ONES THAT GOT AWAY

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

Tell us in 60 words the car you should have bought, or were lucky enough to buy! Send your tale to uniquecars@bauertrader.com.au with ‘Gotaways’ in the title

MAZDA RX2 COUPE In the late 90s I picked up a solid RX2 coupe to build as a tough street car. It was original down to the red paint, I was planning a 13B bridgeport with some Simmons wheels but time and money was an issue and I sold it for the lousy sum of $4,000 in 2000. I wish I had kept it!

DINO SUAREZ – ARCADIA, QLD

JUNE 2002 FERRARI 308GT4 2+2

No, not all Ferraris are red and those that come in other colours certainly catch the eye. Enquiries overseas revealed that GT4s in non-metallic dark blue aren’t common, however there are a couple in this shade currently for sale. More surprising is the money being sought for a car that over the years has ranked among the least significant of Ferraris. The Pininfarina shape admittedly wasn’t flattering but this was still the first production Ferrari V8 and its first mid-engined 2+2. People realising its significance have helped GT4 prices to almost treble since this car was for sale in 2002.

$1151 125,000 NOW $ $50,000

NOVEMBER 1988 LUKEY FORD GALAXIE R CODE

Anyone who owned a loud car in the 1960s or 70s knows Len Lukey. He probably had a hand in making the muffler for your EH or Cortina that caused the cops and your girlfriend’s dad such grief. This Galaxie, delivered in late 1962 to Lukey, is believed to be the only four-door prepared by Holman & Moody for racing. Upon arrival it still looked pretty stock; a photo taken at the Caversham circuit in 1962 shows it on standard rims with whitewall tyres. Now repainted in its original red it forms part of the Bowden Family collection and will have gained immensely in value.

$150,000+ $1 NOW $4500

JANUARY 2001 HQ HOLDEN STATESMAN 350

Just imagine if the oil crisis had arrived earlier and the Americans wanted a compact Cadillac in 1971. Just how many of these great-looking HQ Statesmans with the 5.7-litre, 350 engine could we have sold them? Of course those Chevroletsupplied engines became liabilities once oil became expensive and Holden didn’t need the aggravation. Bye bye Monaro 350 and the big-engined HQ as well. Estimates say that around 2700 of these cars were made but only a few dozen are left intact. This looks good enough to certainly be a survivor.

$55-60,000 $5 NOW $18,000 $1

SEPTEMBER 1985 ISO FIDIA

The photo is a bit grainy but readers should still get the idea that the Iso S4 Fidia is BIG. in fact it was the beefiest Italian car of its era and held the title until brained by Maserati’s 1860kg V8 Quattroporte. Iso’s GT cars were pretty decent devices but the Fidia was pure folly and just 192 were made from 1967 until 1975 when the company went belly-up. At least a couple from the 16 built in right-hand drive came to Australia and almost certainly their original owners lost money. However demand has since been revived and that $19,500 looks like smart buying.

$ $10012 120,000 NOW $19,500 $19

JANUARY 2005 PORSCHE 930

If ever there was an undervalued supercar, the Porsche 930 was it. Performance was prodigious, it certainly attracted attention and as a bonus you could actually drive one as regular transport. So why were 1970s-80s models worth so little for so long? Certainly a lot of the people who could afford a 930 couldn’t drive one properly and knew they couldn’t so wisely stayed away. But for what in 2005 was GT Falcon money, this 80,000km car had to be a huge bargain. If you were smart enough to pounce at that price and held on through the GFC your silver Porsche will have trebled in value.

$200225,000 NOW $75,000

Those who are getting on a bit will remember these little Morris vans. They were absolutely everywhere during the 1950s and 60s, used as postal vans, road service vehicles for stranded motorists and of course for bread deliveries. Most ended up as scrap or serving as garden sheds minus their narrow and incredibly tough rear axle assemblies. Those were donated in considerable numbers to speedway hot rods and early Modifieds. How many J vans survive is unknown but there is a local club and a Facebook page and a superb one that is a Summernats regular.

$10,0 $10,000+ (Restored) (Resto NOW $850 $85

DECEMBER 2003 MAZDA RX7 SERIES 3

Not quite sure how the ‘factory intercooled 12A turbo’ got there as turbo engines weren’t available in local RX7s until 1986. No matter, this a greatlooking example of the Series 3 Limited RX7 with the special alloy wheels and sunroof that distinguished these cars. Elsewhere in this issue we review the early RX7s prospects and values in detail but this vendor back in 2003 wasn’t leaving any cabbage on the table. With good kilometres and the attraction of a turbo engine maybe it may well have justified the money. Today it would have absolutely no problem.

$30-35,000 NOW $11,500