Heed Aussie Post’s advice?
YYou’re excused if you failed to take note of Australasian Post sage muscle car investment advice 25 years ago. After all, it was easy to get distracted by buxom barmaids, dwarf throwing contests, searches for Elton John’s twin and donkey races with dogs as jockeys.
Who knew Aussie Post would prove prophetic? In April 1989 it ran a feature story on the rapidly rising values of Aussie muscle under the dramatic headline, ‘Make 500 per cent profit on your car’. It was reported that after the 1987 stock market crash muscle cars were now excellent investment opportunities.
“Ford GTs from the late 1960s and early ’70s, even without total restoration, fetch an easy $6000 and the rarer classics such as the race-going GTHOs, if restored well, demand higher price tags – up to ten times their original cost.”
Robert Shannon from Shannon’s Classic Cars (now Shannons Auctions and Insurance) was quoted in the story, predicting that Australian muscle cars were about to take off in a big way.
At that stage a Ford Falcon GT-HO Phase III in top condition had an estimated value of $60,000, the XY GT was worth $30,000, a Holden Monaro GTS 350 was $16,500 and a Valiant Charger R/T was $10,000. The A9X and L34 Torana were both estimated in the mid $20,000 range.
And based on current market values, that 500 per cent profit prediction was pretty accurate. According to Christophe Boribon from Shannons Auctions, this is what those muscle car classics are worth today. 1971 Ford XY Falcon GT-HO Phase III: $275-400K 1971 Ford XY Falcon GT: $100-150K 1968 Holden HK Monaro GTS 327: $100-150K 1969 Holden HT Monaro GTS 350: $100-150K 1971 Chrysler Charger R/T E38: $80-120K 1972 Chrysler Charger R/T E49: $100-150K 1975 Holden LH Torana L34: $80-120K. 1977 Holden LX Torana A9X sedan: $100-140K 1977 Holden LX Torana A9X hatchback: $120-180K These estimates are for cars in very good to excellent condition, correctly presented with matching numbers, correct factory colours, no modifications and with good provenance. Christophe adds that if you went back to pre-GFC days (2006-07) these values would have been at least 10 per cent higher. Several Phase IIIs sold for in excess of half a million. What has changed since the 1989 story ran is availability. “Australia remains littered with thousands of old cars,” said Robert Shannon in 1989. That’s no longer the case.
Sadly, Robert Shannon passed away in March 2000 after building up the business from a small classic car showroom in the Melbourne suburb of South Yarra.
As to Aussie Post, it closed its doors on 2 February, 2002. Ironically, this was when first edition of Australian Muscle Car sat on newsstands – if you could still find a copy. The era of general interest publications had passed, with niche or specialist magazines becoming the go.
At the time of its last edition, Aussie Post was the longest-running continuously published magazine in Australia, dating back to 1857.