Heed Aussie Post’s ad­vice?

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Maniac -

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.

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