Muscle Car Market Overview - 2017 in review

By: Cliff Chambers, Unique Cars magazine

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holden torana gtr 1 GTR Toranas still represent good buying. holden torana gtr 1

Prime Monaros, GT-HOs and Chargers might cost a bomb, but there's still good buying out there.

The internet is a wonderful device. We might gripe about speeds and drop-outs but without those little bytes shuttling information across the world, we couldn't sit in our comfy chairs and watch other people handing over wads of cash for cars we can only dream of owning.

In recent times this voyeuristic opportunity has been adopted by Australian auction houses. Now we can sit and gasp as six-figure sums are bid for cars that in our youth we could have bought for a relative pittance. So what’s the effect on the market overall of seeing early Monaros, GT-HOs, Bathurst Toranas and XC Cobras all topping $200,000?

Cars that share the same shape and very similar mechanical components as these superstars come at far lower prices. Sometimes they can offer even greater investment potential because more people have the means to buy them.

If you have a longing to own an early Falcon GT then something the same shape and with very similar performance can cost half or a third the price of a genuine car. Hunting down a Fairmont with four gears and a ‘351’ engine can save you $100,000. Should that word ‘genuine’ not fuss you all that much, scan Unique Cars’ listings for a GT replica which can look exactly like the real thing and cost 50-70 per cent less.

With Australia no longer a car-making nation there is a big chance that people in the market for a car to keep will be looking towards late-model, locally made product. Following HSV’s announcement in the dying days of 2017 that the ZB Commodore may never be seen in HSV guise, the temptation to grab an earlier model with Special Vehicles  enhancements must have spiked.

Hopping into one of the last-ever GTS Rs will cost $130-140,000 but the same money will buy a decade-old W427 with low kilometres and proven investor appeal. Tough choice.

FPV Fords seem to be kindling interest as well, with ten year-old BF Cobras bouncing back to their original list prices and demand remaining strong for Anniversary BF Falcon GTs. Even pensioned off police cars are reportedly bringing strong money at auction; buyers very aware that this is their last chance to snare a near-new Turbo Falcon and there will be no more.

Looking for an older ‘classic’ but don’t have or want to spend a lot of money? First question to answer is ‘Do I really need a V8?’ If not and you’re happy to go way, waaay back, take a look at some of the single-carburettor Chrysler Chargers on offer or even the French-designed but Aussie-powered Centura. These seem particularly popular with the drag-racing fraternity.

Ford fans will be delighted to see the numbers of 4.1-litre Cortinas still in existence and appearing in the market at prices below $20,000. Holden lovers don’t miss out but do need to spend a bit more to fund one of the few remaining GTR Toranas that can be found at under $40,000. 

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