EUROPEAN & BRITISH 2019 VALUE GUIDES
ROLL UP, roll up, and get your British/European status symbol at prices that can’t last forever? Or can they?
Whether you have the better part of a million to spend or just a few grand, something featured in these pages could very soon be occupying space in your garage and causing neighbours to wonder how you could afford one of those.
As the years roll by, cars that once were absolutely out of reach have become so affordable that you might re-read the advertisement looking for the line that reads ‘Car is at the bottom of a croc-infested creek’. However there truly is nothing wrong with it (allegedly), simply that the market has moved on and 10-20 year-old prestige cars just aren’t thrilling buyers the way they once did.
Even cars that date back further than their owners have stayed relatively affordable. You just need to decide which one fits your needs and lifestyle
If you fancy a front-wheel-drive BMC model from the 1960s, the collector in your head will push for $20,000 to be spent on a cramped 850cc Mini. However a roomy Austin 1800 is a third of the Mini’s price and values continue to rise.
With European and British models, the process of choosing very often involves nostalgia and conferred status. A Holden or Falcon with racing in its DNA might well be worth a million dollars but to the average punter it looks just like the one their grand-dad drove 50 years ago.
Spend your million on a DB-prefix Aston-Martin though and anyone who has seen a James Bond movie knows you are channelling 007 and are driving a car that is very special. Should you not be in the market for an Aston, perhaps a Sunbeam as driven by TV spook Maxwell Smart or a clapped-out Peugeot in the manner of Detective Columbo might suit the budget and still turn heads.
There continues to be a whisper in the winds that environmental pressures will again threaten the survival of older cars. Not the genuine, once-a-month classics (hopefully anyway) but 10-30 year-old models of all kinds that currently are banned from city centres in parts of Europe.
Those cars, if they manage to remain in regular use, will likely be the targets of further restrictions once the next level of European emission controls arrive in 2020. However, these vehicles could well be the architects of their own demise.
With parts expensive or non-existent, those that suffer catastrophic electronic and mechanical failures will very likely be sent straight to the scrapper, leaving an expanding black hole in the lineage of automotive history.
Not all car-makers believe in the throwaway culture of course. British Motor Heritage which has existed since 1975 continues to produce factory-correct parts and even complete body-shells for numerous models associated with BMC or British Leyland.
Porsche has also been keen to preserve its older models and of late has adopted 3-D printing as a means of supplying obscure parts that don’t warrant the set-up cost for mass production.
All of which leads us to believe that the times in which we are living are set to become more interesting.
UNDERSTANDING THE GUIDE
Assessments focus on market movements for various vehicles during the past 12 months and they 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 licensed 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 2019 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.
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 are 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. Re-chroming 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 2019 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 part of a retirement plan.
To determine the value of a specific vehicle, inspection by an appropriately qualified specialist is strongly recommended.