Aussie Family Car Value Guide - 2019 Market

By: Cliff Chambers

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ford falcon ford falcon

In case you haven't noticed - the classic collectable game is changing with demand for the everyday Aussie cars we grew up with on the rise

Was there a time when we regarded these things as old tatt that should probably be replaced as soon as we could afford it? Maybe. It’s one of those situations where you often don’t appreciate what you have till it’s gone, and this very much applies to what were once run-of-the-mill family cars.

Sure you could get a bit of glam, such as the chaser at left, or the ESP below, but really these were meant to be good solid working cars, that might pull the caravan or bike trailer on the weekend, then turn around to transport assorted kids to school and the wage-earners to the proverbial salt mine.


A lot of the time, we didn’t think that hard about them. They were just part of the landscape of your life – something you literally grew up in – one day being taken to school, the next you get your first shaky driving lesson.

Typically the old dear would get tired and tatty and maybe that was time to move it on. Had then someone suggested it might one day be collectible, you would have laughed at such a ridiculous idea. Not any more.

Now we rightly treasure these things and are starting to treat them as old friends. Welcome to our annual Aussie Family Cars Collector Guide...



We thought that by now the grief generated by the loss of Australia’s car-manufacturing sector might have abated. It hasn’t, which is bad for new car sales but a good thing for the older-car market.

In an economic climate where there should be no good news for anyone buying a car or trying to sell one, nostalgia remains a strong motivation. However its effect cannot be relied upon forever and there are still issues that will eventually affect the numbers of buyers in the market and prices that can be achieved.

Stock market returns are booming but if interest rates go any lower we will be paying the banks to mind our money. Residential real estate which underpins a lot of recreational vehicle purchases is still in the throes of a downturn and the personal loan market is tight. Yet cars still sell and for very respectable money.


Looking at auction results we find the bulk of sales are not the high-profile, heavily publicised exotics but usable pieces of local automotive history in the $15-30,000 price range. And why not?

Over several decades since the 1960s this country built some of the best cars of their kind in the world. Our classic high-performance models easily outstrip the prices paid for equivalent designs in the much larger North American muscle-car market.

Even our basic ‘family’ cars perform better than British and European models of similar age.  A 4.2-litre Kingswood with plastic seats and a beam back axle will make similar money to an independently-suspended Jaguar XJ6 and way more than the likes of  1970s Volvos or Peugeots.


This year’s Aussie Guide extends into the sports car market as well, tracking values for models like the local Ford Capri, replica Cobras and the diminutive Goggo Dart.

There should be a lot more in these listings but Australia as a car-building nation really didn’t take advantage of its famed outdoor lifestyle and for many years handed the sporty segment to overseas suppliers.

Of the locals, Ford does best in terms of cost and availability but if you want a world-class design and can spend $50,000+ then hunt down one of Bolwell’s V8 Nagaris. Replica Cobras have lost much of the fascination they once held, although it is still interesting to see the response of onlookers to a locally-built GT40.


Finding an affordable vehicle with local history isn’t difficult.  We have seen resurgent interest in the once-derided Leyland P76, most of which remain below $20,000. Another once-ignored model enjoying a resurgence is the R31 Nissan Skyline, with younger buyers in particular preferring the Skyline to a Commodore or Falcon.

Some choose to smarten the body while leaving the mechanicals virtually untouched. Others head to the import wrecker with fistfuls of cash and plans to build a Godzilla Killer or drift weapon, but whichever route they take it does keep another threatened Aussie model on the road for a little longer.  

| Read next: Understanding our value guides


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