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A SURVIVOR THATS READY FOR THE ROAD
LITTERING our roads in the early 1960s and 70s was the Mini, which was basically the only good small car choice of the time, until the Japenese invaded with a swag of new nampletes. Back then a small car with an auto was very rare, but this one recently popped up on my radar. I am not sure how many sold here but it wouldnít be more than a handful. This almost Mr Bean green Mini-Matic (the name suggests kitchen appliance) seems to be in very original and unrestored condition, by the look of it, and has been hibernating in a shed for the past 20 years. It has recently been brought back on the road, with rebuilt front brakes and new tyres, and a recent service, according to the owner. Sadly it doesnít have the patented Mr Bean door lock system.
THIS MIGHT not be my usual cup of tea, but it sure got my attention when I tripped over it in the classifieds. Soft top MGBs, cold winter days and a canvas roof is not for everyone and this presents a good alternative. The GT is different, with a solid roof for starters. This one sports a sunroof so you can still get the outdoorsy feel if you desire. It shows 67,000 miles on the clock, claims to have had a complete rebuild and respray in 2011 and the manual box has electric overdrive in third and fourth gears. Best of all is that it is still being used as a daily driver.
AFTER BROCK, HSV became the masters of tweaking Commodores and they wasted no time in creating many new models for all budgets and tastes. While the Clubsport was the default setting for most, as the beef vindaloo of the range, the Senator was more of a chicken korma. Still spicy and tasty but not quite packing the same wallop. The subtly winged 185 kW V8 powered Senatorís deep green paintwork is offset with an unusual combo of greys and burgundys in both cloth and velour trim. Limited numbers may point to higher future values. Weíll see.
IT MIGHTNíT BE A treasure trove of sophistication and technology under its curvy exterior but a Corvette will aways catch your eye. The last of the chrome bumper brigade, this C3 is said to have travelled a mere 27,000 miles according to the clock and appears in very original condition. In recent times the owner has spent a fair amount fettling the brakes and cooling system and some trim but now has to part with it. Importing a car isnít as easy as it once was, so buying one on our shores can make a good deal of sense.
IN THE LAST issue Dave Morley wrote an excellent piece on the hair-raising prices of local iron in comparison to the many stateside opportunities. While this car proves his point, if you do like your muscle to come from local sources, an LX SS Tírana hatch isnít a bad place to start. Iíve parked a few in my shed over the years and none have disappointed. This two-owner car looks good in the pics. Up front is the 202ci six bolted to an M20 four-slot DIY shifter. It comes with historical documentation.
RACE TRIBUTE cars need to be spot-on to get my attention and this one sure does. Austin Healeys were all the go when Albert Park hosted its first races. This handsome specimen has been fettled and fettled and fettled with too many mods to mention here but the result is said to be a competitive jigger in club level motorsport. It could also be a fun road car. Reminds me of my childhood when half the competitors drove their racers to and from, well most of the time, the racetrack. The owner says he has has flung 56 grand at it in the past three yearrs. so it should be raring to go.
THIS ONE JUMPED off the page at me. One of the mightiest and possibly least known Ford muscle cars of the 60s. The Torino Talladega with its 428 Cobra Jet engine was a NASCAR homologation special built to beat Chrysler and won the 1969 NASCAR crown, regularly topping 200mph. They donít go that fast now. Only 745 Talladegas were built so we are talking uncommon. This one lobbed here a year ago, imported by its current owner from the Classic Cars & Garage Museum in Alabama, where it had been with a collector for decades. It shows a genuine 75,098 miles with Log books, warranty card, build sheet, brochures and more.
THIS ONE got our resident T-bird owner, Angelo salivating so it must have plenty going for it. No ordinary Thunderbird, it is an M-code car, making it rather special. Not many Thunderbirds were built with the performance 390 6-barrel V8 engine and only 46 M code hardtops are known to be in existence, so it is one for the collector, with the occasional drive on a sunny day. From the photos it appears to be in good condition and is registered in NSW and claims to be ready to go. Strangely I havenít seen Angelo since he spotted this ad. Coincidence?