THERE ARE DAYS when you wonder if the human race – or at least the car-nut section of it – is, well, oiff its collective rocker. No offence intended, but really some mornings I reckon we’re all out of our cotton-picking minds.
How else do you explain how a pretty basic two-door Torana with a pushrod V8 in the snout is worth about double the equivalent Ferrari, say a 365 GT4 2+2? Now don’t get me wrong – I have absolutely nothing against A9X Toranas. Some of my best friends may have been conceived in them.
But have a look at two pages of this issue: on 23 we report on a Holden A9X that went off at a Shannons auction, to the tune of $275,000. On page 36, there’s a very nicely-kept Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2 for sale for $135,000 – or about half.
Much depends on your perspective, I suppose. To an enthusiast in Europe, you might first have to explain what a Holden was, and why an A9X was special. Oh, and along the way talk them through Peter Brock – not the legendary car-head Brock in Las Vegas, but ‘our’ Peter. And then, why an A9X is worth double the Ferrari. Good luck with that.
For a dyed-in-the-wool local, that would be a much shorter conversation. They might understand the history and the sentiment behind the whole Holden/Brock/Bathurst phenomenon. Whether they see the value in today’s lofty deals would be another matter. Again, that could be an issue of perspective.
To a collector or investor, the numbers on Aussie hero cars make perfect sense. To someone who bought one when they were new, not so much.
My favourite example is that of long-term A9X owner Jan, who with a family to raise and a nursery to run, recalls her hatch being damned useful for ferrying pot plants to and from work. Eventually she retired the car to an old shed on her property and there it sat under a tarp until, a few years ago, one of her kids suggested they pull it out and do it up. (You can see the story online at tradeuniquecars.com.au. Go to News & Reviews and search for A9X Jan.)
I’m sure that to this day she’ll be amused and a little baffled at how her old pot plant carrier ended up being worth more than a Ferrari.
By way of contrast, just last week I was offered a 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLK240 with 120,000km and in perfect nick for $14,000. Like the other two, it’s a two-door four seater. In this case it’s a 2.8lt V6 and not the quickest car on the planet, but has more features than the other two combined and would circumnavigate the country in utter comfort. We’re talking of something that cost around $95,000 when it was new. Where’s the justice?
If nothing else, this whole phenomenon is providing plenty of late-night entertainment.
Guy ‘Guido’ Allen