Alfa Romeo 1963-1992
The money being sought, and in some instances paid, for 1960s-70s Alfas is bewildering. 1.6-litre GTVs have the edge in scarcity and competition kudos but that doesn’t really explain why the smaller-engined cars should be 40 per cent more expensive than others. So too, early ‘boat-tail’ Spiders which are scarce and accordingly command close to $90,000. However no one can provide a cogent reason why the very similar 2000 Spider is not only half the price of a Duetto but also cheaper than a 2.0-litre coupe. Among the Alfetta-based cars, GTV6s are doing well but four-cylinder GTVs remain cheap. Jumping into the market for 1980s Alfas remains cheap with 33IEs, Twin Spark 75s or maybe a big 164 sedan still available below $10,000.
Alfa Romeo 1993-2008
If you don’t have much money and think that Alfas built 10-25 years ago look to be decent value, have another think. Most currently sell for a tiny fraction of new price but there are various reasons for their apparent bargain status. Durability issues (imaginary and real) cause many buyers to avoid older Alfas so cars such as the V6 166 sedan hold less than 10 per cent of new price. Conversely, the potent 156GTA still makes a quarter of its original cost. Another one that is worth a look and offers value is the Brera coupe. These with a V6 and lots of included goodies cost well short of $20,000.
Aston Martin 1969-2006
Australia’s Aston-Martin population has grown dramatically since the arrival in our market of the DB7 and subsequent models. Availability keeps prices steady and ensures that plenty of locally-sold and recently-imported Astons are available at prices beginning below $70,000. Older Astons and especially DB-prefix cars have been pushed beyond the reach of ‘enthusiast’ buyers and even the once-accessible DB6 will typically cost more than $600,000. Those in the market for a 1970s V8 are better served, with the AM V8 down a little on last year but long-term growth virtually assured. The six-cylinder DBS has less of a following than the V8 but is also $50,000 cheaper.
We struggle at present to identify any recent Audi with strong ‘classic’ attributes but are also defeated in attempts to find surviving pre-1985 cars in any quantity. One 1970s-issue Fox at $10,000 was the standout but 100/200 models from the 1970s-90s seem almost extinct. Among Audi’s more recent offerings we find fast, versatile cars of various sizes and with a variety of engines. Values continue to sag but an obvious possibility is the RS4; down from $160K to less than $50,000 but hopefully staunching its losses. If you need an Audi that is quick and affordable try the S3 Turbo or older A4 Quattro. TT sports cars don’t have the kerb appeal they once offered and good ones are available below $15,000.
Very soon Britain’s most prolific economy model will celebrate its 100th birthday and roads everywhere will still be cluttered with surviving Austin Sevens. Such is the ‘Baby’ Austin’s appeal that top-quality cars still bring more than an early and more practical Mini. Later-model Austins cost way less and anybody who can lay hands on $5000 can take their pick of some interesting cars including the A30 and A40 – once Australia’s best-selling car – the A50-A60 Cambridge and of course the radical (in its day) and roomy 1800. Big Austin Princess and A135 limousines didn’t sell here when new, however enough have been imported to keep wedding hirers well supplied.
Healey numbers remain strong and values across the range continue to climb. Looking back just five years it is easy to see growth of 30 per cent and more in ‘big’ Healey values and similar appreciation for the earliest Sprites. Mark 3 versions of the 3000 have a strong international collector following and while some cars have been offered in Australia at more than $120,000 our market continues to lag behind Europe. Also up significantly are excellent examples of the 1950s-build 100/4 and 100/6. Sprites from the 1960s remain relatively affordable, however finding an outstanding car continues to be a challenge. Cheaper examples will often need costly body-work and then become over-capitalised.
Tradition runs deep and Bentley values aren’t prone to rapid movement in any direction. That is not to say that desirable models don’t generate exceptional money, as evident from the A$1.6 million asked recently by a UK vendor for an R Type Continental. Standard Steel Mark 6 and R Type saloons hover around $50,000 as do S1-S2 four doors. The S3 makes 30 per cent more but is scarce. Outlaying $2540,000 will put various Bentleys on your list including decent examples of the very muscular Turbo R. Continental R coupes from 12-15 years ago were around $400K when new and now sell in the $65-90,000 range. Ask about servicing costs first.
Seen $40K on the windscreen of a 2002 and thought ‘not possible’? Then look at similar cars offered in Europe for A$60,000 and perhaps think ‘not bad’. BMW’s original compact sports sedan and grand-father to the M3 has always enjoyed classic kudos and they were raced with some success. So too the E30-bodied 325iS but very few sell in Australia and we can’t confirm $50K as realistic. Other representatives of BMW’s 3 Series [E21 and E30 cars] remain in reasonable numbers and affordable. Pick of the bunch would be the scarce E21 Series 323i and more common E30 version, 325i and the 320i convertibles sell for a sensible $9000-12,000.
2002 $41,075  320/323i E21 $9115  318/320I/323i/325i E30 $8710  320i/325i Conv. E30 $12,740  325iS $55,500 
BMW 1 & 3 Series 1991-2007
Three Series BMWs built during the past 30 years remain easy to find and in some cases ridiculously cheap. 328i Highline convertibles at $10,000 cost around a tenth of new price, with 2000-06 versions of the 330i coupe holding around the same proportion. More recent 335i models are still depreciating and with plenty in the market, buyers who haggle could benefit. Turbo-fed 135i cars are doing better in the private market than dealer-land where the potential for warranty issues can be a problem. For a Bimmer that’s proven, practical and cheap, consider the 318Ti Hatch.
BMW 5/6/7/8 Series 1980-2008
BMW’s 6-Series coupes have been with us since 1977, won races and lots of hearts, yet unless you crave one of the ultra-rare M6 versions they aren’t insanely expensive either. Cheaper and still practical for regular use, the 645i Coupe can be found in excellent order at under $30,000. The earlier, V8-powered 840Ci is getting cheaper too but parts issues make these a difficult choice. For a practical sedan with good performance, consider 540i-550i cars which in usable condition cost $5000-15,000. Collectors remain keen on the 1980s-shape 535i but are less enthralled by later E34 Series cars or the big, more complex 735/750/750iL limos.
535i 1985-87 $12,475  535i/535iS $8225  540i 1997-01 $8295  545i/550i $14,650  635CSI 1983-89 $34,020  645i Coupe $26,485  735i/740iL $8750  840Ci $30,640 
BMW M Series/Z3 1987-2008
Anyone with a grasp of automotive history will know why E30 M3s are rare and expensive. These are proper racing cars that won significant events across the world. Sadly and despite their evocative exhaust note, later M3s did nothing much in the sporting arena and you can currently buy a decent E36 for $25,000. M5s are scarce as well and $30,000 buys an E34 or perhaps E39. Look for low kilometres and complete service history. Z3 Roadsters were [and are] a bit too slow to be interesting so prices for early 1.9-litre cars have fallen below $10,000. Z3s with the punchy 2.8 engine can now also be found below $20,000.
Classic vehicle values rarely follow logical pathways and $30,000 for one of the world’s most rudimentary vehicles might seem crazy. However, Australia is certainly not the only place on the planet where 2CV Citroens can generate extreme money. Spending slightly less will buy a D Special sedan while $40,000 funds the sophisticated DS23 Pallas sedan or a Safari wagon. The totally new CX has been with us now for more than 40 years but has made little impact on the market. CX2400s sold here remain well below their original selling prices although you might pay $25,000 for a GTi. 21st Century Citroens are yet to achieve any collector-market presence but for cheap and interesting transport the C5 SX might be worth a look.
Daimlers from the pre-Jaguar era are difficult to find and haven’t changed greatly in value for the past decade. In fact the only significant movement in Daimler values has come from post-1972 V12 saloons and then only when the car is excellent. The version to get if possible is a Series 1 Vanden Plas of which around 350 were built and today can cost more than $35,000. 2.5-litre cars which shared the Mark 2 Jaguar body are stuck in a sub-$25K rut, with later 420 and XJ-based Sovereigns even cheaper. Australia didn’t see many of the massive DS420 limos when new but recent imports have helped bolster the market for elaborate wedding transport.
Older Ferraris are doing well as they traditionally do during an automotive value boom, but take cover should a ‘crash’ come. The 1980s, 1990s and 2000s all saw value cycles involving the 246GT Dino as a leading player. Back then, Boxers weren’t as popular or valuable as they have become, nor were the early-1960s 330GTs. Mid-engined Ferrari 308 and 328s are appreciating as well but not to untenable levels being experienced by exotics like the F40. One exception is the early, fibreglass-bodied 308GT which can make $250,000. Ferraris at lowish prices do still exist, however the only pre-1990s car that’s viable for less than $100,000 is the strangely-styled Mondial.
Dare we suggest that later model Ferraris have become so common that they barely raise an eyebrow any more? Locally delivered cars are scarce and come with a price premium but onlookers would have no idea whether your car first turned a wheel in Toorak or Tokyo. Bargains include 360 coupes at under $100,000 and the heavyweight 456GT for not much more. F355s are rated among the best Ferraris of recent times and have enjoyed consistent value gains to reach $250,000. Similar money buys a 430 coupe or front-engined V12 575M. Testarossa pricing spans a broad range, with the cheapest cars being LHD-build imports and the dearest of them low-km RHD cars from the 1980s.
Fiat during the 1960s was a major player on the Australian market but fell into a huge hole from which it took decades to escape. Best seller now and back then is the tiny 500 Nuova – now making close to $30K – plus the family-sized 1500 and 2300. Good to see a couple of exceptional 130 V6 Coupes top $40,000 but we fear that may not be a typical or sustainable value. 124 Coupes that have avoided the rust bug are lovely cars stuck in a sub-$15,000 price rut. Convertible 124s should make $20,000. The X1/9 has been scarce in recent trading and that $8000 average isn’t representative of excellent cars.
British Fords at one point ruled the local Medium Car market so there are plenty of Cortinas, Anglias and early Escorts still available. That assessment excludes Twin-Cam Escorts which are very scarce and now worth $50,000+. Early Ford Capris aren’t common either but prices for V6 versions remain stable at around $40,000. Mark 1 and 2 Cortinas are edging towards $20,000, with early GTs already beyond that figure. Mark 3 Zephyrs didn’t sell here in big numbers, however with their finned shape and suitability for V8 conversions they are now keenly sought and more expensive than earlier versions.
Anglia 105E $11,875  Cortina Mark 1 $18,550  Cortina Mark 2 $13,630  Cortina GT Mark 1 $24,250  Cortina GT Mark 2 $16,935  Escort Mark 1 $14,540  Capri V6 GT $38,500  Zephyr 1952-62 $17,280  Zephyr 1962-66 $26,500 
Hillman once was once renowned as an excellent choice for classic market newcomers. For the most part these were solid, simple cars that didn’t cost much to buy and with parts that were easy to source. During the past decade prices have climbed, with the Hunter doing especially well, yet few people show interest in the brand. The Imp is an intriguing little car but scarce even in its UK homeland, the Minx is sturdy and uninspiring. Humbers from the 1960s are still common with values up a little and the averages for six-cylinder Snipes and the Hillman-based Vogue valid for good-quality cars.
Jaguar Saloons 1952-86
Jaguar during the 1950s changed the prestige car market with its Mark VII sedans and ‘compact’ 2.4/3.4 models. These in turn brought us the Mark 2, which with the 3.8-litre motor and manual transmission is again flirting with $100,000 asking prices. Look elsewhere in the 1960s Jaguar market and you will find S Type and 420s with similar performance and better handling than a 3.8 Mark 2 at less than half its current cost. Buyers wanting a practical older Jaguar can spend less than $20,000 on an excellent Series 1 XJ6 or luxurious Series 3 Sovereign. If you have $25-40,000 and want one of Jaguar’s most elegant designs, shop around for a two-door XJC with the 4.2-litre engine.
Jaguar Saloons 1987-2008
Post-1986 Jaguars when new were expensive to buy and suffered issues that blighted their reputation for years. Plenty survive, right back to the earliest 3.6-litre XJ40 models that arrived in 1987. Later X300 and X308 models – ensure the V8’s timing gear issues have been fixed – cost $8000-18,000, with supercharged XJR models at $20-27,000. Jaguar in 1998 revisited its compact S Type and again V8 versions offer the best blend of price and performance. X350 XJs and XFs with the 4.2 or 5.0-litre petrol V8s have collapsed in value so cars with very low kilometres and are attracting collectors with an eye on the future.
Jaguar XJS/XK8/XKR 1976-2009
For reasons best known to the people who buy Jaguars, V12 XJS models derived little kudos from their amazing 1985 Bathurst victory [1st and 3rd places] and European Touring Car success. Very early cars are making gains due to scarcity but the only other versions making serious money are V12 convertibles which often reach $50,000. Later XK8 and supercharged XKR cars are more practical for regular use than a V12 and the influence of rampant depreciation has diminished. Late-model XK 150 versions which cost $250K+ when new are still in strife, having already lost 75 per cent of their value.
Jaguar Sports 1949-75
Extreme asking prices for early E Types continue to follow international trends, however local sales at those levels are hard to confirm. One that did achieve mega money was an early-build fixed-head coupe that at Pebble Beach auction made US$620,000. Later 4.2 coupes and especially automatic 2+2s can still be found at less than $100,000, with Series 2 Roadsters around $200,000. Our suspicions last year regarding $300,000 V12 Roadsters proved correct and this year’s average better reflects the cost of an excellent manual car. A fixed-roof XK140 that sold at auction for $91,000 looked tidy and may put the $100-160,000 being sought for other examples into perspective.
XK120/140/150 Coupe $133,145  XK120/140/150 Drophead/Roadster $185,495  Type Coupe $146,845  Type S1 Roadster $318,735  Type S1.5-S2 Roadster $226,330  Type V12 Coupe $129,500  E Type V12 Roadster $203,840 
Lamborghinis in years gone by would draw crowds whenever one appeared on the street. Today, a late-model Gallardo or even Murcielago might generate furtive admiration but that’s about all. Time will tell whether these cars with their wondrous mechanical and electronic complexity will become viable with collectors. Anyone lucky enough to own a 1970s Countach might be well-advised to hang for a few more years as the growth doesn’t seem to be slackening. 1980s Countachs and the later Diablo are moving as well but both have a way to go before they recoup the original purchaser’s outlay. Early models including the four-seat Espada rarely appear in the open market but prices look realistic.
Land-Rover/Range Rover 1949-2003
A couple of sales in the vicinity of $40,000 confirm that early Land-Rovers have admirers here as well as in the UK. Go a little later and Series II and III models with minimal collector appeal rarely reach $15,000. Move into a 110 or ex-Army Defender and you’ve got yourself a classically styled but extremely competent off-roader for around $20,000. The price gulf between very early and more recent Range Rovers is pronounced, with a couple of two-door Rangies offered at more than $50,000. Later, bigger-engined Vogue and HSE versions offer practical buying and sell, despite their age difference, for very similar money.
There has been some interest of late in the James Bond Esprit Turbo that could switch to submarine mode, however not enough to send Esprit values in the same direction as Bond-influenced Aston-Martins. Early Elans which a decade back looked to be on the move have stalled as well; our top price for a Drophead $75,000 and a decent-looking Plus-2 coupe selling for under $40,000. Europas with Ford twin-cam engines will make $50,000 overseas but we didn’t see any here. Buyers looking for a later model Elise and Exige will find that both hold their values but offer a lot of fun for the money.
Maserati during the era of its appalling Biturbo looked set to die but has come roaring back. Almost all of the 1985-95 cars have disappeared but you can still pick up a variety of cheap and reasonably reliable Maseratis. 3200 coupes often dip below $30,000, with very good Ghiblis and Quattroportes at $45-50,000. Of the older Masers, only the mid-engined Merak appears with any consistency and at realistic money. Looking to the future, the Shamal is scarce but values remain at less than half new-car cost. Go older and the one to buy will be a 4.9-litre Bora – hopefully before any more local cars disappear overseas.
Mercedes-Benz Sedan/Coupe 1955-1986
Early ‘Ponton’ models seem stalled at $15-20,000 but that’s probably fair money given the cost of keeping cars like these in running order. Later ‘finny’ sedans at $20,000 offer better value and should continue to climb. 220-280SE coupes and especially convertibles have become very expensive. Later 250/280SE four-doors have enjoyed a recent spike in values putting them close to $20,000 but that might not be sustained. Maintenance issues ensure 380SE/SEL sedans can appear very cheap, when buyers would be better served by spending more on a well-kept 380SEC. Among the cars to watch are late-series 280CE hardtops and the 450SEL 6.9. These brutish supercars remain relatively cheap to buy and do deserve preservation.
Virtually every vehicle in this listing has ‘future classic’ potential and virtually all of them remain affordable. So where is the best place to park your $10-20,000? Anyone with a big-car fetish surely can’t pass up the chance to buy a 560SEL for around $15,000, however if fuel costs are a concern then the compact 300CE two-door at $12-15K is a good alternative. The mega-luxury CL500 cost almost $300,000 new but today is unlikely to exceed $30,000. Performance with an AMG emblem isn’t dear either, especially the C36 at under $20K or a 5.5-litre E55 for $10-12,000 more.
Mercedes-Benz SL 1957-89
230-280SL models from the 1960s took a long time to get moving but since 2015 there have been significant gains and the chance for exceptional cars to reach $250,000. Also climbing but more predictably are 190SLs which trade on their similarities to the mega-buck 300SL. At the opposite end of the market are V8 versions of the R107 Series; ranging from 3.5 to 5.6 litres and at prices between $20,000 and $100,000. Best value for bargain-seekers are fixed-roof 450SLC models with 2+2 seating. Their prices are up just a little on 2018. Two-seat 350SL and 450SL roadsters abound in the $35-40,000 bracket and the 560SL remains steadily above $80,000. Big mover is the 380SL that has gained 30 per cent in a year.
Mercedes-Benz SL/SLK/CLK 1990-2006
Plenty of bargains here, beginning with some former high-flyers that have fallen on hard times. When new the supercharged SLK230 Roadster attracted queues of buyers and inflated used car prices. Today an excellent SLK will cost $12,000 while the fixed roof CLK320 is more practical and costs just a little more. Up at the pricey end of the market an R129 500SL in decent order will cost $30-35,000. The V12-powered 600SL is scarce and priced $20,000 higher. AMGs in this age bracket don’t need to be expensive either and $20-25,000 buys a CLK55 that’s done around 200,000km.
MG Sedan/Sports 1946-73
T Series MGs look fragile and the uninitiated might wonder how they could last 20 years, let alone the 70 that some have. This year’s survey turned up a good selection TC-TFs and at prices that were steady or just back a little on previous years. MGA values are steady in the low-$40,000s but make $60K if a car is superb. MGB Roadsters remain a barometer of the classic market and their values remain steady. Midget numbers were down yet quality cars rarely exceed $20,000. That goes for Y Series and Magnette sedans as well, allowing the whole family to enjoy Club runs in company with other MGs.
MGB/RV8/MG F/Z Type 1974-2003
MG clung to its traditions a little too long and in the face of growing legislative barriers. The ‘rubber nose’ cars which weren’t sold new in Australia don’t handle or perform as earlier versions did and their values remain below those for ‘chrome bumper’ cars. Exceptions are 1990s RV8s and 1970s GT V8s which can exceed $50,000, however these are rare. MG’s 1990s revival brought the troubled F models and under-rated Z Series sedans. Any of these at under $10,000 make decent daily-use cars. $15,000 will buy an excellent example of the later TF135 and 160.
It is 55 years since the Morris Minor was last sold new in Australia but look at the amount still available and the money these basic ‘family classics’ can make. Most popular is the ‘Morrie’ 1000 that was a first car for many Australians and can now cost $10,000. $6000 will buy a side-valve Oxford which looks like a Minor but offers extra space. Convertible-top Minor Tourers are scarce and can reach $20,000 however $10,000 was enough for most on offer this year. The Minor was replaced here in 1964 by the front-wheel drive 1100 which was too sophisticated for its own good so surviving cars are scarce. The pre-WW2 Austin 10 offers something different for a $10,000 outlay.
Eight/Ten 1938-48 $9030  Minor Sedan 1949-56 $9050  Minor 1000 Sedan 1957-64 $9525  Minor Tourer 1949-60 $9700  Oxford 1949-58 $5495  1100 $5495 
Morris Mini/Cooper S/Rover Mini
This year marks the 60th birthday of the astonishing BMC Mini. Despite advancing years, 850 versions remain available and reasonably affordable. Anyone wanting more performance than the 850cc engine can provide might prefer a basic Mini Cooper which sold here from 1963-66. Despite being less common than the 1275cc Cooper S, these seem stuck below $25,000 and even scored the exact same average value as last year. Jump into a Cooper S with Bathurst 500 and British Touring Car credentials and the cost can surge past $50,000. Some vendors are looking for $80,000 [and in Britain the ex-Ringo Starr Cooper S Hatchback made $180,000] however the market hasn’t reacted as yet to extreme pricing. Recent imports bring a range of Rover-built Minis into play, with the late-1990s Cooper a decent choice at around $25K.
People who enjoy driving used to enjoy driving Peugeots. The old ones had no power but could still be cruised for hours at silly speeds over awful roads. That reputation has helped maintain values for the 504 and earlier models but even then $12,000 for an excellent fuel-injected 504 or restored 403 isn’t expensive. The 205GTi Hatch has good a local following but prices here remain lower than in Europe. The 306 S16 is scarce but as yet not expensive. Neither is the 306 Cabrio which offers fun in a regular-use car that in average condition will cost $5000.
Porsche 356/911/930 1957-87
Absolutely nothing in the realm of early Porsche is cheap any more, not even the once-ignored 912. Pre-1974 911s remain a $200,000 prospect and an exceptional 911E or S can go higher. Also knocking on the window of $200K are 356B, C and SC coupes, with convertible versions having been there or above for some time. If you have downsized the house or taken a lump sum then a 3.0 or 3.2-litre 911 in the $90120,000 price range will be fun and maybe make enough to cover its running costs. Early Turbos have soared by around 250 per cent since 2015 and the next five years should bring further gains.
Porsche 911/993/996/Boxster 1988-08
‘The Porsche you have when you can’t afford a Porsche’ is an unkind assessment of the competent Boxster but pretty accurate. High-kilometre examples of the mid-engined 986 can be found below $10,000, with excellent 3.2-litre cars making $25,000. Those numbers are in complete contrast to the money being asked and paid for 1990s Carreras, Turbos and GT3s. The latter are close already to recouping their original asking prices, as are early-1990s 964 models and 993 (AWD) Turbos. The cheapest Porsches from this era are late-1990s 911s with mechanically suspect 3.4-litre engines. However, a 911 that is running a rebuilt engine, that comes with an independent mechanical check and is selling at $50K must surely represent value.
Porsche 924/928/944/968 1978-1995
Front-engined Porsches are almost invariably nice to drive, yet even when the money sought is stupidly low they remain hard cars to sell. The 924 Turbo appeals to particular tastes but at $25,000 you surely could learn to love one. The 944 Turbo should not require any effort at all and that results in top-quality cars topping $80,000. An excellent 968 at $50K might be a good compromise. Basic 944s are cheap because a lot haven’t been properly maintained and now exhibit costly problems. The 928 and especially S4 versions are a genuine supercar but like BMW’s 840i not yet popular or valuable.
Once a favourite of enthusiast owners, older Renaults are now seldom seen and we do wonder where they might have gone. 10s, 12s and the wonderful 16 are hard to find and shouldn’t be because they were assembled locally until the late 1970s and sold in quantity. The R4 quasi-station wagon didn’t sell well here however some have survived and are now being offered at significant prices. Fuegos had their issues and once parts supplies dried up it was hard for frustrated owners not to march them off to the wreckers when something failed. Sport versions of the Clio and Megane are still easy to find and at the prices being sought they should interest buyers who might otherwise be looking at something Japanese or Korean
Pre-1981 Rolls-Royces once were regarded as sure-fire investments but that view has faded since the 1990s when Silver Cloud values seemed sure to exceed $100,000. Convertibles and cars with bespoke bodies have done well but standard Silver Clouds for the most part languish in the $40-55,000 price range. Shadow-based Corniche convertibles are scarce and have doubled in value since 2009, however the past five years have brought little movement. The Silver Shadow market offers plenty of choice and a relatively tight band between poor-quality Cars at $15,000 and very good ones at $35,000. An Australian-spec Series 2 with complete service history at that money would be a wise choice.
Having a business where your Rolls-Royce can generate income is a good excuse for owning one and $30-40,000 is cheap for an entry-level car. The later Seraph is sufficiently important and interesting to attract enthusiast buyers, especially as the slide in values has slowed. Less viable is the Phantom, which at launch in 2004 was priced at close to $1 million and since then has lost about 70 per cent of that initial outlay. Better news exists for owners of 1980s-90s Silver Spirits and Spurs. These continue to diminish but their rates of depreciation are slowing and perhaps are headed in a few years time for an improvement.
Rover enthusiasts will be buoyed by news that older models are gaining in value and that ‘last gasp’ 75s from the early 2000s are surviving in viable numbers. The Rover that many people remember is the 1949-62 ‘auntie’ version that was built in two body styles and with (mostly) six-cylinder engines. These can reach $20,000 but most don’t. P6 models with four-cylinder or V8 motors survive in reasonable quantities and V8s generally sell below $10,000. Big-bodied 3.5 Sedans and especially the scarce Coupe are climbing, with a couple of cars priced at more than $40,000. Six-cylinder, 3-litre sedans remain affordable and offer comfort with quality for $10,000.
Triumph Sedans/Stag 1959-78
As occurs with a lot of British brands, the smallest cars in the Triumph sedan range are doing better than larger ones. The most desirable Triumph sedans are also the most difficult to find and we haven’t seen a Mark I PI offered locally for some years.
Heading overseas for guidance was no help as they are ultra-scarce there as well.
Better pickings exist in the ranks of 2500TC and 2500S models, although desirable manual/overdrive cars are scarce and headed for $15,000. With its competition credentials, the Dolomite Sprint should do better than $10,000 and Stags are back to more typical pricing after taking a brief look at $25k.
Triumph Sports 1954-81
Early Triumph sports cars continue to gain value while the TR7 provides an affordable entry point. One car at $80,000 helped keep the average for ‘side-screen’ models at around $50,000. Paying $40-45,000 is realistic if you’re looking for a tidy TR4 or fuel-injected TR6. The TR5 is scarce and seeing more than a couple in our market was unusual. Spitfires and derivative GT6 coupes are holding value despite a reduced supply of cars. Not as many TR7s about this year either and prices were up a little. TR8s need to be in good condition and genuine [not TR7s with a transplant] to justify prices above $20,000.
Vauxhall was once a strong classic market contender but they haven’t sold here for more than 50 years and interest in the brand is declining. Pick of the 1950s-60s cars is still the PA model with lots of chrome and wrap-around windows front and rear. PA Crestas can get above $15,000. Earlier E Series sedans are becoming difficult to find yet they still aren’t expensive. The same applies to PB Velox/Crestas that offer a very cheap alternative to EJ/EH Holdens. Sedans from the 1940s are vintage in style and character and relatively expensive. Vivas from the 1960s make a good first classic at under $5000.
Volkswagen dels at Beetle/Karmann 1954-80
The cost of buying an early Volkswagen continues to climb. Buyers just want one and seem unconcerned when outlaying $20,000 and more on a car this basic and that isn’t particularly scarce. Best for frequent use are later 1500/1600 Beetles, with a 1970s Superbug the best of these. Karmann-built Beetle convertibles will usually be US-sourced imports and later-model cars cost $30,000. For a stylish look without paying Porsche prices, the Type 1 Karmann-Ghia coupe is still fairly easy to find and most sell for less than $35,000.
Volkswagen Golf/Eos/Passat 1974-2009
Later-model Volkswagens offer interesting and reasonably reliable transport with decent performance, The R32 Golf and R36 Passat are proper performance cars that still offer practical family transport and can be found in decent shape below $15,000. The 2.8-litre Golf VR6 is a goer too but doesn’t rate with buyers who prefer to spend a bit more on the turbocharged GTi. For open air fun you can spend $5-10K on an early-1990s, retro-look Golf Cabriolet or go for the less roomy but more recent EOS.
Volkswagen Type 3/Kombi 1957-90
Kombis continue to make exceptional money at auction and encourage owners to be very ambitious when selling quite ordinary examples. Early vans in decent order should be worth $35K, with a ‘split-window’ Microbus at around $80,000. Move to the post-1967 ‘bay window’ version and the money needed for an excellent bus or dual-cab ute drops below $40,000. People who owned Kombis in the days of sun and surf may want to rekindle memories of Campmobile ownership but fully restored these can reach $40,000. Fans of Volkswagen passenger cars who don’t see themselves in a Beetle might prefer the Type 3 sedan or wagon which average $12,000 or a Fastback at $5000 more.
Older Volvos are scarce and some are gaining in value. A solitary P1800 coupe in our market at around $40,000 doesn’t indicate a trend but looking at cars in similar condition in Europe for up to A$80,000 confirms it. A 242GT in decent condition may be worth $15,000 but other pre-1990 models remain in the $3500-7500 range. Celebrating Volvo’s last big dash at motor-sporting glory won’t cost much either, with a 1990s 850-R worth $10-12,000. For something less frenetic, outlay $700010,000 on a C70 convertible.