The Best & WORST OF GOTAWAYS

WE LOCKED CLIFF CHAMBERS IN THE ARCHIVE FOR THIS SPECIAL ‘ISSUE 400’ GOTAWAYS FEATURE

CLIFF CHAMBERS

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

TOYOTA FJ40 LANDCRUISER Big bucks to upgrade from my G60 Nissan, but it felt just right. Then its alloy transfer-case cracked dragging my Bobcat along a rough track that the cast-iron case G60 had taken in its stride.

PHIL MCCREVIS - POLO FLAT, NSW T f ttt t P

APRIL 1986 PORSCHE 356 SPEEDSTER

NOW $30,000 $350- 380,000 No one can logically explain the unbridled demand for Porsche Speedsters. They aren’t especially fast or scarce – plenty seem to have survived from the 4854 built – yet auction values for exceptional cars exceed US$200,000. This 1957 model looks to be in fine condition and the vendor’s ‘$30,000 firm’ is consistent with prices being sought at the time. Local values are a little below the world mark, but the buyer of this beauty would hopefully be happy with a six-fold increase.

SINCE THEN: Early Porsche values have soared with Speedster pricing leading the charge. We said back at #311 that US$200,000 was being achieved by exceptional cars – well, amend that to $400,000.

OCTOBER 1997 LAMBORGHINI MIURA

NOW $ 199,900 1.3-1.5M $ Imagine trotting down to the BMW dealer in search of a used 318 and finding this crouched on the forecourt.

How BMW Sydney came to acquire a Lamborghini Miura went unexplained but chrome rings around the headlights suggest that this is the later ‘S’ version and one of only 150 made. Seldom-used supercars can be a source of problems so that ‘1000 miles since complete rebuild’ might not be the bonus it seemed. Even so, $200,000 a few years before Miura demand blossomed ranks this car as a major bargain.

SINCE THEN: Despite turning 50 the Miura still ranks amongst the most desirable automotive designs of all time. It took until 2014 for someone to pay $1M+ for a Miura S but sales since then have all achieved seven figure prices.

AUGUST 1990 ASTON MARTIN DB5

NOW $98,500 1.1-1.3M 9 $1 Painted in Silver Birch just like Meester Bond’s 007 car, this beauty could have sparked an international incident simply by parking within snooping distance of some well-known foreign embassies. Of the 1021 DB5s built just 57 came with the 234kW Vantage engine option, so this is an extremely rare car. The only improvements necessary would be revolving number plates and an ejector seat. At $98,500, this DB5 was pretty much top dollar for its day but around a fifth of what you’d pay now for an equivalent car.

SINCE THEN: Values as confirmed by recent sales of DB5 coupes show these cars pushing regularly to more than US$1 million. Outstanding Vantage coupes and Dropheads exceed US$2M.

NOVEMBER 1994 VOLKSWAGEN MICROBUS

$9500 $165- 200,000 Scarce even in Europe, these multi-windowed VWs are also known as Sambas and generating phenomenal prices. Recent sales included a 23-window version owned by TV chef Jamie Oliver which sold in 2009 for A$78,000.

Like Oliver’s, this Alpine model seems to have its ‘safari’ roof windows supplemented by an ultra-rare glass sunroof. The bull-bar, extra lights and massive roof-rack suggest that this one was set up for serious touring.

Did it stay here or head back to Europe?

SINCE THEN: The Kombi Van craziness has intensified.

Megalithic sums paid for Safari-top Microbuses included $202,000 for an Australian-sold car and considerably more money is available overseas.

JULY 1997 FORD XC COBRA

$38,990 $210- 240,000 South Australian Michael Finnis had a knack of finding interesting stock for his Collectible Classics yard and this ex-John Goss Cobra was a stand-out.The factory prepared XC certainly hadn’t been worn out by its 1978 Bathurst 1000 effort. The car started back in the pack and lasted just 67 laps before being retired. Its whereabouts during the ensuing 20 years weren’t explained but the car certainly looked race-ready with fat wheels and matching side-exit exhaust. The lucky buyer would now be enjoying a close to four-fold return on their $39,000 investment.

SINCE THEN: The money being paid for basic 5.8-litre Cobras has surged above $100K and you could logically expect a documented ‘Bathurst’ Option 97 Hardtop to now cost double the price of a road-car.

MAY 1987 MERCEDES-BENZ 300SL

$ 139,950 $1.2-1.5M

Even in 1987 there was no cheap ticket to 300SL ownership.

Roadsters were built from 1957- 63 but there were still only 1858 of them and rust has claimed many. The ‘Gullwing’ coupe has traditionally attracted more money than the Roadster but recent sales show the opentop cars nudging ahead. A red car similar to the one being marketed in 1987 by Duttons was recently offered for sale in Australia at $750,000 and overseas auctions have seen outstanding SLs sold for more than A$800,000.

SINCE THEN: Open-top SLs haven’t maintained their brief lead over the Gullwing (one of those sold above $4M). However the best Roadsters now easily reach $2M, with ‘driver quality’ cars slightly less.

NOVEMBER 1992 VALIANT CHARGER VH 265

$3500 $35-42,000 The early 1990s were tough times in the older-car market and finding $3500 for a Blonde – or bland – Olive base-model Charger would have been difficult indeed. In this car’s favour was very original appearance and a swag of extras including sports wheels, air-con and the 265 cube, 4.3-litre engine. If the package also included three-speed transmission then this one may have provided the base for an E38 replica, but even left alone its value during the past decade would have increased significantly.

SINCE THEN: So much car for so little money and we really hope this one has been left intact as a tribute to the ‘average Joe’ Charger. Cars like this have doubled in value and the gains are unlikely to stop there.

OCTOBER 2000 DATSUN 2000 SPORTS

$ 10,250 50-55,000 $50 You will search long and hard in today’s market without finding a 2000 Sports to match this $10,000 bargain. This ‘highscreen’ car would be among the last 2000s sold before being replaced by the 240Z and won’t generate the same collector passion as a very scarce pre-1968 version. However, it will be less claustrophobic with the top in place and comes with the bonus of original wheels and hub-caps instead of the late-model alloy rims that spoil the look of so many surviving cars.

SINCE THEN: Early, sporty Datsuns remain hard to find and money paid internationally for these and the 240Z coupe have climbed. Given the 2000’s competence as a sports car, $50,000 is till decent value.

JUNE 1996 MAZDA R100

$5500 $35-42,000 Despite the absence of its unique ribbed hubcaps – the ones fitted look like they’re from a 1960s Ford – this R100 would have attracted plenty of rotary-enthusiast attention. This was the first full-production Mazda to offer Wankel power and only a few hundred from the 95,000 made reached Australia. Most by 1996 were also missing their fragile 10A engines so this car also has authenticity in its favour. Rust was also a problem but this one seems to have escaped the tin-worm and hopefully still survives.

SINCE THEN A few crazy asking prices shouldn’t undermine the R100’s position as a significant ‘milestone’ car.

In the current market a topclass 10A is genuinely capable of $50,000.

JUNE 1993 MAZDA RX2 COUPE

$ 8,000 45-55,000 $4 While RX2 sedans remained available in Australia until 1978, the two-door version was discontinued in 1972 and ranks with the most coveted of 1970s Japanese models. Dodgy, modified cars in the current market begin at $15,000 but the few that have survived in substantially untouched condition and retaining their original 12A rotary engines can reach $30,000. Excusing the oversized wheels, this stark white coupe fits that description and will likely have tripled its 1993 asking price.

SINCE THEN: Soaring world values for early Mazda rotaries can only bring good news for owners of the ultra scarce RX-2 Coupe. USA still has some affordable cars but be wary of dodgy quality and fakes.

AUGUST 1996 HOLDEN HR SPECIAL

$1850 $18-24,000 Only during the past few years have HR values begun to gain ground on earlier-model Holdens. Fifteen years ago, a good, repainted Special on offer at less than $2000 wouldn’t have initiated a stampede, but in its favour were the 186 engine coupled to manual transmission and some useful accessories. The condition of those door trims also suggests a well-kept car.

If you bought it for anywhere near the 1996 asking price you’d be very happily sitting on a minimum 300 percent return.

SINCE THEN: Who says only rare cars can make money?

More than 250,000 HRs were made, survivors are common yet generate way more interest than a few years ago. The end of Holden production can only heighten interest.

SEPTEMBER 1989 PLYMOUTH SUPER BIRD

NZ$85,000 A$225- 250,000 NZ Classic and performance car values across the world were booming but the 1989 NZ exchange rate was in typically parlous shape – around US 59 cents per NZ$ – so this LHD Superbird most likely flapped its way back home. If it did move Trans-Tasman it would have joined a handful of similar cars now on our shores and appreciated as demand for manual-tranny ‘Birds and Daytonas increased. Excusing the strange ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ wheels, a car like this hot-looking Plymouth could today reach $150,000.

SINCE THEN: After peaking above US$500,000, the highflying Superbird’s wings have been trimmed as more come to market. Even so, the values of quite ordinary cars remain above 2011 levels.

JUNE 2003 1973 PORSCHE 911E 2.4

$39,500 $ 155- 175,000 39 175 As detailed in this month’s Buyers’ Guide, early 911s are no longer the cheap, entry-level Porsches they were a couple of decades ago. Tangerine is the most evocative colour for these cars and highlighted by classic ‘cookie-cutter’ wheels. This one is also a five speed, making it more desirable than cars with the Sportomatic transmission.

An asking price approaching $40,000 represented serious money in 2003 but demand has soared and a car in this condition may well manage six figures.

SINCE THEN: Early 911s took decades to start their journey towards being worth serious money. Once into six-figure territory though, the big prices just kept on coming and $250,000 is no longer Fantasyland.

NOVEMBER 1990 HOLDEN MONARO HQ GTS350

$ 15,900 95-110,000 $9 Even though there were no plans to race HQ Monaros, Holden kept faith with ‘muscle’ enthusiasts by continuing to import the 5.7-litre Chevrolet V8.

This HQ is a very early build with accessories like air-conditioning helping justify an asking price considerably above the $10- 12,000 that was typical at the time for a 350-engined GTS.

Values didn’t move to any great extent for almost 15 years but since 2005 the price of genuine HQ GTS350s has soared and very good cars leave no change from $60,000.

SINCE THEN: Soaring values for all manner of early Monaros have helped send asking prices for Chev-engined HQs into six-digit territory. Two-door cars typically command more than sedans and colour is significant.

FEBRUARY 1996 FORD XA FALCON GT RPO83

$16,900 $125- 135,000 (sedan) The XA GT RPO83 provided a glimpse of what might have been had the Phase IV GTHO survived. Regular Production Option 83 XAs had the massive 780cfm Holley carb as fitted to HOs plus extractor exhausts and some cars were supplied with disc-brake rear ends that would become standard with the XB model. Only 20 sedans were built in Yellow Glow and this one with its optional Globe wheels looks very tidy.

Five years ago the value would have topped six figures for an excellent return on outlay.

SINCE THEN: These cars are the closest living relatives to the revered GTHO Phase IV and potentially worth far more money than the market currently offers. Watch for continued growth.

DECEMBER 1994 HOLDEN TORANA A9X

$ 21,500 $185- 210,000 2 The four-door A9X doesn’t share the scarcity or competition record of the Hatch but they are easier to find and look almost as mean. This Mandarin Red unit with some super-sized Hotwires filling out the arches certainly looks good enough, even in cash-strapped 1994, to justify $20,000+. While the days that took cars like this one close to $200,000 are gone, someone who held their A9X through the boom and bust would still be looking at a handy gain.

SINCE THEN: Back at Issue #329 we said that the era of the $200K A9X sedan was gone.

Well, it’s back, and if $200K hasn’t been paid as yet for a four-door it will be soon; reviving the glories of muscle car ‘boom’ times.

OCTOBER 1985 FORD CORTINA 1600E

$3500 $25- 30,000 Even before punk pioneer Tom Robinson enviously sang ‘Grey Cortina’, the 1600E was pretty much a legend of Brit car culture.

Ford made around 60,000 ‘Executive’ Cortinas with Rostyle steel wheels, dash timber and the 66kW Mark 2 GT engine. None were sold new in Australia – we got instead a chintzy-looking ‘440L’ – and most UK cars went rusty or were wrecked. Private imports like this will echo local Mark 2 GT values but could be worth more if shipped back to ‘Blighty’.

SINCE THEN: Britain is the best place to start looking for a classic Cortina and even then it’s going to be tough convincing an owner to sell.

Values there will better the prices available locally for GT Mark 2s.

APRIL 2001 MASERATI 3500GT

$ 62,500 $225- 270,000 Sharing a few styling cues with the race-based 5000GT (see UC Issue #332) helped the 3500GT to become a success for Maserati but they don’t command the same kudos as the V8 model. More than 2000 were built between 1957 and 1964, with the vast majority intended for left-hand drive markets. A factory RHD car was scarce when new and a trawl through lists of 3500GT survivors revealed only a handful remaining. Based on apparently excellent condition and scarcity this car should have appreciated.

SINCE THEN: Maseratis of this age remain extremely scarce in our market and grabbing one out of Europe before prices surged would have been smart.

Quality Masers have doubled their values in five years.

AUGUST 1994 HOLDEN FX (48-215)

$7500 $35-42,000 By the mid-1990s, first-series Holdens were established ‘collector’ cars but it still took an exceptional one to prise more than $5000 from a buyer’s grip. This car with its original registration plates, collection of accessories and aerial indicating it had even scored a radio looks well worth the price. Twenty years earlier, ‘humpy’ Holdens were worthless and being crushed by the thousands. Then came a song about a bloke in Newcastle with a ‘hot FJ’ and demand surged; seeing cars similar to this one now exceed $25,000.

SINCE THEN: Spurred perhaps by $672,000 paid in 2013 for a Holden prototype, interest in the earliest of Holdens has blossomed. $20-25,000 buys an honest example, but buyers with an eye on quality are spending $40,000+

NOVEMBER 1991 FORD XY FALCON GTHO

$ 120,000 600,000+ $ No, that 3800 mileage isn’t a misprint and certainly wouldn’t want to be when the asking price was around triple the value of other Phase 3 GTHOs being sold in recession-ravaged 1991.

Low miles and documented authenticity would during the 2005-08 ‘boom’ drive GTHO values to untenable levels. An ex-Allan Moffat car also in Track Red and showing 25,000 miles sold in 2007 for a then-record $683,000. This one, if the mileage could be verified, would still be one of the most desirable Phase 3s in existence.

SINCE THEN: We never tracked down this particular car, however the mileage was apparently genuine and we can only speculate as to where GTHOs with ultra-lowmileages could be headed.

DECEMBER 1993 HOLDEN HK V8 UTILITY

$8750 $50-55,000 Think your GTS327 is rare? Take a look at the specification of this two-door HK and consider how many four-speed V8 utes were made and how many might survive. If the advertiser is to be believed, this ute with its ‘5-litre’ badging was factory ordered with the ‘307’ engine and four-speed manual transmission – which Holden’s HK literature confirms was optional on passenger and commercial versions. This one with also scored a GTS dash which would likely make it unique among the 185,000 HKs made.

Where is it now?

SINCE THEN: It’s hard to know where you might find another V8 four-speed HK ute so direct comparison is impossible.

Based on sales of passenger versions, $50,000 is the likely mark today.

JULY 1992 1954 CHEVROLET CORVETTE

$39,950 $140- 175,000 ‘America’s Own Sportscar’ emerged as a pretty sad alternative to XK Jaguars and Austin-Healeys. With no V8 available and mandatory automatic transmission, the first production Corvette would struggle to pull the head off a hydrangea – but it looked sensational. Just 3640 were built in 1954 and few would have come to Australia or been RHD converted. This car is dark – probably red – where 80 percent of ‘54s were white, adding to its scarcity. Collectors eventually forgave the ‘Vette and values soared before falling back at recent US auctions.

SINCE THEN: Up to US$200,000 has been asked for the very first Corvettes, however most owners are realistic and quickly find new owners for their cars. Locating one for sale in Australia is unlikely.

AUGUST 1994 FORD XE ESP V8

$50,000+ (MAYBE) $50,000+ (DEFINITELY) Almost 30 years have passed since Ford Australia made the fatal mistake of believing that fuel price rises would stop the country’s die-hards wanting V8-powered cars. This 4.9-litre ESP was hailed as the last-ever Aussie Falcon V8 and, although the company’s resolve lasted just nine years, it still ranks as significant. Whether the $50,000 asking price – or anything remotely close to it – was realised we don’t know. However, growing demand for the XE ESP 351 suggests some chance that this one will follow the trend.

SINCE THEN: With Ford’s manufacturing days over, Blue Oval fans are grabbing anything significant to Oz-Ford heritage.

The final Aussie XE V8 would have to be a prime catch.

OCTOBER 1985 AC ACECA

$ 16,500 $240- 275,000 2 Hardly anyone outside the UK would have heard of AC if not for a V8-engined derivative called the Cobra. It was based on the open-top Ace and the Aceca is that car’s hatchback coupe cousin. Only 151 of the first-series with 2.0-litre Bristol engines were made, so this would have been a very rare car even when new. Recent leaps in Ace values have taken the Aceca along for the ride and it is hard to now find one selling in the UK for less than A$120,000. If this car has remained here it should be worth similar money.

SINCE THEN: The Aceca and open-top Ace seemed a few years back to be off the boil but cars offered recently show revived interest. Roadsters seemingly crack US$300K and even fixed-roof cars getting close to $200,000.

MARCH 1994 FACEL VEGA HK500

$ 37,000 $245- 275,000 2 With its Chrysler Hemi engine, the HK500 was fast, luxurious and rare. Adding all-disc brakes from 1960 made it reasonably safe as well. Cost and anonymity prevented more than a handful being sold here but one report says that nine Facels now call Australia home. The big HK took its time to attract a collector following but excellent cars have begun to generate significant money in European sales. A

tired-looking HK500 was offered locally a couple of years back at around $70,000 but quality US and Euro examples can exceed $100,000.

SINCE THEN: A couple of significant cars bringing big money helped push the Facel- Vega market to record levels.

Even though it has come back a bit, the days of finding a decent HK500 for $100K are gone.

JUNE 1997 BENTLEY SPEED SIX

$400,000 $1.8-2.0M

A few jaws must have dropped when this example of postvintage royalty appeared in the pages of a ‘colonial’ motoring journal. Speed Six Bentleys were among the first cars to generate serious collector interest and among the few models that managed to exit the 1990s recession with values pretty much intact.

Prices have continued to soar, but authenticity is crucial to maximising collector appeal.

Close to A$1 million has been paid for refurbished cars and those which survive with original engines and bodywork can realise much more.

SINCE THEN: 1920s Bentleys remain highly prized and those with specialist coachwork and history sell in the $2-3 million range. Vanden Plas Tourers epitomise the classic ‘Le Mans’ look and are a little cheaper.

APRIL 1998 1963 CHEVROLET CORVETTE STING RAY

$65,000 $230- 250,000 The C2 Corvette Sting Ray had the looks it needed to challenge Jaguar’s E Type. It took until 1965 before Chevrolet offered big-block engines to ‘Vette buyers but they could still tap into plentiful performance by specifying a fuel-injected 5.3-litre. Four-speed transmission plus the ‘fuelie’ engine added more than $600 to the base coupe’s $4267 price and only 2610 of the ’63 version were sold. Scarcity keeps injected Vette values around 50% higher than for the carburetted C2.

SINCE THEN: Corvette collectors love a rarity and the 1963 ‘Fuelie’ is certainly that.

Exceptional cars have cruised past the US$200,000 mark, with ‘split’ coupes seen as more desirable than Roadsters

SEPTEMBER 1997 FERRARI 246 DINO

$110,000 $480- 550,000 1 5 Had you been one of the speculators who jumped on the 1980s Dino bandwagon, this advertisement would have delivered a savage lesson. Good cars during the pre-1991 ‘boom’ sold for up to $225,000 but within five years had burned 50-60 percent of their owners’ outlay. Overseas the carnage was worse. This one is red – always good for a Ferrari – and looks to be in decent condition. Whether it achieved the asking price is doubtful – that it is now worth considerably more than in 1997 undeniable.

SINCE THEN: Recent gains in 246 Dino values have been extraordinary but these cars have done it all before. Late- 1980s values soared to around $200K before plummeting.

Hopefully the next ‘correction’ will be kinder.

JUNE 1990 1970 VG VALIANT PACER 4BBL

$10,000 $40-45,000 Ten thousand was a lot of dollars for a Valiant in 1990, even when the car on offer was one of the surprisingly quick 4BBL VG Pacers. Chrysler built the hot-rod sedan more in hope than expectation of competition success but they actually won some races outright. This probably isn’t one of the scarce E34 Track Pack cars; more likely an E35-code Street 4BBL.

However, the engine # shown doesn’t appear in any of the Pacer databases we consulted.

Providing the Pacer has survived, its OTT asking price now looks to be a bargain.

SINCE THEN: Hard to be precise about where 4BBL Pacer prices have gone because they just don’t appear in the market that often. Given how undervalued they were, doubling in the space of five years wouldn’t surprise.

NOVEMBER 1995 CHRYSLER CL CHARGER DRIFTER

$8600 $45-55,000 1977 saw the once-exalted Charger on its final gasps and Chrysler keen to do anything that would shift remaining cars. The decals were cut-down versions of the stripes fitted to Drifter vans and cars finished in white had a special ‘strobe’ strip across the back. Just 75 were made and this is the only one seen since November 2000 when we put an orange Drifter on the magazine’s cover. Charger values since the early 2000s have zoomed and this car will today generate strong money.

SINCE THEN: Ignored except in E38/E49 ‘Bathurst’ guise, Chargers are making some market inroads. Scarcity (so long as the stripes are still there) will give the Drifter a collectible edge over more common models.

NOVEMBER 1986 PORSCHE 911RS 2.7

$79,950 $650- 800,000 Elsewhere in this issue you will find excellent reasons to spend more than $300,000 on a Porsche that a lot of people would be too nervous to drive. Twenty seven years ago, specialist dealer A.O.

Dutton must have been equally nervous at their chances of extracting $80K from a market that didn’t fully understand why the 2.7RS was destined to become hugely significant in Porsche history. This is probably a ‘Touring’ version, not the more desirable Lightweight, but its value will still have soared.

SINCE THEN: Any RS Lightweight that hits the market will virtually guarantee US$1.2 million or more. That makes for happy faces amongst the Aussie owners who handed over $300,000 for a Touring.