sale at prices far below those achieved by DB4-6 models. The lucky buyer of this one will have enjoyed a lovely car and still made some money.

OCTOBER 1989 CHEVROLET EL CAMINO

.NOW $9,000 $35-40,000

Opinions divide about where and by whom the first car-based utility was made. However the first Chevrolet El Camino certainly earned itself a place in the record books on the basis of pure effrontery. Australia saw sedans with the same massive ‘bat-wing’ fins but no El Caminos apart from a few private imports. This one was a more recent arrival and probably not in remarkable condition.

However with a parts car included it stood a big chance of being salvaged and that nine grand looks to be money well spent.

OCTOBER 1997 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 427

.NOW 39,500 $75-85,000 $ 75

People call big-block Corvettes ‘muscle cars’ but they really don’t fit a genre that was intended to describe a mid-sized sedan with a monster engine. This 7.0-litre Chevy barely has space for two but will wipe the floor with most sedan-based muscle machinery. Not a lot of big-block ‘Vettes came to Australia as new cars – lack of engine-bay space made RHD conversion a challenge. Today though we have a decent supply thanks to recent imports. This one looks to be in fine condition, however values haven’t moved dramatically and C3 versions remain relatively affordable.

APRIL 1985 LAGONDA M45

.NOW 240,000- 270,000 $ 60,000 $ $

Lagonda was a brand that battled for most of its 40 years of independent existence. The company in 1947 was bought by Aston Martin and left behind big, vastly expensive touring cars like this 4.5-litre six-cylinder and the exotic LG45. Given that the Great Depression was still heavily influencing the car industry, production of 410 M45s in one year (1935) was a good effort. A car similar to this one was offered for sale in Australia during 2014 for $185,000. More recently came another overseas at $200,000, suggesting local values should by now have topped $250,000.