2014 USA Buyers Guide Pt.2 - Market Review

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1959 Buick Electra Convertible 1959 Buick Electra Convertible 1959 Buick Electra Convertible
Buick Buick Buick
1960 Cadillac Fleetwood 1960 Cadillac Fleetwood 1960 Cadillac Fleetwood
1955-60 Chevrolet 1955-60 Chevrolet 1955-60 Chevrolet
Chevrolet Chevelle Chevrolet Chevelle Chevrolet Chevelle
Chevrolet Corvette Chevrolet Corvette Chevrolet Corvette
Chevrolet Corvette Chevrolet Corvette Chevrolet Corvette
Chrysler Chrysler Chrysler
Ford Ford Ford
Ford Galaxie Ford Galaxie Ford Galaxie
Ford F100 Ford F100 Ford F100
1970 Boss 302 1970 Boss 302 1970 Boss 302
1987 Ford Mustang 1987 Ford Mustang 1987 Ford Mustang
1964 Ford Thunderbird 1964 Ford Thunderbird 1964 Ford Thunderbird
1964 Mercury Marauder 1964 Mercury Marauder 1964 Mercury Marauder
1966 Oldsmobile Toronado 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado
1966 Oldsmobile Toronado 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado
1970 Plymouth Fury 1970 Plymouth Fury 1970 Plymouth Fury
Plymouth Barracuda Plymouth Barracuda Plymouth Barracuda
1970 Plymouth Barracuda 1970 Plymouth Barracuda 1970 Plymouth Barracuda
1961 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible 1961 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible 1961 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible

Your guide to what's available in Australia for each of the iconic American car brands...

 

> 2014 USA Buyers Guide - Part 1: Intro

 

Market review example:

Model

Years of production

Av price surveyed

Number surveyed

Barracuda

1964-1966

$18,315

[3]

Buick 1936-1960

With the Holden brand now turning to dust in General Motors’ hands, Australians may soon revert to grand-dad’s day and be offered a shiny new Calais with Buick badges. Buicks assembled in Holden factories during the 1930s and ’40s were popular with rural buyers and tough enough to survive the worst ravages of rust. Many have been restored and values of Australian-built cars are climbing steadily. Excellent 1940s sedans reach $35,000 and usable ’30s cars are about $10,000 less.

Later-model Buicks will most likely be recent imports and range from tired Special sedans direct from a US scrapyard and worth $10,000 to outstanding Century and Roadmaster hardtops that reach $50,000.

Sedan 1936-1942 $26,040 [10] Sedan 1946-1951 $29,075 [12]

Sedan 1952-1955 $18,335 [5] Sedan/Hardtop 1956-1958 $29,195 [16]

Convertible 1953-1958 $68,325 [3]

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Buick 1961-1978

Holden dealers supplemented their income during the ’60s and ’70s by importing and RHD converting Buicks that were loaded with extras and cost twice as much as a local Pontiac. Virtually any model was available, with the sporty Riviera, full-sized Electra sedan and Wildcat heading the list of desirable imports. Sedans of all kinds and in good condition remain available for less than $15,000, but it is now possible to pay $40,000 for an exceptionally good 1964-65 Riviera or Wildcat convertible. Buicks from the ’70s aren’t as desirable, but some are advertised at prices 40 per cent above earlier versions.

1971-75 Limited sedans and the 7.4-litre Centurion 455s offer power and space at less than $20,000.

Skylark/Wildcat 1963-1972 $13,030 [11] Skylark/Century 1973-1978 $18,540 [9]

Electra/Limited 1961-1978 $17,395 [10] Convertible 1963-1972 $31,500 [4]

Riviera 1963-1965 $30,555 [7] Riviera 1966-1974 $22,480 [14]

 

>> Search Buick cars for sale

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Cadillac 1946-1970

Few Australians in the 1950s had the money or connections to acquire a new Cadillac, but regular arrivals over the past 30 years have ensured plenty of choice today. For frequent use, an RHD car may be attractive, but ancient steering conversions can come with safety issues. Converted or still LHD, an excellent ’50s Coupe de Ville is now likely to cost more than $40,000 while the hugely finned 1959-60 cars average $20,000 more. Post-1960 De Villes are plentiful and extremely well-equipped for their prices. Two-door and four-door Hardtops in excellent condition can be found for less than $20,000, with decent convertibles $15,000 more.

Sedan 1952-1958 $38,600 [11] Coupe 1952-1958 $39,080 [9]

Sedan 1959-1960 $38,850 [7] Coupe 1959-1960 $57,155 [11]

Convertible 1959-1960 $95,670 [3] Sedan/Coupe 1961-1970 $22,900 [25]

Convertible 1961-1970 $37,565 [8]

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Cadillac 1971-2002

If you’re keen to own a Cadillac but don’t have a lot of money, then explore this later era. Biggest and most ostentatious are 1970s-’90s Fleetwood limousines – standard or aftermarket stretched – and Eldorado convertibles, with 8.2 litres of V8 feeding the front wheels. Even though prices have climbed 50 per cent in five years, pre-1977 Eldo coupes and ‘Boss Hog’ soft-tops still generally cost less than $30,000. Just $15,000 will still buy a decent 80s Sedan de Ville, or you can spend $5000-$10,000 more on a ’90s version with smoothed but still traditional styling. The compact STS makes an interesting Statesman alternative and decent ones cost only $10,000.

Sedan/Coupe 1971-1984 $17,810 [24] Sedan/Coupe 1985-1996 $18,800 [8]

Eldorado 1967-1976 $21,460 [11] Eldorado Convertible 1971-1976 $30,225 [11]

STS 1998-2002 $12,220 [12]

 

>> Search Cadillac cars for sale

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Chevrolet 1924-1954

Strong demand via auctions and private sales has helped boost values for many vintage models, including the popular Chevrolets. Good spares support ensures that even the very early cars can be kept running for decades to come. Chevs built in Australia or the US from 1935 until the early 1950s are generally cheaper than pre-’30s models, but are easier to use and more weatherproof. Good ’30s and ’40s sedans generally cost less than $15,000, but ’50s sedans are climbing and some sell above $25,000. Coupes can be locally built 30s models or ’40s-’50s imports, but all are scarce and can cost twice the price of an equivalent four-door.

All Models 1924-1929 $19,885 [12] Sedan 1935-1941 $16,815 [8]

Sedan 1946-1948 $17,000 [2] Coupe 1936-1948 $29,580 [6]

Sedan 1949-1954 $20,965 [6]

*******

Chevrolet 1955-1964

When someone says ‘classic Chevrolet’, the image that pops into many minds is of a two-tone ’55-57 Hardtop dripping with chrome and nostalgia. A few decades ago, the two-door Bel Air was scarce in Australia and most offered for sale would top $50,000. Recent exchange rates have encouraged a surge in imports and more cars in the market has drastically curtailed price growth. $60,000 now buys an excellent Bel Air two-door and convertibles in good condition exceed $80,000. Cars we rarely see including ‘dual-quad’ cars still make $150,000 in the US. 1959-60 sedans are more expensive than 1961-64 models, but people still clamour to own the earlier ones with ‘bat-wing’ rear fins.

4dr Sedan/Hardtop 1955-1957 $41,250 [29] 2dr Hardtop 1955-1957 $47,720 [31]

Convertible 1955-1959 $60,600 [5] 4dr Sedan/Hardtop 1958-1964 $25,760 [16]

2dr Hardtop 1958-1964 $39,130 [24]

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Chevrolet 1965-1980

Lots of Chevrolets were sold new in Australia in the ’60s and many more have arrived since, ensuring it isn’t hard to locate a Bel Air or hardtop Impala at a sensible price. The best of these cars will get close to $30,000, but most remain in the $15,000-$20,000 range. All two-door Impalas are imports; most are recent arrivals and generally worth $30,000-$35,000. SS Chevelles with 6.6-litre or 7.4-litre engines provide an alternative to mainstream muscle cars and are available from $40,000. If you need practicality with performance, check out the SS396 El Camino utility or the more traditional C10 pickup. Good examples of both come in at less than $30,000.

Bel Air/Impala 1965-1971 $20,445 [26] Impala 2dr 1965-1971 $32,460 [20]

Chevelle/SS 1965-1972 $40,160 [24] Nova 1964-1967 $32,300 [9]

El Camino 1966-1974 $24,560 [23] C10 Pickup 1967-1978 $25,485 [25]

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Chevrolet Camaro 1967-2002

Camaro took a long time to establish a collector-car profile in Australia, but values have surged dramatically in the past decade. Starting the 21st century just 10 per cent ahead of pre-1970 Mustangs, the Camaro has skipped to more than $40,000. The latest survey price average for 1967-70 convertibles was pulled back by some ordinary cars in the sample, but excellent open-tops still reach $55,000. 1970s Camaros lost some edginess and not even race-track heroics from Kevin Bartlett sparked demand, so cars remain below $25,000. Move into the ’90s and collectable potential evaporates completely, but leaves some interesting V8-powered transport in the $15,000-$20,000 range. 1990s convertibles at more than $30,000 are hard to sell.

Coupe 1967-1970 $44,300 [51] Convertible 1967-1970 $43,595 [9]

Coupe 1971-1981 $27,855 [21] Coupe 1982-1992 $14,720 [17]

Coupe 1993-2002 $21,235 [8] Convertible 1993-2002 $42,200 [5]

*******

Chevrolet Corvette 1956-1982

First-generation Corvettes maintain a strong following in the US market and continue to achieve good money when sold here. Average cars are worth $60,000 and one 1950s example reached $100,000 at auction. Hot on their heels and sometimes making even more are mid-’60s Sting Ray models. Rare 427ci cars attract $US120,000 and an ultra-scarce L88 version managed almost $US4 million. Moving to the opposite end of the price bracket, we find mid-’70s left-hand-drive Corvette coupes in decent condition at less than $20,000 and better-quality RHD cars only $10,000 dearer. ‘Chrome bumper’ cars, especially convertibles, built from 1968-73 generate extra money, and quality Roadsters regularly better $50,000.

All Models 1956-1962 $94,000 [11] All Models 1963-1967 $69,015 [16]

350 Coupe 1968-1973 $38,640 [25] 350 Roadster 1968-1973 $46,680 [11]

Big Block 1968-1974 $54,825 [16] All Models 1974-1982 $26,550 [57]

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Chevrolet Corvette 1984-2004

America went without a Corvette for a year before a completely modernised model was released in 1984. However, collectors have failed to show much enthusiasm for the competent but compromised C4. Every state in Australia now permits 1984 LHD Vettes to be fully registered and in some places you can LHD register a 1989 model. Early C4s continue to slide in value and you can buy a decent pre-’87 RHD for about $20,000. Moving to the early 90s, where pickings are slimmer and everything must be RHD, the cost of excellent cars has slipped to less than $40,000. This era also produced the scarce and powerful ZR-1, which can cost more than $60,000. 2001-03 C5s mostly sell in the $60,000-$80,000 range.

Corvette 1984-1987 $23,615 [36] Corvette 1988-1992 $29,275 [27]

Corvette 1993-1996 $39,665 [7] Corvette 1997-2003 $89,120 [14]

Corvette ZR-1 $61,500 [3]

 

>> Search Chevrolet cars for sale

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Chrysler/Imperial 1948-1980

With local Dodge and Plymouth models available in abundance, Australian dealers during the 1950s couldn’t be bothered importing the more expensive American versions. We therefore saw very few Imperials and the high-performance ‘letter-series’ 300s that dominated sedan racing in their homeland. Cars that arrived as used imports were rarely in exceptional condition, so head to the US if you want an excellent 300B-E model and be prepared to spend $US100,000. Chryslers from the ’50s including the Cadillac-challenging Imperial are well-equipped but not especially popular. Expect to pay about $15,000 for a 1960s Newport and double that for an early ’60s Imperial or New Yorker.

300 Hardtop 1957-1961 $64,985 [4] Sedan/Hardtop 1963-1970 $17,740 [5]

Convertible 1963-1970 $53,745 [2] Imperial 1955-1963 $34,500 [3]

Imperial 1964-1972 $23,000 [3]

 

>> Search Chrysler cars for sale

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Dodge 1924-1980

For 50 years, Australia had an affinity for Dodge products, with many thousands built and sold here. Four-cylinder and six-cylinder versions exist in greater numbers than our sample indicates and values for usable 1920s cars are $15,000-$20,000. 1930s-40s sedans are slightly cheaper than the earlier models, but finned 50s sedans and imported hardtops generally cost $25,000-plus. The big-selling Phoenix went through several shapes during the ’60s, culminating in the Limited 400 series. A mid-’60s Phoenix or a very good Limited is likely to cost less than $15,000. Hardly any US-made Dodges came here new, but more recent imports offer a reasonable selection of Polara and Monaco models.

Four/Six 1924-1929 $20,725 [4] Sedan/Coupe 1936-1948 $20,525 [7]

Phoenix 1960-1964 $26,000 [4] Phoenix 1965-1972 $14,035 [9]

Polara/Monaco 1962-1972 $17,240 [7]

*******

Dodge Charger/Challenger 1966-1974

The notion that a Dodge Charger’s value can be boosted $20,000 simply by painting it orange and putting ‘01’ on the doors seems to have passed. While genuine ‘General Lee’ TV cars remain valuable, buyers are spending their money on rare-spec originals rather than clones. Hemi engines are rare in Australia, but we see the occasional $100,000-plus car with a 440 ‘Six Pack’ under its hood. Most Chargers have 5.2-litre or 6.3-litre engines and cost around $40,000. The smaller, more conservative Challenger in basic trim can match the price of a Charger and scarce combinations of engine and equipment can take prices above $250,000.

Charger 1968-1970 $44,120 [11] Charger R/T 1968-1970 $64,750 [8]

Charger 1971-1974 $38,985 [3] Challenger 318/383 1970-1974 $43,460 [15]

Challenger 440 & R/T 1970-1972 $78,650 [8]

 

>> Search Dodge cars for sale

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Ford 1913-1961

Customline values are undoubtedly climbing, but prices above $35,000 are unrealistic unless a car is truly outstanding. ‘Upgrades’ with later-model engines, transmissions and brakes make these cars easier to drive, but influence long-term values. Imported Crown Victoria hardtops make sense as they are mechanically identical and cost around the same as a decent Customline, with the advantage of international market appeal. Pre-war Fords can be locally built or imported and, apart from early-1930s coupes and roadsters, prices remain below $30,000. Some T Models are already 100 years old, but the early ‘brass’ cars can cost more than $50,000. T Models from the 1920s and the later A Model maintain veteran-era appeal for under $25,000.

T Model 1913-1927 $22,645 [10] A Model $21,385 [22]

V8 1936-1948 $26,210 [11] Custom 1949-1954 $21,585 [9]

Customline 1955-1959 $35,500 [4] Crown Hardtop 1952-1957 $39,960 [6]

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Ford 1962-1978

Ford Australia continued to assemble North American cars throughout the 1960s and strong club support helps keep plenty of them running. Up to $30,000 has been paid for exceptionally good Galaxie sedans, but more typical cars needing some paint and mechanical work are half that amount. All two-door hardtops are fully imported and it’s hard at present to find a really good pillarless Galaxie over here. ‘Compact’ Fairlane sedans built by Ford Australia are half the price of recently arrived GTA Hardtops, which can exceed $30,000. US Falcon hardtops – most V8-powered – are common, and many cost less than Australian-made XM-XP Futuras.

Galaxie 1962-1964 $12,225 [4] Galaxie 1965-1973 $12,820 [16]

Galaxie Hardtop 1962-1973 $23,070 [10] Fairlane 1962-1966 $17,200 [5]

Fairlane GTA 1966-1969 $27,500 [4] US Falcon 1963-1966 $25,660 [11]

*********

Ford Pickups 1952-2004

Ford pickups play a major role in North American car culture and are building a following here as well. Finding a perfect early F100 with its original ‘flat-head’ V8, skinny wheels and drum brakes is nigh impossible. If you do, there will be someone on the other side of the world prepared to pay handsomely for it. Moderately modified 1950s-’60s trucks with disc brakes and later V8s reach $35,000, but values for mid-’60s ‘Twin Beam’ and later versions are half those of earlier models. The car-based Ranchero isn’t well-known in Australia and recently arrived LHD utes are worth $15,000. Recent F150s with supercharged engines offer excitement at about $60,000.

F1/F100 1952-1955 $33,880 [5] F100 1956-1961 $28,285 [17]

F100 1962-1979 $14,800 [28] F150 Lightning/Anniversary 2001-2004 $70,575 [12]

Ranchero 1964-1974 $13,525 [6]

*********

Ford Mustang 1964-1973

April 2014 will mark 50 years since the Ford Mustang first shocked America’s motoring establishment.

More than two million of the 1964-68 cars were built and today there are more than enough in the market to meet demand. With the exception of scarce ‘K’ Code coupes and fastbacks that have been grabbing big money, early Mustang values have climbed only 15 per cent during the past decade. 1969-73 cars are even cheaper and a good 5.0-litre coupe should cost less than $20,000. Convertibles have flooded into our market since the 1990s and price growth has stalled. Prices for small-block Mach 1 and Boss versions are down slightly, but 6.4-litre and 7.0-litre cars sometimes top $100,000.

Coupe 1964-1968 $27,875 [67] Fastback 1965-1968 $50,745 [39]

Convertible 1964-1968 $44,600 [48] Coupe/Fastback 1969-1973$24,615 [16]

Convertible 1969-1973 $33,885 [16] Mach 1 1969-1973 $41,300 [20]

Big Block 1969-1972 $80,765 [9]

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Ford Mustang 1974-2006

With Ford’s local fortunes linked to the 2015 Mustang, it’s worth having a look at how imports since the 1970s have fared. Mustangs built from 1974 to the late-80s were big sellers in the US but hardly any survive because they are not considered collectable. Curiosity value here might push a ’70s Cobra or 80s convertible towards $20,000. Private imports during the ’90s spurred Ford in 2001 to release a batch of RHD-engineered Cobra coupes and convertibles, but at $90,000 they were too expensive to succeed. Plenty remain in the used market at $25,000 to $40,000. More recent Mustangs are privately sourced and only the Saleens have a collector profile.

Mustang 1974-1992 $14,700 [6] Mustang 1993-1998 $29,000 [5]

Mustang 1999-2003 $37,060 [7] Mustang Convertible 1999-2003 $40,265 [13]

Mustang 2004-2006 $56,320 [8] Saleen S281 2005-2006 $89,250 [2]

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Ford Thunderbird 1955-1979

Local demand for two-seat 1955-57 baby Birds is waning. An abundance of recent arrivals isn’t helping, especially when some cars need more than their purchase price spent on restoration. Excellent early models still manage $60,000, but rarely the $80,000 sometimes being asked. Four-seat hardtops from the 60s offer style and power, and LHD cars sell for less than $20,000. Prices rise by $10,000 for excellent cars. 60s convertible T-Birds of all kinds and in nice condition are worth $40,000-$45,000, with rare 1962-64 Roadsters 70 per cent more. Four-door cars made after 1966 are cumbersome by comparison and most remain below $20,000.

Roadster 1955-1957 $48,315 [12] Hardtop 1958-1960 $17,665 [3]

Hardtop 1961-1966 $23,800 [17] Convertible 1958-1960 $43,500 [2]

Convertible 1961-1966 $41,265 [13] All Models 1967-1974 $27,700 [2]

 

>> Search Ford cars for sale

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Jeep 1942-1990

With Gallipoli centenary events being planned and ageing combatants needing transport on parades, demand is strong for authentic WWII Jeeps. The design belongs to Willys, but Ford built them as well and there isn’t much difference in value between them. Good ones are worth $15,000; the best with full recovery equipment up to $25,000. Later, larger CJ models have often acquired V8 power and been modified to play in sand or mud, but their prices are generally below $15,000. Wagoneer/Cherokee station wagons made from the 1960s-’80s came with a choice of engines up to a 5.9-litre V8. Survivors are scarce and usually sell for more than $20,000.

MB38/GWP 1942-1946 $20,430 [7] Jeep CJ 1954-1966 $13,795 [5]

CJ 1967-1984 $11,650 [14] Cherokee 1967-1989 $30,000 [1]

 

>> Search Jeep cars for sale

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Lincoln 1957-1984

Australia didn’t see nearly as many new Lincolns during the 1960s as we did Cadillacs, so it’s difficult to find a car now with the distinctive ‘suicide’ rear doors. Convertibles are very scarce and twice the price of sedans. It seems that Ford Australia and its dealers took more interest in importing Lincolns after 1968, so there remain reasonable supplies of RHD Mark III, IV and V Continentals and four-door Town Cars. Those numbers have been boosted by LHD imports that sell for $5000-$8000 less than a converted car. Late-’50s Lincolns offer big engines and distinctive styling, but only the rare convertibles are likely to exceed $40,000.

All Models 1957-1960 $40,335 [3] Continental 1961-1967 $19,000 [4]

Mark III/IV/V $19,460 [12] Town Car 1968-1983 $13,900 [4]

All Models 1984-1992 $12,320 [4]

 

>> Search Lincoln cars for sale

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Mercury 1955-1980

Late-’50s Mercurys with wild styling and matching colour schemes have become decidedly pop-art and are in demand overseas. Local values during the past five years have climbed by 30-50 per cent and are challenging the mainstream Ford models. Most popular with US enthusiasts are Turnpike Cruiser convertibles [which can reach $70,000] and the much cheaper Fairlane-based Cyclone GT. We don’t see many ’60s Mercurys here, but Cougars remain an excellent alternative to owning a Mustang and are 25-40 per cent cheaper. Our pick for the money is an XR-7 with the 390 V8, lots of power accessories and prices usually below $25,000. Cougar convertibles can exceed $30,000.

Sedan/Hardtop 1956-1964 $26,480 [5] Sedan/Hardtop 1965-1972 $31,330 [3]

Cougar Coupe 1967-1973 $20,550 [8] Cougar Convertible 1967-1973 $23,995 [2]

 

>> Search Mercury cars for sale

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Oldsmobile 1936-1980

Despite being viewed as General Motors’ most conservative brand, Oldsmobile produced some radical designs like the front-wheel-drive Toronado and muscular versions of its Cutlass and Delta ranges. Most of the ’60s Olds products sold new to Australia weren’t performance cars, but did come packed with luxury items. Surviving 98 sedans, Cutlass hardtops and convertibles now cost about the same as Cadillacs of similar age. Performance-oriented 4-4-2 Hardtops are scarce in Australia and can cost more than $50,000, with W-30 versions going beyond $100,000. Toronados work best in original LHD form and cost less than RHD cars.

All Models 1936-1948 $18,450 [2] Cutlass/Delta 88 1964-1973 $23,500 [7]

Cutlass Convertible 1964-1972 $29,800 [4] Toronado 1965-1974 $21,450 [4]

 

>> Search Oldsmobile cars for sale

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Plymouth 1935-1974

Plymouths were very popular in Australia from the 1930s, but supply dried up in 1958 and dealers showed little interest in acquiring high-cost imports to sell against the locally built Dodge Phoenix. 1930s sedans that until recently appealed as entry-level classics have become relatively expensive. Budget buyers are better off with a 60s Fury hardtop that delivers more space and power for similar money. Road Runners and the Valiant-sized Satellite are interesting cars and are also quickly climbing in value. Big ‘Six Pack’ engines in the Belvedere-based Road Runner can take prices past $80,000 while the Satellite with a 383ci V8 sits at around $30,000.

Sedan 1935-1948 $20,075 [4] Belvedere/Fury 1964-1972 $18,250 [6]

Road Runner 1968-1973 $45,285 [7] Satellite 1967-1973 $34,300 [3]

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Plymouth Barracuda/Cuda 1964-1974

Why Chrysler Australia didn’t adopt the sporty Barracuda when new remains a puzzle. The first series that ran from 1964-67 looked like a Valiant and today they rarely cost more than an AP6 or VC V8. Australia also didn’t see many of the chunky Cuda performance coupes when they were new, though recent imports are filling the void. These cars are shorter and sportier than the similar-looking Dodge Challenger. Most seen here are basic 318/383-engined coupes that remain below $40,000. However, there is a big jump then to the 7.4-litre [440ci] cars or the 5.5-litre AAR Cuda. Scarce convertibles with Hemi 426 engines have sold in the States for more than $US1.3 million.

Barracuda 1964-1966 $18,315 [3] Barracuda 1967-1969 $31,300 [3]

Cuda Coupe 1970-1973 $55,415 [6] Cuda Big Block 1970-1972 $111,250 [2]

 

>> Search Plymouth cars for sale

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Pontiac 1935-1972

Pontiacs were popular from the 1930s to the ’70s and a lot have arrived subsequently to make buyer choices interesting and varied. Canadian-sourced cars assembled here in the 60s sell for less than Chevrolet Impalas of similar age. So do fully imported Le Mans, Bonneville and Catalina hardtops that came with bigger engines and more equipment than ‘Australian’ Pontiacs, yet rarely exceed $25,000. The GTO, having just celebrated 50 years since its controversial launch, continues to gain in popularity and values for pre-1968 Hardtops often push past $50,000. Older convertibles are worth 25 per cent more than a Hardtop, but GTO ‘Judge’ convertibles are very rare and have topped $US500,000.

Sedan/Hardtop 1949-1958 $23,085 [6] Australian-ass’d 1959-1970 $17,675 [8]

US import 1962-1972 $19,200 [6] Convertible 1962-1972 $36,390 [7]

GTO 1964-1967 $47,090 [5] GTO 1968-1972 $40,595 [4]

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Pontiac Firebird/Trans Am 1967-2002

If you are a Firebird fanatic then your over-riding influences might include Burt Reynolds’ ‘Bandit’ leaving black lines on freeway concrete or an original blue-on-white Trans Am. Late-’70s cars – even black ones – are still available and reasonably priced, with $25,000 buying a good example. However, the US is about the only place to find a genuine 1969 Trans Am, and authentic Ram-Air cars make $US150,000. Early Firebird coupes and convertibles offer something different from the more common Camaros and cost less. Shifting forward a decade or two [production ended in 2002], you can buy one of the last Trans Am V8s for $20,000 to $30,000.

Firebird 1967-1970 $32,630 [8] Firebird Convertible 1967-1970 $37,960 [6]

All Models 1971-1981 $25,035 [27] All Models 1982-1992 $19,935 [19]

All Coupes 1993-2002 $29,930 [7]

 

>> Search Pontiac cars for sale

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Rambler 1962-1978

Long after Australia’s mainstream car-makers stopped offering American models, American Motors was still assembling RHD Ramblers here. The 1960s and ’70s were the brand’s Australian-market hey-day and it sold a lot of cars to police forces, government and private hire fleets, and as alternative family cars. Six-cylinder American and Hornet sedans have become scarce, but for less than $10,000 they offer interesting classic transport. Rebel and Matador models had V8 engines and very good examples should cost about the same as a Hornet. Thereafter comes the snazzy Javelin coupe that was assembled here from 1969-72 and is a Mustang alternative for less than $30,000.

Classic/Ambassador 1962-1966 $15,250 [2] American/Hornet $9835 [3]

Rebel/Matador 1967-1978 $5125 [4] Javelin 1968-1973 $23,000 [3]

 

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Studebaker 1946-1967

Unusual finds during this survey period included a pair of scarce Avanti coupes. Strange styling didn’t help sales, especially against Ford’s Mustang, and the Avanti lasted only three years. Both examples were LHD and looked to be in good condition. Larger V8 Hawk GTs can reach $40,000, but more often come in below $30,000. Lower down the price scale are 1950s sedans that are roomy, competent and less expensive than other American cars of similar age. V8-engined Larks were assembled here in the 60s and sold well, so finding a good surviving sedan at less than $15,000 should not be difficult.

All Models 1948-1958 $13,185 [3] Lark/Cruiser 1961-1966 $14,200 [6]

Hawk/Hawk GT 1956-1964 $24,670 [3] Avanti 1963-1966 $43,750 [2]

 

 >> Search Studebaker cars for sale

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> 2014 USA Buyers Guide - Part 1: Intro

 

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