ONES THAT GOT AWAY

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

CLIFF CHAMBERS

Lost or lucky?

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

BOB ANDERSON - BRISBANE, ON QLD

1988 BMW E24 M6 “Saw it in a showroom only a couple of years ago for around $32,000 and hesitated because it had a copuple of minor rust bubbles. Otherwise it was good. Now I’m kicking myself as they seem almost unobtainable.” 19 ag m

NOVEMBER 2007 HSV COUPE 4

Not many cars produced by HSV have achieved price growth within a decade of their launch. Most in fact have cost their owners a motza, so well done if you plonked down $90,000 for one of these rarities. At that price it would surprise no one that HSV didn’t shift many at all of its All-Wheel Drive Coupe 4. Production of just 140 cars is unlikely to satisfy future demand and keeping the kilometres on cars like this to 20,000 or less is important. Owners who bought a car like this, locked it up and walked away are already being rewarded with six-digit values.

NOW $70,000 $90-95,000

MARCH 1986 JOWETT BRADFORD

A few issues back we featured the spacious and attractive Jowett Javelin sedan with its advanced flat-four engine. Now we offer a glance at a traditional Jowett; the upright and painfully slow twin-cylinder Bradford van which paid for the excesses of its more exotic sibling. These vans were rarely seen in Australia but in the UK were parked outside every second butcher’s shop and hardware store. Even there though they are getting scarce and generating quite decent money. Whoever secured this one hopefully avoided woodworm issues with that half-timbered body.

NOW $2750 $15-18,000

DECEMBER 1991 VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE SPLIT-WINDOW

Say ‘splittie’ to a VW tragic and they might conjure visions of early Kombis and six-digit selling prices. However the ‘Type 2’ wasn’t the only split-window model ever to decorate a VW showroom. The very earliest production Beetles featured a bar dividing their rear windows and an 18kW engine. Although these VWs didn’t officially sell in Australia a decent number were privately imported and they pop up regularly. Almost $15,000 in the midst of a recession was silly pricing but at $9000- 10,000 this car should have sold and steadily grown in value.

NOW $14,750 $25-30,000

DECEMBER 1989 PRINCE SKYLINE GT

If ever a car was born to nail the annual Bathurst 500 Mile Production Car race it was this one. Under the bonnet was a grunty two-litre ‘six’ with triple carburettors and top speed from GTB versions with their fivespeed gearbox was more than 190km/h. It even had disc brakes when most of the big cars were running drums. Sadly the Prince was a dud at the Mountain and in most other places too, with patchy sales and scarce parts.

A lot donated their engines to keep 2000 Sports models running and survivors have become quite valuable.

$2500 $20,000- 24,000 (RESTORED)

JANUARY 1990 ROLLS-ROYCE SILVER CLOUD DROPHEAD

Being sold in ‘boom’ times when silly money was on offer for pretty ordinary cars, this ‘bitza’ Rolls may indeed have sold for more than $300,000. Authentic Series 1 Cloud soft-tops are now very expensive (about A$1.2 million in the UK) and we can but wonder at the effect a grafted-on S3 nose might have had. Perhaps the $500,000 being asked currently by a UK dealer for S3 Drophead conversions – based on cut-down S3 Saloons – might provide a clue. Did this car stay as a S3 interloper or might a later owner have reunited it with the correct, single-light front?

$325,000 $500- 550,000

JULY 1995 ALLARD J2

Years before Carroll Shelby even considered stuffing V8s into a little British sports car, Allard scored a podium at Le Mans, won the Monte Carlo rally and its cars were scaring people witless all across the globe. Most were Ford-powered but you could have a 5.4-litre Cadillac if crazy enough. With a 3.9-litre (Ardun OHV) Mercury motor, Allard J2s like this would reach 180km/h – with fewer than 90 cars built overall. Survivors have driven massive gains during the past 20 years and a car similar to this – perhaps the very same – was offered a few years back in Melbourne for more than $300,000.

$118,000 $400- 450,000

JUNE 2004 CHRYSLER BY CHRYSLER

Elsewhere in this issue our Style ’n’ Value gurus have nominated a quintet of desirable Aussie Chryslers to own and high on the list is this impressive model. In 1972 when Chrysler went chasing Fairlane and Statesman sales it left nothing on the shelf, with the biggest car, the biggest engine and a cabin that swallowed drivers of moderate stature. Not many Chryslers survive in the condition this one displays and only an insipid choice of colour might have made it tough to sell in 2004.

Hopefully whoever now owns it is happy with their bargain buy.

$7000 $18-22,000