WHATíS THE REWARD, YOU MAY ASK? WELLÖ ITíS ANOTHER CAR. ONLY QUESTION IS, WHICH ONE WILL HE CHOOSE?
LITTLE CAR and a big engine Ė itís a time-honoured recipe for fun and Iíve always been a fan of them. You probably already know I have a big weakness for V8s, which is why this little beauty got my attention.
I had a Sunbeam Tiger a little while ago, with a 260 in it, and miss it some days. So this little MGB would fill that hole nicely and Iíve always admired the GT coupe shape. The originals used the inline four-cylinder engine and, though they were heavier than the soft-top and accelerated a bit slower, they had better aerodynamics and a slightly higher top speed.
Move on a few years (1973) and Leyland fitted the Rover 3.5lt V8, which was a punchy powerplant.
This car predates that by a year, which means itís a restomod.
THIS MIGHT not be my usual style of car, but I couldnít help sitting up and taking notice when we tripped over it in the classifieds. There were two series of Plymouth Cranbrook: the P23 of 1951-52 and the P24 built in 1953 only. Examples of both were assembled by Chrysler in Australia.
This is the P24 and a very rare US soft-top version with an electric roof. I like how original it is, with the period Kelsey Hayes wheels and what looks like pretty good chrome and trim.
Itís running the 3.6lt flathead six with a three-speed column shift manual. Youíd be pretty sure to be the only one at the next car show!
A COUPLE of Cortinas have graced the shed over the years and Iíve long had a soft spot for the performance versions.
These were an everyman car back in the day, something you bought because you didnít want (or couldnít afford) a full-size family car.
Because they were light and nimble, they ended up having a pretty impressive motorsport career, particularly in their spiritual homeland, the UK.
This one is a 1600 manual, which should be a very easy classic to live with.
MAYBE NOT the most sophisiticated car ever made, but a good Corvette is hard to take your eyes off, and I particularly like them in this green.
Itís a C3, which is the last of the chrome bumper models and itís quite a rare spec Ė with the big 454ci (7.4lt) V8 in the nose, matched to a four-speed manual gearbox. Add in the side pipes and youíve got something thatís getting close to the top of the Corvette food chain.
Importing your own car has got tricky in recent years, so local cars are looking good.
ITíS WEIRD but values on older HSV cars have been soft for a fair while now Ė unless they are the absolute top-line models. Given Holden is no longer building local cars, and the HSVs were always at the premium end of the market, I reckon that canít last forever.
The Manta was built for VS Commodore only and was pitched as the value package in the HSV range, in this case with the 185kW 5.0lt V8 and an auto. This was a $46,000 car back in the day.
Condition and books are what you should look out for with these and this one looks like it might tick both those boxes.
RACE TRIBUTE cars need to be done really well to work for me, and this one looks like it might fill the bill. Itís done by Mustang Motorsport and tips its lid at Allan Moffatís famous 1969 Mustang Boss 302.
A heap of work has been sunk into this one, including a retrim, extensive bodywork, suspension, wheels, the list seems to go on forever.
Itís claiming 470 horses (350kW) from the normally-aspirated engine, which is significantly more than stock, though not as out-of-control as some of the supercharged offerings out there. This would still be a very quick car. Nice.
WHAT THE HELL? Have I finally lost the plot?
Well, maybe not. Okay I didnít buy them when they were new and Iíve never been a massive fan. But you know what? With classic car prices going through the roof, this is starting to make a whole lot of sense.
The Japanese classic scene has been quietly bubbling away for a long time and they definitely have a big fan base.
So whatís good about a 180B? A lot of people will relate to it, as they were a popular family car. Secondly, theyíre simple and generally reliable, so it would be easy to run.
Check it out carefully, and it could be a winner.
MY SHED has seen plenty of Mustangs and Corvettes over the years, but that doesnít rule out owning a really nice Camaro. Iíve been sorely tempted over time and pretty originallooking examples like this arenít common.
Itís running a version of the legendary 327 V8 with an auto behind it, which means pretty well anyone can drive it.
American muscle cars like this have a lot to offer: not so big that theyíre a barge, while having enough grunt to be interesting and mechanically very easy to maintain. Lovely.