ONES THAT GOT AWAY

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

Unique Cars - - AUCTION ACTION - CLIFF CHAM­BERS

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 DATSUN 1600 We use to see a stun­ning ker­mit green 1600 float­ing around in the east­ern sub­urbs of Mel­bourne wear­ing the rego “all­dat”. I re­mem­ber look­ing at it as the owner wanted to sell but I never comit­ted to the sale, darn! TOM VLAKA - DON­CASTER, VIC

JUNE 1993 1963 FORD GALAXIE CONVERTIBLE

Galax­ies that in North Amer­ica served as every­day fam­ily car fod­der were por­trayed in Aus­tralia as ap­par­ently de­sir­able and lux­u­ri­ous. The cost of fees, taxes and con­ver­sion to right-hand drive made Amer­i­can cars so ex­pen­sive here that buy­ers were en­cour­aged to ig­nore the plain in­te­ri­ors and lack of per­for­mance while star­ing at the mas­sive price-tag. As­so­ci­a­tion with celebri­ties like the touring Bea­tles in 1964 helped sell quite a few open top Galax­ies and keep the money rolling in for im­porters. Gal val­ues dur­ing the past 25 years haven’t done much more than keep pace with in­fla­tion but they haven’t burned own­ers’ money ei­ther.

DE­CEM­BER 1986 MASERATI MERAK SS

New in 1980 this Maser would cost around $55,000 and each of the kilo­me­tres it trav­elled were worth 50 cents in de­pre­ci­a­tion alone. Maser own­ers did how­ever en­joy the ben­e­fits of ex­clu­siv­ity – just 975 SS Mer­aks were made – and that gor­geous shape. Had the orig­i­nal owner held onto this car for long enough they would by now have clawed back most of the pur­chase and own­er­ship costs and be on the road to mak­ing some money. RHD cars aren’t com­mon and prices be­ing paid in­ter­na­tion­ally have dou­bled dur­ing the past five years.

MARCH 1996 CHRYSLER CHARGER E49

Hard to be­lieve but the sum of $30,000 was con­sid­ered in 1996 to be pretty hefty money for an E49 Charger . Para­phras­ing my own anal­y­sis from the 1996 Unique Cars Value Guide; “Au­then­tic E38 cars cost be­tween $13,000 and $16,000.....and top ex­am­ples of the E49 are worth their $20,000 plus price tags.” Had some­one dug deep enough to buy this car at 50 per cent above the av­er­age and then doted on it for a cou­ple of decades, they would have basked in a gain of around $200,000. ‘Nice lit­tle earner’, as that old geezer on the telly used to say.

OC­TO­BER 2000 SKODA L120

Sko­das are again fa­mil­iar sights on Aus­tralian roads but how many L120s have hung around to greet the new­com­ers? Skoda switched in 1964 to a rearengine de­sign and sev­eral hun­dred of the re­shaped 1000MB/Sabre model went to Aussie fans of the brand. Restyles dur­ing the 1970s brought in the pretty if un­der­pow­ered L120 which also sold here but in min­i­mal quan­ti­ties. An in­ter­net es­ti­mate of 20 sur­vivors is very likely op­ti­mistic. The car we should have re­ceived and which is re­garded in Europe as ‘de­sir­able’ is the 135 Rapid which en­joyed con­sid­er­able rally suc­cess dur­ing the 1980s.

JAN­UARY 1990 HOLDEN HT MONARO

More than a few boy rac­ers who lined up along­side this bland-look­ing HT would have been left with a sus­pi­cion that those ‘186’ em­blems on the front guards might not be telling the whole truth. We’ve never seen a base-model Monaro that was fac­tory fit­ted with a ‘350’, so more than likely the V8 and su­per-sized rub­ber were later ad­di­tions. The thing that makes this car such a weapon though is the gacky green paint. It must have sparked nu­mer­ous com­ments of the un­flat­ter­ing kind; ut­tered just be­fore the de­trac­tors were choked by rub­ber smoke. Is it still around?

NOVEM­BER 2001 PLY­MOUTH VALIANT SIGNET

Sad that so many Valiant hard­tops were chopped am­a­teur­ishly into con­vert­ibles when an al­ter­na­tive in the shape of the fac­tory-made Ply­mouth Signet was avail­able. At $16,000 this good-look­ing soft-top wasn’t go­ing to cost much more than the price of a hatchet job on a lo­cal VF two-door but looked a lot neater. Aus­tralia wasn’t home to an aw­ful lot of open-topped Ply­mouths but if you did ac­quire one, AP5/AP6 Valiant bits would have kept it run­ning. If you want one, cars of sim­i­lar qual­ity to this re­main avail­able over­seas priced from around US$15,000.

DE­CEM­BER 2006 MITSUBISHI PA­JERO EVO

Not of­ten do you see a full-blown desert racer pop­ping up in the clas­si­fieds, es­pe­cially one as cel­e­brated as this short-wheel­base Pa­jero Evo­lu­tion. It seems from avail­able in­for­ma­tion that only two of th­ese Mivec-en­gined rock­ets were im­ported, the other (an au­to­matic) be­ing of­fered in 2007 at $40,000. By 2013 they both seem to have found their way into the hands of the same gent who was sell­ing the pair for a very rea­son­able $33,000. Af­ter that the trail goes cold so if you own an Evo with big wheels and match­ing at­ti­tude please get in touch.

$30-35,000 $18,500 $80-$8 85,000 $ $36,500

$200220,000 $ $29,990

$ $4500-55004 $ $2,900 $1 $10,000

$25-30,000 $39,450

$ $30-35,000 $16,000

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