YOU CAN ASK Nostradamus, Madame Zenda or your mate who has picked five Melbourne Cup winners and get answers as reliable as any as to where the market for Aussie enthusiast cars is headed.
FOR THE HOME-GROWN HEROES OF OUR AUTOMOTIVE HISTORY AND THE STORIES OF OUR LIVES
The process of assembling a Guide like this involves looking at a lot of cars that have been offered for sale plus the ones that did sell and trying to analyse contradictions that can be bewildering.
We have seen during the past two years a burst of activity in the upper reaches of the collector vehicle market, culminating in the first documented sale above $1 million for an Aussie-made, road-spec muscle car.
The natural reaction of vendors might be to push their cars onto the market with asking prices well above reality. Buyers in response might suggest that the bloke with the car for sale was ‘dreaming’ but they might also rush the market to secure the ‘car of their dreams’ before someone else does.
For a top end ‘boom’ to work its way through to the lower levels, conditions need to be quite specific. There needs to be an impending shortage of vehicles or a lot of unallocated cash. Neither seems to apply at the time this is being written in the winter of 2018.
Borrowings against home equity has traditionally funded ‘recreational’ motor vehicle sales and accompanied an upward spiral in residential property prices. That market is currently taking a breather and anyone who doesn’t need to sell their house is going to stay put until better times return. That means fewer requests to mortgage providers for a re-draw and less pressure on the vehicle market.
What you can do of course is cash in a recent model that is suffering terminal depreciation and use the proceeds to fund something older, more interesting and that isn’t going to lose value faster than last Friday’s lamb roast.
Cars that are 30-40 years old and in sound mechanical condition still manage remarkably well when asked to accept the role of regular transport. The only major downside will be the absence of air-conditioning or a/c that doesn’t work very well that will make commuting during the summer months a sweaty experience. Some possibilities?
Ford buyers tend to view XE and XF Falcons as secondtier because they mostly come with six-cylinder engines. However, that alloy head six, especially when hooked to a four-speed manual ‘box and with all-disc brakes still make for a practical and enjoyable sporty sedan. Looking to the other side of the fence, $10,000 will easily fund a late-1990s Holden Calais or Statesman.
In the four-cylinder market we’ve looked this time at Ford’s Capri and the 1970s Gemini which both offer good buying.
In the mid-size market there are six-cylinder Cortinas and Toranas and from outside the mainstream, Nissan’s Skyline Silhouette.
Certainly some food for thought while waiting to see where the latest Aussie car value rollercoaster will take us.
Cliff Chambers August 2018
Assessments focus on market movements for various vehicles during the past 12 months and provide, where possible, guidance on realistic pricing for the different models available.
The average values shown at the end of each vehicle review are based on surveys of cars offered for sale privately and through licenced dealers in metropolitan markets throughout Australia and on the internet.
Note that the number in brackets following each average price represents the number of vehicles surveyed. Any average based on fewer than 20 vehicles is not necessarily representative of the market position of that particular model at the time.
Where I/D (Insufficient Data) or N/S (None Surveyed) is shown against a model designation, it indicates that no vehicles fitting the description were found during the survey period for this 2018 Buyers Guide.
The values shown in the charts are based on advertised asking prices and reported sales from all parts of Australia, using data supplied by dealers, private purchasers and auction houses. Usually, the values quoted reflect prices being achieved by vehicles sold by private vendors.
Where a model is rarely offered on the Australian market, estimates are based on overseas value guides and auction results.
Careful reading of the Condition Category descriptions below is vital to effective use of the Price Charts.
LEYLAND P76 V8 Model
$11,990 Average price of vehicles surveyed
 Number surveyed
NOTE: Price tracker boxes indicate price movements of that model since 1998.
BODY Should be free of dents, rust or obvious repairs. Minor stone chips are permissible, major blemishes or mismatched paint work are not. Brightwork must be complete and show no evidence of damage.
INTERIOR Seats should be covered in original pattern material free of rips or other damage, floor covering should be complete, clean and of correct material, headlining clean. Dashes – especially timber or veneer – should be free of cracks or discolouration.
ENGINE BAY Clean with no water, oil, fuel or battery leaks. Hoses and belts need to be in sound condition. The correct engine, or one which was optional to the model, should be fitted. Authentic components are a must if the car is to be upgraded to concours standard.
UNDERBODY No dents or damage to underseal, exhaust system complete and undamaged, no oil leaks from the differential, transmission or shock absorbers. All suspension components should be in good working order.
WHEELS & TYRES Original wheels with correct hubcaps or aftermarket wheels in keeping with vehicle style and age should be fitted. Tyres need to be correct size and speed rating, with at least 50 per cent original tread.
BODY No serious rust or large areas of body filler evident. Minor bubbling in nonstructural areas permissible. Paint should be good quality but may show evidence of repairs, chips and scratches. Brightwork should be good generally, but areas of dulled or scratched chrome are likely.
INTERIOR Seats may have been re-covered but should be in good general condition. If the trim is original, areas of wear and broken stitching is likely. Floor coverings should be complete, carpets and hoodlining preferably to original pattern. Cleaning may be required.
ENGINE BAY Engine should be of original type although original engine is unlikely. No major fluid leaks or discolouration. Cleaning will be required.
UNDERBODY No serious damage, however scrapes and chipping likely. Minor oil leaks are common, exhaust should be complete and free from holes or burning around joints. Suspension components such as kingpins, ball joints and shock absorbers need to be roadworthy.
WHEELS & TYRES Wheels should be the original rims or legal-sized aftermarket units. Tyres should have at least legal tread depth left.
BODY Moderate rust is inevitable, although chassis, firewall and other structural areas should be sound. Minor body damage is common. Paint likely to be faded, with uneven colour. Body filler usually found in panels but unacceptable in structural areas. Brightwork should be basically complete and major components like the grille must be fitted. Rechroming or polishing of most parts will be required.
INTERIOR Seats need to be structurally sound but will normally need re-covering. Floor coverings likely to be damaged or missing. Door trims should be fitted but may need replacement. Vinyl dashboard tops usually cracked or warped.
ENGINE BAY The engine should run but work will be needed, with the engine bay likely to be dirty and oil stained. Hoses and fuel lines may need replacement for the vehicle to be reliable.
UNDERBODY Will show signs of neglect and damage (dents, stone damage, etc) but should be free of major rust. Chassis and structural members need to be straight. Suspension components and exhaust systems will usually need replacement.
WHEELS & TYRES Wheels should be free of major damage, but tyres will normally need replacement.
VEHICLES in genuine concours condition will be completely original or rebuilt to the highest standards. Generally they are better than when new. Some cleaning or replacement of minor components may be required but anything more than minor blemishes will significantly reduce the car’s chances of success.
Cars with the potential to achieve Gold standard (90 per cent or better) in open judging can cost 50 per cent or more over Condition One values.
The author and publisher have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the 2018 Unique Cars Market Guide, but we do not accept responsibility for any loss or inconvenience caused by errors or omissions.
Values are subject to change due to social, political or economic circumstances within Australia or elsewhere.
This magazine provides useful guides on trends, but they are always subject to change. We suggest any purchase like this should be done with your eyes wide open and treated as a personal reward rather than a retirement plan.
To determine the value of a specific vehicle, inspection by an appropriately qualified specialist is strongly recommended.
Lots of choice here for people in the market for a family classic or perhaps something that can trundle around in club competition events. The six-cylinder Wolseley and Austin Freeway are excellent alternatives to a 1960s Holden and way cheaper as well. The Tasman/Kimberley more modern but more complex than their values justify.
Local Nomad wagon was an innovative design let down by suspect mechanicals and most have disappeared. The early Lancer and Major did well in circuit racing and today remain strong Class contenders in historic events. Pay $5000-7000 for a good road car, triple that if it’s already prepped to race.
As has been the case in years past, early Valiant models are missing out on the benefits of a booming market that has sent Holden and Ford models to record levels. When comparing the relative scarcity of these cars and 1960s Holdens, the R Series should be making at least $10-15,000 more than an EK and the S Series is $700010,000 underdone. Later AP5-AP6 cars and the older finned Royals are generally being advertised at fair money and only a few vendors show signs of wanting to up the stakes. An excellent six-cylinder AP6 Regal at under $20,000 would be good buying. The only AP6 V8 we found wasn’t typical of the model which in excellent condition still exceeds $30,000
Hardtop Valiant values are up and continuing to climb but they have a tough journey in trying to match the recent growth in two-door Monaro and Falcon prices. Regal two-doors sell at $30-35,000 [an excellent six-cylinder VF managed $30,000 at auction] with base models up to $10,000 cheaper. Six-cylinder Regal sedans look undervalued when compared with lesser Valiants but money being sought for V8s and also the scarce VIP remains strong. VGs with ‘Hemi’ engines offer more power than the earlier ‘Slant Six’ for no more money. VIPs are almost always V8 powered with a bit more ‘presence’ than Regals and $30,000 for a very good one seems okay.
Big movers in this segment are VH-VK Valiant passenger models and utilities which since 2013 have almost doubled their average values. CL-CMs are moving too but at a slower pace, with plenty of good cars in the market. CL and CM Regals split pretty evenly between V8 and six-cylinder versions and display minimal variations in value. VH-VJ Regal Hardtops and the Chrysler CH two-doors are rare and asking prices have climbed as a result. Whether the $40K being asked for some cars has been achieved is hard to verify. Four-door Chrysler by Chrysler sedans in excellent order justify $25,000 as should the CM GLX but these hardly ever reach the open market. VH-VK Valiant $13,755  CL-CM Valiant $10,050 
Stepping away from the performance end of the Charger market we found a good supply of cars being offered at generally sensible prices. Some of the V8 770s were pitched a bit high at $60,000+ but 245 and 265-engined XLs at $40-45,000 look like value. Drifter vans lasted just one model series (CL) and they aren’t common in the used market. Excellent V8 manual vans sell for around $40,000. At the opposite end of the price range sits the Centura. Panned when new for lousy handling, some have been turned into spectacular street machines and unmodified cars at under $10,000 are worth a look.
When this country had a thriving motor industry it was forever taking European designs and adapting them suit to local needs. The 2.0-litre Escort was muscular and popular but they rusted and surviving cars in excellent order cost $10,000-13,000. You will pay even more for a very good local RS2000. 3.3 and 4.1-litre Falcon motors were a mite too hefty for the Series 3 Cortina body however today the Cortina Six has a strong following and very good XLEs can top $20,000. If you can’t deal with spending that much on a Cortina, the later TE-TF also came with a big six and Ghia trim and presentable cars cost $10-12,000.
Ford’s open-top Capri had lots of detractors when new but a big following now. Early cars in some parts of the nation are considered historic and owners’ clubs help keep demand bubbling. Most desirable of the Capris but yet to consistently top $10,000 are late-series Clubsprints. XR2s and early Turbos offer plenty of fun for $50007000. If you need a serious and practical small performance car, hunt down one of the surviving KE-KH Laser 4WD Turbos. The odd one will exceed $10,000 but we also saw quite decent cars offered at around $6000. Early KA-KC Lasers once were everywhere but have become very scarce and incredibly cheap. Finding a really good one won’t be easy but won’t cost much either.
Those owners disappointed with the Futura/Fairmont value average might be relieved to know the sample was small and the cars in it unrepresentative. XM/XP Hardtop values are low as well but in this category the cars looked pretty good and the vendors were being restrained. Excellent XM-XP Futura Hardtops in the current market should be at $35,000+. The very first XKs had their problems yet XK-XL cars survive in surprising numbers and $15,000 buys a very good one. Four-door Futuras, XP Fairmonts and the scarce Squire wagon still have some growing to do. Cars that have been modified with V8 engines can be overpriced relative to excellent original versions.
Ford’s XR wasn’t the first local ‘family’ car with V8 power but it was the one that made performance and practicality a viable combination. XR and XT 500s with V8 engines may not have been built that way so check ID numbers to confirm authenticity and spend up to $40,000 on a genuine car. Fairmont V8s are even dearer. Six-cylinder Fairmonts aren’t easy to find and values for very good ones should be in the $25-30,000 range. XR-XT panel vans are hard to find, perhaps because they weren’t preserved in the way later versions were. Recent pricing says they may cost 30 per cent more than a sedan.
At this point the market for older ‘family’ Fords starts to get interesting and quite expensive. XW and XY Falcons with 3.3 or 4.1-litre six-cylinder engines still appear frequently and prices haven’t surged to the same degree as V8s. Six-cylinder Fairmonts are in the mid-$20Ks which looks reasonable, however matching-number V8s can cost twice that amount. Four-speed manual transmission will add another 20 per cent. V8 utilities often cost more than sedans and genuine XY V8 panel vans might make $50,000. One rarity that hasn’t as yet hit ridiculous money is the shortlived XY 4x4 utility. Spend $25,000 on a very good one.
1970s Falcons and Fairmonts are following the pattern set by the XYs. XA-XC six-cylinder cars remain quite affordable with good basic sedans at $13-16,000. Fairmont sedans and wagons are only 20 per cent more. Look then at the V8s and that segment of the market has surged to the point where current values are double what was achieved during the ‘boom’ years of 2005-08. GS Packs, bright colours and manual transmission can all push V8 Fairmont sedans up a further $10,000 from their current $30-35,000 level. XA-XC Falcon and Fairmont Hardtops are riding the wave of GT value increases and generating spectacular money. $80-85,000 seems the peak at present but a six-figure Fairmont two-door is inevitable.
Bright news in the Aussie market is the number of six-cylinder XD-XF Falcons and Fairmonts that have turned up. Many of these were sold new however rust was common and lack of interest during the 1990s made a rotted car worthless. The survivors have been hiding somewhere though and good sedans and utilities sell in the $4500-6000 range. Wagons seem to have almost disappeared and V8s in decent condition can cost $10,000. The ESP cars that helped Ford clear stocks of V8 engines continue to sit well above normal, with manual XE ESP351s leaping to their highest price point ever.
1988 is the place to start looking for an affordable Falcon or Fairmont with classic potential. Combined EA-EL sales topped 750,000 but for a while it seemed that everything except the GTs and a few of the better-quality XR8s would be headed for the crusher. ‘Not so fast’ said the market which has found sufficient Falcons and Fairmonts in decent condition to maintain interest. Pick of the bunch if you can find a good one will be an EB S-Pack or early XR6 manual. XR6 wagons are very scarce and well worth the $5500-7500 being asked for most of them. Also check out the XH XR6 ute which in excellent condition runs to around $5500.
If you have $2500-5000 to spend on a daily drive with some kind of ‘historic’ potential, look in here. Early AUs had issues but by 2001 when the AU3 arrived the bugs had mostly been obliterated. Any of the BA-BF derivatives should also provide competent transport for reasonable money. Later BFs currently cost more than $8000 but an AUIII with just 18kW less power than the BF costs half the price. Fairmonts of this age include lots of features and sometimes a V8 engine and $6000 buys a good one. Anyone looking for a car to preserve needs to ensure it has travelled low kilometres (under 5000km a year if you can) and comes with complete history.
These final-series Fords are destined to occupy a special space in local motoring history, so get in now to own one of the remaining ‘time warp’ cars. Scarce variants like the 50th Anniversary G6E have some appeal but the primary attraction for buyers with an eye on the future would be a low kilometre G6E Turbo. XR6 Turbos that fit the criteria have a good chance too and don’t ignore a really good, late-series XR6 sedan or utility either. Several of these showing an average of 6000km a year or less have popped into the dealer market with prices generally under $20,000. You could do even better if buying privately.
Ford Australia’s prestige models have always enjoyed and deserved a strong enthusiast following, however prices have certainly remained more predictable than GTs or big-engined Fairmonts. Heartening to see good examples of the early ZA-ZB cars still popping up around $25,000 and the same money also buying a 302-engined ZC in excellent condition. Most desirable in this age range are heavilyoptioned ZC or ZDs with the ‘351’ V8 and extras such as a factory sunroof, power windows and air-conditioning. Cars like these have been offered at over $50,000 but $35-40,000 is realistic for one in reasonable order. The six-cylinder Custom isn’t popular and typically costs 30 percent less than a V8.
People who dumped their early LTDs and Landaus because the hidden lights were too pricey to fix or the trim was looking shabby will be cursing. Especially irritated are former owners of the two-door cars, some of which have headed beyond $60,000 and are looking set to stay there. Better value and with fewer niggly electrical gizmos are ZF and ZG Fairlanes with 4.9 or 5.0-litre V8s. These in a good colour, well preserved and with no significant rust can still be found at less than $15,000, ZF-ZGs with 5.8-litre ‘351’ engines weren’t thick on the ground during our survey but $27,000 should buy a car at the upper end of the quality scale.
Let’s start with the newest and cheapest because there just is no ignoring the value of an AU Sportsman. These at less than $7000 make sense as everyday transport and a really good one has collector potential. Into that category we can also slot the 1976-79 P6 LTD and later FC which have already begun to move. To get above $15,000 the later cars need to be very well maintained with original leather trim and a 5.8-litre V8 beneath the bonnet. ZH Fairlanes at current pricing offer fair value, especially Anniversary and Marquis versions. Some ZJ-ZL cars were offered at unrealistic prices and are going to remain with their owners for a while.
Fifteen years ago if someone had predicted good early model Holdens would by 2020 cost a minimum of $50,000 they would have been led away to somewhere serene. However, that prediction looks like coming true. Since the early years of this century we have seen typical values surge and some extreme prices achieved. They include FJs making regular journeys into the $80,000 bracket and a 48-215 recently sold for $130,000. A new body wrapped around the same mechanicals encouraged lots of people to trade their original Holdens on an FE or FC. Although less common today than early cars, these models remain cheaper. People who can’t afford a 1957 Chevrolet love the FB/EK duo with their fins and chrome and values are climbing faster than is the case with FCs.
Middle Australia loved these cars, buying 155,000 EJs and 257,000 EHs in the space of three years. Survivors from both series remain common but prices have climbed to the point where an excellent EH is beyond the reach of many Holden enthusiasts. That has helped make the EJ a popular second choice and they are climbing as well. Pick of the EHs will be a three-speed manual with the 2.9-litre ‘179’ engine or preferably a Premier in the same specification but manual Premiers are very scarce. Equally hard to find will be an EJ Premier in exceptional condition or EHs with their original leather intact. There can cost close to $50,000 but pay less of a car that’s been retrimmed in cloth or vinyl.
Holden X2 owners please do not get excited and rush your rust-pocked car into the market, looking for $50K. Our average, as was the case with several Holden models in the recent market, included an HR Premier that sold at $95,000 and an HD at $69,000 In the real world, $45-50,000 should buy an excellent X2 Premier or 186S HR. Looking more generally at HD-HR listings there were Specials at less than $20,000 and some Premiers only 25 per cent higher. Almost 180,000 HD Holdens were made but singlecarburettor survivors are scarce and values have climbed higher than for HRs in similar condition.
HK-HG values are climbing but within reasonable bounds and buyers can be confident of not getting singed too badly should a price crash come. Early Kingswoods have now turned 50, cost $15,000 in good condition and don’t look their age. Premiers with V8 engines, disc brakes, uprated rubber and suspension perform well and can be used without qualms as regular transport. A couple of V8 HKs have brought prices of $50,000 and above so no surprise that some vendors have upped the money they are asking as well. Broughams all had V8 engines plus Premier features and fancy trim yet typically cost less than a V8 Premier.
Holden built more HQ-HZs than any other shape in its history and some should survive to see not only their 50th birthdays in 2021 but their 100th as well. Prices, considering the quantity of cars in the market, are high and we see more long-term value in owning a V8 than a six-cylinder car that currently costs only a few thousand dollars less. Well-kept ‘survivor’ cars with six or eight cylinder engines do survive and these recently have been exceeding $40,000. A genuine ‘350’ KIngswood or Premier would be exceptionally rare and get close to $100,000. As practical transport for anyone with $20,000 or so to spend there’s not much to rival an HZ V8 with disc brakes, air-con and a tow-bar.
Any confirmed sale of an HQ350 Statesman is bound to send a ripple through the market but TWO being sold within months was a real event. Top price was $60,000 and we suspect that 350-engined HQs have some distance to go. Consequently or coincidentally, those prices fuelled interest in other kinds of HQ Stateys and they have climbed as well, leaving HJ-HZ versions 20 per cent behind. That HJ-HZ value could have been even lower if not for the inclusion of a stunningly-preserved car offered at an equally stunning $72,000. Balancing it was a rough one auctioned at just over $9000. The brawny WB remains great value, with exceptionally good cars not much above $20,000 and mechanically sound, everyday drivers at $8000-10,000.
Not many 40-50 year old vehicles would still be running around doing much the same things they did when new. Don’t tell Holden’s HQ-WB one-tonner though, because many of these are still in regular to use by owners who have neither the money or desire to turn them into show-pieces. Some one-tonne utes are presented pretty smartly though and values can exceed $25,000. V8 vans and style-side utes are more likely to have been modified or uprated and these routinely sell for more than passenger versions. Vans also have potential for conversion into Sandman ‘tributes’ but to check the pricing for ‘real’ Sandmans please consult the Muscle Car Guide. Some one-tonne utes are presented pretty smartly as well and values can exceed $25,000.
All eyes at present are on the performance end of the Torana market and as expected there exists a huge price gulf between six and eight-cylinder versions of the LH and LX. ‘Family-spec’ versions of the earlier LC-LJ cars seem oblivious however to the soaring costs of a GTR or XU-1 version and something like an LJ SL 2850 in nice condition costs $25,000. The few LX Hatchbacks that have avoided conversion into A9X lookalikes are scarce and our small sample of 3.3-litre cars came at asking prices so high they outshone the V8s. Also on the move are pre-1974 four-cylinder cars which a few years back were almost impossible to find and now reach $10,000.
A scarce Sandpiper two-door at $30,000+ was the only stand-out in a Gemini market featuring good quantities of sensibly-priced cars. TX-TD coupes are the ones that entice collectors, especially given the number removed from the market over many years for conversion to competition cars. Sedans are generally affordable and at less than $8000 although an owner who has gone way overboard on modifications will ask silly money while trying to recover their outlay. Vans and especially the two-door station wagon are practical, fun cars that in very good condition remain under $10,000. C/DT and Z/ZZ Geminis are very scarce and $20,000 is perhaps feasible for an excellent car.
Apathy saw many thousands of early Commodores sent to scrap but several years ago attitudes changed and people are now keen to preserve even basic versions. In 2010, the average asking price for a six-cylinder SL or Executive was below $4000 but today that has more than doubled. Money available in the real world is a little less and a recent auction saw two tidy cars find owners at under $5000. Six-cylinder SL/ Es in the current sample were ordinary, however we would expect a really good one to exceed $30,000. Non-turbo VK-VL Calais are down too but V8 versions despite the slim numbers still make generally acceptable prices. To track values if you own a Commodore or Calais Turbo, see the Muscle Car Guide.
Some people will look at a 25 year-old Calais and say ‘that’s not a classic’. Today that may be true but look at which models from 40 years ago are bringing the money and it is the SL/E and Premier-spec cars. Basic versions of the VN-VP remain very cheap and are unlikely to move much in the near future. A V6 Calais from the same era is almost twice as valuable and V8s do better again. Not much happening with VR-VT cars at present but hanging on to a very low km 6.0-litre Calais could bring longer-term reward. The other one to consider, partly because no one seems very interested, is the CV-6 Monaro. However that $17,000 average asking price is way more than most buyers want to pay. For the Monaro CV-8 consult the Muscle Car Guide online.
Unlike their namesakes from the 1970s, later model Statesmans don’t carry a lot of kudos with people who want to preserve significant cars. View them as straight-out family fodder and you are looking at a huge slab of well-equipped car for ridiculously little money. Hopefully that factor alone will see a few saved. Also in this segment as a bit of a punt is the Crewman dual-cab. We have only looked at the V6 but there are V8s as well as they make great combined workday/weekend transport. Values may fall in the short term, however one of these unique Holdens if maintained in top condition should have a future.
Recent price movements indicate that some vendors with low-kilometre Commodores and their Calais derivatives have already begun factoring a ‘nostalgia loading’ into the money being asked for exceptional cars. A V6 Calais that has travelled fewer than 50,000km can for example be priced at $15,000 while a similarspec car in the 150-200,000km range is around $8000. That level of price difference did not exist prior to Holden’s factory closure. Shift focus to the large numbers of 2008-10 Calais V8s in the market and the difference between a sub-50,000km car and one that’s done 200k can be $10-12,000. Some people are keen to promote 60th Anniversary cars as potentially collectable but the market is showing little interest as yet.
Many people believe that the demise of the P76 ended Leyland’s local presence but that is not correct. The business continued to produce Mini Clubman variants until 1978 and the Moke until 1982. The P76 since its death in 1974 has won plenty of friends and cars offered via on-line auctions generate lots of interest and spirited bidding. V8 automatics in excellent condition can reach $15,000 with a four-speed manual or Targa Florio worth more. Bigger winners from Leyland’s 1970-80s range are Moke Californians that in outstanding original or restored condition have sold for more than $30,000. Also on the way up are Leyland Mini vans that in well-preserved condition make 25 per cent more than a Clubman S sedan.
If there was an award for heroic failure in Automotive Design it would go to the Magna. The TM arrived in 1985 to immense acclaim but 30+ years later hardly anyone remembers these early FWD Mitsubishis. Runners cost just $500 and a well-kept Elite was seen at under $4000. Adding All-Wheel Drive to the TJ Series Magna did nothing for sales and only served to confirm that Australians really didn’t like 4WD in their road cars. AWD Magnas are good cars though and worth $3000-4500 but unlikely to be collectible. Spending $5000-6000 on one of the Ralliart Magnas built during 2002 might bring better results. A solitary Sigma Turbo at $17,000 was living in hope but some tidy 2.6-litre cars offered better value at around $6000.
Nissan Australia probably regrets not shutting the factory doors the day the last R31 Skyline was built. Derided for uninspiring looks when new, the R31 now has a big following among younger owners which is helping lots of cars to remain running, with some in outstanding condition. Biggest money will be reserved for limited-production SVD cars – up to $30,000 for a top-class Series 1 – with a Silhouette or GXE manual often doing better than $10,000. Oddities to watch for include the Bluebird TR-X sold here from 1985-86 and the Stanza SSS. They aren’t mainstream collector cars as yet but decent value and fun at around $5000.
Toyota’s attempt at building an HSV/FPV rival via its ‘Racing Developments’ operation delivered two Camry-based sedans – the TRD 3500S and more costly SL – plus a supercharged 4.0-litre Hilux. All were decent products with lots of features but high prices were an obstacle. A front-wheel drive Toyota no matter how good was never going to match the performance kudos of a Clubsport or FPV. The Camrys with 241kW and selling below $15,000 make a potent and value-packed family car but shop around for insurance as some premiums are crazy. The Hilux has minimal appeal as an off-roader and none as a performance car and the money being asked for most is untenable.