ONES THAT GOT AWAY

Lost or Lucky?

CLIFF CHAMBERS

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

Lost or Lucky?

Tell us in 60 words the car you should have bought, or were lucky enough to buy!

CLASSIC CAR AUCTIONS FIND YOUR NEXT CLASSIC CAR AT: NISSAN PULSAR GTI-R Me and my greatest error of judgment. I bought the Pulsar sight unseen. The drive home was epic right up until I decided that I’d get all Ari Vatanen on a shortcut gravel road. Three hairpins in, I had a slight lose and terminally clouted a stringybark.

MIKE ARTUKOVICH - TECOMA, VIC

NOW $ 30,000 $270- 300,000 3

JUNE 1986 ALFA ROMEO 2500 SS BY TOURING

This doesn’t look bad at all for a car about to enter its 50th year and remarkable now that it is approaching 80. Alfa’s 2500 6C (six cylinder) had since the 1920s typified sports car desirability but by 1939 when the Superleggera coupe appeared it was in need of a revamp. Despite World War II intervening, 413 cars in this body style were made, including this 1947 version.

It or one very similar with Australian history was offered for sale in Britain a few years back and the winning bid was said to be a heady US$245,000. Where it is now remains unclear.

NOW $2100 $4500- 6500

DECEMBER 2009 DATSUN BLUEBIRD WAGON

Back in the 1960s people were making jokes about Japanese car names and treating them as a fad that wouldn’t last. Wrong. Anyone who bought a Bluebird with its almost lavish interior and peppy 1.3-litre engine would have owned a fine little family wagon and paid not a lot of money. Sadly not much resale value either.

With the exception of Toyota Coronas that hung around for decades and Datsun 1600s that were reborn as rally cars, older Japanese models were by 2009 very scarce. This 1967 version looks tatty but sound and hopefully it survived.

NOW $1750 $3-5000

JUNE 1990 MORRIS MARINA WAGON

If you don’t have fond memories, or any memory at all, of the Morris Marina you won’t be alone.

Australia saw them with sedan and coupe bodywork – a few fitted with 2.6-litre engines – but no one thought of offering a wagon in this country. This one was most likely a personal import, accompanying a UK migrant who just could not leave his/her Marina behind. Once in Australia the attraction faded and that asking price would only have been viable with the ‘1’ knocked of the front. Little hope that this oftenderided Brit model might still be in our midst.

$48,000 $115- 130,000

JUNE 2004 FALCON XR GT

Happy Half Century to the car that changed Australian motoring forever. Before April 1967 we had built performance cars based on production models but there had never been a purpose-built, V8-powered performance car like the XR GT. Only 596 were made and they won the Bathurst 500 at their only attempt. XRs then sat pretty much in the shadows until 2004-05 when serious bucks became available for outstanding GTs. Today the stampede is on again; six-digit values commonplace for restored or original cars with correct components.

$7250 $13- 16,000 7

JULY 1986 JAGUAR 420

This one will stretch the strings of objectivity. From 1983 until shortly after the July 1986 issue of Unique Cars appeared, this elegant-looking Jaguar was my car. The colour was officially ‘Opalescent Maroon’, the motor excellent with very few leaks. Hardly a bush, spring or brake component had not been replaced and it would screech enjoyably around race-tracks on club Sprint days. It sold within days of being advertised and to my knowledge never appeared again at a Jaguar club day or other motoring event.

If it survives, HJJ 736 will still be providing lots of enjoyment.

$22,000 $25-40,000

NOVEMBER 2003 PANDARUS

According to the comprehensive web-site devoted to Pandarus Cars, this is the 4th of just five examples built. It is said to be the only one with a 3.5-litre Rover V8, not the 4.4-litre Leyland. Its body is fibreglass and attached to a modified Toyota Crown chassis. The cars were designed by Colin Simmonds and, as kits, priced at $8995. Completed in the Simmonds brothers’ Victorian workshop a Pandarus could be road-ready at around $18,000. Finding one for sale today could prove challenging and price is very dependent on specification and condition.

$6000 $55-60,000

JULY 2001 HOLDEN HT MONARO 186

Money paid for ‘Bathurst’ Monaros recently passed a major milestone and the values of lesser versions will now certainly flourish.

Looking back to 2001 when the money available for GTS327 or 350 versions hovered around $15,000, would a six-cylinder HT at $6000 represent value? In the case of this car the answer is probably ‘yes’ because very few would have been preserved in such authentic condition. Finding comparable cars in today’s market is even harder because so many basemodel Monaros have become ‘clones’ of the GTS V8 versions.