Buick GS455 Stage 1 and Austin Healey MkI Sprite – the cars that got away

By: Cliff Chambers, Unique Cars magazine

Presented by

BUICK GS455 ST 1 DEC 88 1 Buick GS455 Stage 1 Convertible BUICK GS455 ST 1 DEC 88 1
AH SPRITE MK1 OCT 02 Austin Healey Sprite MkI AH SPRITE MK1 OCT 02

Uncle Cliff’s magical mystery tour through our old classifieds

Buick GS455 Stage 1 Convertible - Advertised Dec 88

October 1987 brought the worst stock market crash since 1929 and billions were lost.

A year later people who held onto some money were still looking for safe places to park it and classic cars were increasingly an option.

However, you needed to be wary of offerings like this rare but absolutely overpriced Buick selling for the same as a decent suburban Sydney home and four times the cost of similar cars in the USA.

If you did manage to negotiate a sum more sensible than $129k however, the reward was ownership of a very fast, very scarce (about 240 made) muscle car.

Then $129,000  Now $110-125,000

Austin-Healey Mk 1 Sprite - Advertised Oct 02

Somewhere in the world there is a large shed containing all the bumpers discarded by owners of Mk 1 Sprites.

However, here we see a rare example still fitted with all its chrome-plated parts and looking better than in 1958, when it first shocked the world sports car market.

Plenty of early Sprites came to Australia, selling for only a little more than the BMC-built sedans that provided their running gear.

For decades since prices began to climb, these Bug-eye versions have easily outpaced later Sprites and Midgets. Cuteness, it seems, comes at a cost.

Then $18,900  Now $27-30,000


First published in Unique Cars mag issue 379


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