Owners of 105-Series GTs would be jumping for joy while those with other pre-1990s Alfas would be bewildered at the lack of money for their cars. Overseas markets confirmed that early GTVs and Spiders were achieving strong prices everywhere but other models including 1980s Spiders and Alfetta-style GTVs were lagging. GTV6s are doing better than 2.0-litre cars but mostly remain below $30,000. Suds seem to be missing in action, however an excellent Ti or Sprint should top $10,000. 1980s cars are threatened as well, with the 75 surviving in barely sufficient numbers to be safe. Not one 90 or Quattro wagon was found, however we hope a few survive.
Plenty of cheap pickings and some interesting cars amongst the later model Alfas in our market. The newest in our surveyed selection is the Brera which sold new for $65,000 and now costs a quarter of that amount. GTA versions of the 156 offer 184kW and very decent entertainment for your $20,000 outlay. The 166 has fallen into a huge hole and it’s debatable if even the best still available can exceed $10,000. A better long-term option for your $10,000 might be one of the scarce 164Q sedans. Those looking for low-cost summer fun might try a Twin-Spark or V6 GTV Spider at $8-10,000.
Anyone keen to emulate the original ‘007’ will need access to some of Goldfinger’s dubious loot. DB5s are rarely seen in Australia and the next one offered for sale will likely exceed $1 million.
1970s-80s V8s look brutish and perform that way as well, yet all but the rare Vantage and Volante remain below $250,000. Less exclusive and almost affordable are recently-arrived imports including the film-connected V12 Vanquish. Most come from the UK where rust is an ever-present threat so they require very close inspection.
Also ensure the car comes with all its import and local compliance documents. DB7 values remain high when compared with the money being asked for later-model V8 and V12-engined cars.
Sadly for those with a hankering to own one of Audi’s trend-setting 100/200 models, very few of these landmark cars seem to be left. Should you find a 100CD or Avant wagon though, they will likely cost less than $5000 and still turn heads. Move into the 1990s and availability improves, however older Audis usually sell for minimal money. They include the compact S3 Hatch and A4 Turbo both at $5000-8000. Sporty TTs are only a little dearer than the conventional cars but upping your spend to $25,000 will buy some very classy kit. The A8 as an example comes with Audi’s cracker 4.2-litre engine up front and costs less than $20,000. Real road warriors will want the 309kW RS4 wagon, even at $50,000.
Austins for decades have rated among the least costly classics available in Australia but that status is changing. UK interest in the A30 as an historic racer has rubbed off and prepped cars being sold here can make $15,000. Cheapest of the Austins surveyed is still and quite inexplicably the 1800. These roomy, competent cars might frighten a few people due to their Hydrolastic suspension but repairs are still possible. A40 Devon and Somerset sedans are best described as ponderous but remain popular and restored cars reach $10,000. That money is reasonable as well for excellent examples of the scarce A50/A55 and Farina-styled A60s.
This year the Austin-Healey Sprite turns 60 and the ‘big’ Healey reaches 65. Both models continue to thrive with a devoted network of clubs and parts suppliers ensuring that any car able to be saved should survive for decades to come. A Mark 1 Sprite in average condition will cost around $20,000, with Mark 2, 3 &-3As at half that price. The big money starts to flow when considering a show-standard 100/4 or 3000 model. Both can exceed $120,000 and are unlikely to get cheaper. A 100/4 in ‘M’ spec can reach $200,000. 100/6 models are less costly but still deliver the classic Healey shape and enough performance to make them a useful weekend cruiser and Club event car.
There just seems to be no stopping MarkVI Bentleys from popping up in a markets where quality 1940s UK cars aren’t common. Prices around $40,000 for decent MarkVI or R Series are reasonable, as is the $55-65,000 being sought for later S2 V8s. The Turbo R comes [or should] with warning stickers because these complex cars need even more intensive maintenance than the similarly-priced Mulsanne or Eight. Jumping to more modern designs and with $100K in your budget, the choice is between the elegant but conservative Arnage or a Continental GT that looks like it should be lapping Le Mans. Bentleys in this price bracket were often sold new outside Australia so thorough checking is essential.
It is 50 years since BMW got serious about selling cars in Australia and early models still survive in reasonable numbers. A very good carb-fed 2002 will cost $25,000 but elegant CSi Coupes generally sell above $60,000. The lightweight CSL is very rare here and well into six digits. Beemers from the 1980s provide plenty of choice and some models are very cheap. Spending $10,000 will fund a well-kept 318i or 320i in coupe, cabriolet or even convertible form. Anyone looking for a car with the pedigree of an M3 but without the $60,000 price tag should be hunting down a 325iS.
The beauty of owning an older BMW is that they look very like newer ones and cost a lot less. Take the sawn-off 316Ti for example. It will out-run a Corolla, comes with the essential badge and costs only $1000 more than the Toyota. For sheer pose without being on a politician’s wage there are 328i or 330Ci soft-tops in very decent order at less than $15,000 and coupes starting at $5000. If you’ve got the means to fund a later model with all the gear and go-faster stuff then a 335 twin-turbo coupe in top condition should cost $20-25,000. Problem with these and most late-model prestige cars is that your investment in the short-medium term isn’t going anywhere but down.
Five Series BMWs were the cars that gave Mercedes-Benz a shake in the local market, but that was 40 years ago and we don’t see many of those E28 Series cars anymore. 528 and 535i sedans from the 1980s are more common yet still not costly. Move into the 1990s and E39 versions are so cheap it is hard to resist when a low-kilometre 528i appears. Or skip a couple of rungs and spend just $10K on a 4.4-litre 540i. Moving into the segment occupied by swish Six Series you can go old school and pretend you’re at Bathurst with a 635CSi or jump a generation and into a 645i Both in good condition currently cost less than $30,000.
Just a handful of E30 M3s came here as new cars and most were sold for competition use. When BMW in 1994 was able to grab some ADR compliant E36s they did and for a while premium money was paid every time one changed hands. Those days are long gone and $30-35,000 will buy an excellent E36 or the later E46. M5s from 15 years ago were priced when new at more than $200,000 however buyers get nervous about maintenance costs and that helps push even the later E60 model to less than $50,000. For a badge without the big bills, a decently-maintained Z3 1.9 will cost $8000-12,000.
Cars that were hardly seen on Australian roads when new are leading the overall rise in values for older Citroens. During the 1990s when regulations covering personal imports weren’t as tough as today’s, every fourth UK migrant seemed to arrive with a 2CV as unaccompanied baggage. Survivor 2CVs cost more in some cases than the vastly more sophisticated D Special. Climbing to close to $100,000 is another rarity; the Maserati-powered SM. These weren’t common here when new but numbers and values have swelled. Best choice for enthusiasts seeking a blend of Gallic style and practicality would be a 1970s-80s CX.
Demand for Daimler limousines is going to remain strong for as long as the wedding and special-event hire industry survives. DS420s weren’t sold new here and are a strange looking amalgam of Jaguar underpinnings and funereal Brit coachwork. Leaping into the Jeeves seat costs $35,000 or pay $10,000 less for a classic Majestic. The Jaguar-bodied Daimlers haven’t moved much at all, especially the XJ-based cars which seem stuck at under $12,000. The 420-clone Sovereign can make $20,000 and the V8-250 with Jag Mark2 bodywork offers decent value in the $20-25,000 price range. Manual/overdrive 250s are very scarce and expensive.
If you’ve got $500,000-700,000 with which to buy an ‘investment’ car then latch onto a 1960s front-engined Ferrari and hang on for what might become a wild ride. The 330-365-series cars took their time to erupt but once on the move the money being sought for GTC versions has zoomed past $750,000. Later 365 2+2 and 400i models are yet to react and still cost $120-135,000. Looking at the mid-engined market there is no more exciting buy than a 246 Dino but there are few in the market and prices are predicted to hit $1 million soon. 308GT and GTSi models were scarce during recent months and the average isn’t representative. More realistic would be the $180-200,000 being sought for a low-km 328GTS.
Leaving aside TR512s and similar exotics which have doubled their values in five years, the market for later-series Ferraris is moving slower than vendors would want. Having avoided earlier cars’ affinity for stratospheric price increases it is possible to find usable 1990s cars still under $150,000. During the past five years 348s have been unmoved, 360 Coupes and Spiders are up slightly and 430s are still coming down. Front-engined 456GT and 575M cars looked set a few years ago to sink into obscurity however their fall has been reversed and the best 575s now top $200,000. 360 Coupe $141,235  360 Spider $154,300 
Great to see so many of Fiat’s ‘Millecinquecento’ (1500) sedan popping up for sale, including one car that had been set up for serious track work. The most consistently valuable Fiats in our grouping are still the sub-tiny 500 Nuovas, with 850 Coupes making their pitch for market stardom as well. Other worthy models include the V6-engined 130 Coupe which when last seen was in $40,000 terrain and the 1980s Superbrava – should any survive. Fans of the mid-engined sports car should look at 1.5-litre X1/9s. Less than $10,000 will buy the Fiat version or a later fuel-injected Bertone. Either way they are easy to maintain and good fun.
Australians have for decades loved their small and medium-sized Fords. Thousands were sold new in this country, so where did they all go? Most of the Mark1 [pre-1967] Cortinas seen recently needed work and the asking prices reflected their condition. Mark1 and 2 GTs weren’t common either but at least the money being sought is pretty right. The cars to watch [if you aren’t already] are Mark1 Escorts and especially the sporty versions. Genuine Twin-Cams are almost never seen and should bring $60-80,000. Equally rare are genuine 1300GTs and even fakes can reach $25,000. Great also to see a few finned Zephyr Mark2s and 3s in the market at confident prices.
It is 50 years since the last new Humber was sold in Australia however a solid group of enthusiasts ensure these cars and the lower-cost Hillmans keep turning up at automotive events. Prices are rising, although not quickly enough to make restoration of a rusty Rootes Group model viable. A Snipe or Hawk in excellent condition will exceed $10,000 however taking a neglected car from barn-find to show-stopper will still cost $60,000. Hillmans and the Hillman-based Humber Vogue are cheaper to own than big Humbers and fun for anyone with $5000-7000 available. The Hunter which 50 years ago won the first London-Sydney Marathon Rally has failed to capitalise on that achievement.
Asking prices for Mark2 Jaguars span a very wide range (sub-$10,000 to $80,000+) with the strongest demand being for bigger-engined examples. When spending serious money on a car that in years gone might have been altered to appear more desirable than it was, obtaining expert verification is essential. If you do find an excellent, genuine 3.8 manual/overdrive it should be worth $50,000 or more. Also gaining traction with canny buyers are Series 1 XJ6s; especially 4.2-litre cars with genuine Jaguar manual transmissions which can reach $30,000. Mark VII-IX models from the 1950s in restored condition will normally be worth more than $20,000 and the once-ignored Mark X is building a following too.
Want to buy a cheap Jag? You’ve come to the right place. By the 1990s Jaguar had lost its way and most of the brand’s design creativity as well. Buyers today understand the massive gulf between pre-XJ40 models and those which followed and spend accordingly. Pick of the group would likely be a 4.0-litre XJ8 [with its timing chain woes cured] or the aluminium-bodied X350. If collector interest is a factor then a very low-kilometre XJR may have some hope. Also, don’t rule out the supercharged S Type-R with 4.2 litres and a supercharger all for less than $30,000. XJ6/Sovereign 1987-93 $7500 
Fifty seven years after unveiling its amazing E Type, Jaguar has yet to develop a more memorable sports model. Plenty of XJS Coupes survive, especially the 1980s-built HE, yet values only occasionally reach $20,000 and rust is steadily killing off neglected examples. Very scarce four-speed manual cars can be worth double the price of an auto in similar condition, XJS convertibles are the one bright point in an otherwise staid market but only the best of these will make $50K. V8 XK8s and supercharger XKRs don’t look 20 years old and offer value against considerably more expensive Italian coupes and convertibles.
Led by movements in the values of early E Types, demand and prices for Jaguar sports cars have been climbing here and overseas. Some asking prices are speculative, however recent international sales did include a documented 3.8-litre trophy-winning Roadster at US$196,000 and in Europe a ‘barn-find’ 4.2 litre Coupe that brought almost A$80,000. Very few V12s were on offer during our survey period and that small sample makes a $290,000 average for Roadsters very suspect. XK models continue to climb and their price growth over several decades has proved to be more sustainable than erratic E Type movements during the same period. Cars to look for include 120 Coupes or the last-gasp XK150S Roadsters.
If you’ve had a lottery win then perhaps the Miura on offer at more than $2.5 million is your market. However most who even contemplate owning a Lambo are looking at 10 per cent or less of the Miura’s money. One lonely Espada offered at over $300,000 might attract minimal interest however the same scepticism doesn’t apply to Countach and Diablo models that, with ultra low kilometres, can justify $500,000 or more. The majority of locally-available Lambos were recently-imported Gallardos plus the odd locally-sold Murcielago. While you would never call a Gallardo ‘cheap’, 5.0-litre cars do start at under $150,000.
Who would have thought back in the 1990s when a near-perfect 1972 Range Rover could be knocked down for $5200 that similar vehicles today could have international collectors paying $100,000+. Also on the way up are very early Land-Rovers that will bring more than $70,000. Once away from the investor end of the market, usable Landies and Rangies come at much more palatable money. 110 Perenties straight from Army disposal auctions and showing minimal kilometres cost less than $25,000 and good Series IIIs are half that amount. Towing the boat while lounging in the luxury of an older-model HSE Range Rover will cost less than $15,000 Series I $13,145  Series II/III $9580 
Weird as it might seem, the most basic cars in this grouping are some of the more expensive. Finding a really good Super Seven is tough and minimum spend will $50-60,000. An early Exige comes with air-con and a stereo and not a lot else and will cost nearly $70,000. Climbing in value and not before time are original twin-cam Elans which get $60,000 here in top condition and make A$80,000 on the UK market. The Plus 2 Elan remains below $40,000. Esprit Turbos have led a tortured existence at the bottom of the ‘supercar’ pile and struggle even today to do better than $60,000. Europa Twin-Cams in the $30Ks look to be value, as is an early Elise at less than $30,000.
‘Fragmented’ is the best description of the market for Maserati products. If you own a pre-1970 model then rejoicing is in order as values soar. Some 1970s versions are doing OK as well but the 1980s BiTurbo era is barren. Very few cars have survived and appalling money available for those that do. The 3.2-litre twin-turbo Shamal has the scarcity and credentials to be collectable, although asking prices can be inconsistent. As for the other 1990s-2000s cars, look for Australian delivery with service history and leave something in the budget for unexpected repairs. The Ghibli is dearer than most of its stablemates but with greater appeal to justify $50,000+ pricing.
Pre-1974 Mercedes-Benz models have very quietly been asserting their positions in the market for investment vehicles. The pre-1960 ‘Ponton’ does decent business in the mid-teens but quite unexpected was the rise in 220SE values. These seem to be flowing from heightened interest in early convertibles and sports cars. Changing to the W114 shape in 1972 flattened big-Benz desirability and even the sophisticated 380 sedans and Coupes from the 1980s remain cheap. Compact 250 and 280CE models seem stuck at present in the sub-$15,000 segment but they still have potential. If you have a big garage and matching bank balance, an excellent example of the 600 Grosser limo should cost less than $200,000.
Not much in this grouping is beyond the means of the average Benz-loving Aussie. However the bill to fix a major mechanical failure is another issue entirely. Mercedes-Benz – and other brands – that are complex and laden with ancient electronics are disappearing at a rapid rate because owners cannot afford to keep them running. Cars that are still viable are relatively cheap because buyers will be gambling on how long they will run before expiring in a puff of acrid smoke. Best bang-for-buck is the C36, with a $20,000 CL500 on the list as well just to kid the neighbours you’ve won Lotto. Excepting the E55, few in this grouping have any real prospects for long-term value growth. 300CE 1988-90 $8980  CL500 1996-98 $16,445 
Money, money, money. Almost everywhere you look under the heading of ‘SL’ you will find older Mercedes-Benz making a killing for their owners. Pre-1972 models do best, especially the 190SL and 230-280SL which have all pretty much trebled their 2008 values. The V8-engined 350 and 450SL are still waiting for their big surge while the long-wheelbase SLC cars are hardly moving at all. Unexpected but welcomed by owners was the jump in 560SL values – some cars reaching $80,000 after being advertised for a lot more. Bigger things are expected of the 380SL too but for now it remains happy enough with $40-50,000.
For months after Mercedes launched its cute and compact SLK230, people tired of awaiting delivery would pay over the odds just to get hold of a car. No longer. In fact, pretty much everything with CLK or SLK in its designation still has a way to go before the depreciation bottoms out. That does seem to have happened already with the early-1990s 500SL however later-model SLs have a long way to go before they catch up to the 560. Very low-km, local delivery cars that have been properly preserved are a chance. The CLK55 and SLK55 with their AMG heritage and massive V8s offer stunning performance at a fraction of new price.
MGB sales are regarded as a barometer of the classic vehicle market and right now the needle is flicking towards ‘Fine’. Average prices are finally above $20,000 and top cars worth $40,000+. Movements in the value of ‘B’s still can’t match the earlier MGA which looks headed very shortly for $50,000. T-Types with their vintage looks and matching performance bob along but are barely keeping pace with inflation. Those looking for practical classic transport will easily locate a hatchback MGB GT and usually pay less than for a Roadster. Australia didn’t officially import GTs [although lots came here] so local fibreglass factories like J&S built fastback conversions which did a similar job.
Local sales of MGBs stopped in 1973 however arrivals of northern hemisphere cars continued unabated. From the USA and other places we received a stream of ‘rubber-nose’ Roadsters, GTs and a few Midgets. Values are considerably below the money achieved by local ‘chrome bumper’ cars, although this year’s sample did include a black Limited Edition on offer at well above the money asked by US sellers. Rover-engined RV8s still pop up regularly but aren’t as valuable as the very scarce 1970s GT V8. MG Fs and later derivatives are holding value and offer affordable fun with minimal collector potential. Except for the 260 version with its 4.6-litre V8, ZT sedans generate little money or interest.
Every model we have considered in this category is over 50 years old and some are headed for an extraordinary 80 years. Each one including the pre-WW2 8 and 10 models is still a source of enjoyment while offering easy maintenance. During the 1950s, half of the small cars on Australian roads were Morris Minors so a lot survive and usually cost $6000-8000. Even the less common soft-top tourers aren’t expensive. The more roomy Oxford is gaining but remains cheaper than a Minor. If you can find a good one the most competent car in this group is the 1100. $6000 buys a car with exceptional handling plus a 1.1-litre version of BMC’s A Series engine which can be tuned or replaced to provide entertaining performance.
Looking overseas at surging Mini Cooper prices still didn’t prepare us in Australia for a sudden leap in money being generated by the mightiest Mini. UK cars with rally history have been selling for prodigious money and taking road versions with them but not until an excellent 998 Cooper sold locally for $45,000 and a Mark 1 Cooper S was offered at $80,000 was it obvious the trend had spread. The Mini 850 which came here in 1961 survives in remarkable numbers and that is helping keep a lid on prices. One Mini that is scarce though and worth up to $30,000 is an original 10-inch wheel Moke. Later Rover-badged cars aren’t as yet collectible but the pedigree is certainly in their favour.
It is inexplicable that cars with the appeal and competence of Peugeot’s 404 and 504 should remain at such low prices. Pick of the 504s would be the Ti which when excellent makes $10,000, or maybe a Familiale wagon. For lovers of the ‘hot hatch’ 205 GTi the news is better with sub-standard cars disappearing and the good ones generally selling at more than $10,000. In the same genre but much cheaper, a 306 S-16 in good condition will cost $5-6000. Similar money is available for the pretty 406 Coupe but an excellent 306 Cabrio can reach $10,000.
It took a long time but the once-affordable 911 Turbo has justified owner perseverance and trebled its value in the space of just five years. Early 911s have leveled out but a very early car is still likely to exceed $200,000, The ones everyone now watches are Carrera 3.0-litres from the 1970s. These not long back could be found at $45-55,000 and have very smartly doubled in value. Later 1980s cars are up as well but sadly there were no recorded sales of 1989-90 Speedsters which overseas are selling at close to A$400,000. If you like the shape of an early 911 but not the price, try a four-cylinder 912 at 50 per cent less.
A massive price range shows just how desirable some late-series Porsches are and how little interest there can be in others. The last air-cooled 993s are firmly entrenched in the collector market, and like the all-wheel drive Carrera 4 can frequently top $150,000. From there, demand slumps dramatically and it is possible to pay just $30,000 for a 3.4-litre, liquid cooled car in good condition. Replacement of that model and its suspect engine with a 3.6-litre helped somewhat. Late-series 911 Turbos attract as much attention as early ones yet cost twice as much. The Boxster 986 is the sports car Porsche should have built 40 years ago and they sell very well. Try for one of the 3.2-litre cars that start at $20,000.
944 Porsches are now regarded very much as ‘enthusiast’ vehicles and rarely seen as regular transport. In common with the V8-engined 928, a lot of low-value 944s have been stripped to maintain better ones; the absence of rough cars from the sample doing no harm to 944 average values either. 944 Turbo versions in excellent condition are likely to cost more than $30,000. The 968 and especially its rare Clubsport variant are rarely seen in this country, although some local asking prices are higher than the world market supports. Early 928s with the 4.4 motor are scarce and the 4.7-litre 928S and S4 typically cost 30 per cent more than was the case a few years back.
Renault in the recent past has built some quick and interesting cars, which the vast majority of performance vehicle buyers choose to ignore. The Megane 225 is powerful and well-equipped yet most of them cost less than $10,000. You can pay around half that for a Clio Sport and they are fun as well. Among the more expensive older Renaults is one of the slowest as well; a 4CV from the 1950s tops out at 95km/h but will cost twice the price of a 12 or the rarely-seen 16TS. Should you be keen to spend $20,000 on a Renault there are a few of the Dauphine-based Florides still kicking about.
It is more than 30 years since Silver Clouds started flirting with $100K values and never quite making it. That applies of course to four-door cars, not the two-door Saloons with bodies by Mulliner and other coachbuilders which frequently top $150,000. Silver Shadows remain affordable, with Series II cars no dearer than early ones and the two-door only slightly more expensive than a sedan. Recently a couple of older R-R limousines with Royal connections came up for auction in Britain, accompanied by the last Corniche V convertible from 2002. That one was set to make A$300,000, but earlier cars sell for considerably less.
If you are in the market for a post-1981 Rolls-Royce then be prepared to spend a few decades and lots of money on maintenance before it starts to show a return. Prices for the Spirit and Spur have increased, reflecting the quality of cars in the sample. In the past – this segment could turn up some pretty appalling $10,000 money pits. Later Spirit II and III can be priced at more than $50,000, however most are no more expensive than a late-1980s version. We suspect, given these cars sell in the USA at A$80-100,000, that the one-off Seraph on offer at almost $250,000 was ‘testing the market’.
The number of 1950s-70s Rovers in the market gives rise to questions of who buys cars like these when they have been in the same ownership for many years. Certainly, $8000 is not much money for a very good P4 sedan. Nor is $6000 for a V8-engined P6B or under $2500 for the 2.0-litre version. Rover today is recognised as a source of luxury off-road product and doesn’t generate a lot of recognition for or affinity with its older passenger models. 3.5-litre Coupes that looked set to consistently hit $20,000 are retreating and pushing values for earlier 3-litre versions lower too. Anyone seeking later-model luxury could consider a Vanden Plas-spec SD1 at $6000.
Pitted against Rover’s more sophisticated 2000 and 3500 models, Triumph’s 2000/2500 sedans had a tough task but they seem to be winning in the quest for long-term survival. Mark1 cars are scarce and very good ones exceed $10,000 however it is still easy to find an automatic 2500TS or 2500S at $5000 or less. Despite lots of race success the Dolomite Sprint didn’t inspire Aussie buyers and today $12,000 buys an excellent car. The V8-engined Stag with its distinctive engine note sold well here and outstanding cars might today generate $40,000. Finned Herald convertibles and the scarce six-cylinder Vitesse are worth more than $10,000.
Slotting in between the MGA and big Healeys, TR Triumphs were genuine sports cars that could make the owner look good cruising on a Saturday night or at the race circuit on Sunday. TR2/3 values have been surging although rarely reaching the $80,000 sometimes sought. Other pre-TR7 models are also gaining and $40,000+ is reasonable for an excellent TR4 or TR6. US market cars without fuel injection cost 30 percent less. The rare TR5 [only 2947 were built] is seldom seen here and prices are $60,000 or more. Spitfire buyers will get a very good car for $18,000 but TR7 buyers will struggle with only $8500 in hand. TR8s are personal imports, usually ex-USA and $20-25,000 is fair.
Vauxhalls are among the brands facing declining interest and possible extinction. Body parts are very hard to find and even minor crash damage could write a car off. The ones with best spares support are the PA Velox and Cresta and they traditionally have held their values well. The later PB models are better cars than the similarlooking EH Holden but a quarter the price. The four-cylinder Viva is scarce and also holding its value. Most expensive at present are 1946-51 models with very dated styling. The later E Series looks better and offers more interior space for less money.
The clamour to own a 1950s-70s Beetle has eased yet prices for the best cars remain high. Early ‘oval window’ models typically cost more than $20,000 and that is in line with overseas sales. However Australia does have sufficient stocks of other models to satisfy demand and it is hard to see rapid growth in the market for 1958-71 Beetles. The 1600cc Superbug with improved suspension at $10-12,000 is worth a look. So too the Type 1 Karmann-Ghia Coupe and genuine Karmann Cabriolets (not sedans with the top chopped off). Most of the K-G Coupes will be Australian-delivered and current pricing makes them look attractive when compared with the cost of sourcing one from the USA.
The original VW Golf rewrote the rules for small car design and over six million were sold. However Australia just didn’t like them and finding an excellent car in our market is difficult. VW tried again in 1989 with a Cabrio and half-baked GTI but they didn’t spark interest either. Not until the 21st Century did Aussies embrace the turboengined GTI and ferocious R32. Buyers will find plenty of both at attractive prices. The cars to watch for future growth are the ones that weren’t officially sold here; original-shape GTI two-doors that in mint condition on the European market cost A$30,000 and more.
Lots of the ancient hippies have sold out and spent some of their wealth on sending Type 2 Kombi prices to ridiculous levels. We do suspect that the early ones have gone past their tipping point and will come back, however later, larger ‘bay window’ versions have some movement left. For the first time we have separately surveyed Kombi camper conversions and found lots at $30-40,000. 1980s fuel injected Kombis are enjoyable to drive, roomy and still cheap. The Type 3 passenger range arrived here in 1963 and those very early 1500-engined cars are in demand. So too the last of the 1600TLE [fuel-injected] Fastbacks that can exceed $15,000.
Lots of variety here for fans of Sweden’s most famous car-maker and hardly anything on the list that can be called ‘expensive’. The only models to regularly exceed $20,000 are 1800 Coupes and 1800ES hatchbacks, any of which can in exceptional order top $35,000. The very early 122S is undervalued and so are late 1960s-70s 140 Series cars. The 242GT nicknamed ‘The Roadblock’ at Bathurst in 1979 [although it still managed to finish] is worth $10,000 while the 850R that won races here and overseas will cost around $12,000. Similar money buys a swish C70 convertible built in 2006-07 and we did see several earlier cars at under $5000.