Choosing a classic: Tempting testers

By: Cliff Chambers, Photography by: Unique Cars/Wheels archive/Marque publishing

Presented by

Classics: Chrysler by Chrysler Classics: Chrysler by Chrysler Classics: Chrysler by Chrysler
Classics: Ford Escort Classics: Ford Escort Classics: Ford Escort
Classics: Triumph Stag Classics: Triumph Stag Classics: Triumph Stag
Classics: Rolls-Royce Classics: Rolls-Royce Classics: Rolls-Royce
Classics: Maserati Classics: Maserati Classics: Maserati
Classics: Ford Skyliner Classics: Ford Skyliner Classics: Ford Skyliner
Classics: Jaguar XJS Classics: Jaguar XJS Classics: Jaguar XJS
Classics: Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 Classics: Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 Classics: Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3
Classics: Citroen DS23 Pallas Classics: Citroen DS23 Pallas Classics: Citroen DS23 Pallas
Classics: Toyota Supra Classics: Toyota Supra Classics: Toyota Supra

Ambitious potential meets reality in this classic motoring caper...

Choosing a classic: Tempting testers
Classics: Tempting testers

Massively rewarding, hang-yourself frustrating, rob-a-bank expensive. There are things out there that will test you big time, but the ownership experience makes it all worthwhile...

BARGAINS FOR THE BRAVE

When choosing a car that will become part of your life it is a good idea to understand just how demanding of your time and financial resources it might become.

For various reasons, a wide range of models are seen as just too ‘difficult’ for the average enthusiast to consider, so their preservation is left for others. When the ‘others’ fail to meet the difficult challenge, cars that once were very familiar become scarce and, in some regrettable cases, disappear from Australian roads forever.

To be fair, the majority of models that made this ‘Top Ten’ selection were originally pitched at people with sufficient cash to keep them in fine fettle during their term of ownership. However, as time and rampant depreciation took their toll, these exciting and even exotic models moved on to owners whose idea of ‘preventative maintenance’ was to patch over problems and hand the car on to the next unwitting keeper.

Those with the courage to salvage a scarce car from possible extinction need to do so for selfless reasons. There is no guarantee that any of these cars will become any more valuable than they are today and a few are likely to decline further.

Choosing a basket case to rebuild or the best one in the market to display, you will be influencing automotive history. Preserving an unlikely and challenging example of the automotive maker’s craft may encourage others to do likewise and ensure that worthy, or at the very least entertaining, cars will survive for a few decades longer than their makers intended.

Ten tempting testers:

 

- Triumph Stag

- Citroen DS23 Pallas

- Toyota Supra

- Ford Escort Twin Cam

- Maserati BiTurbo

- Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow

- Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3

- Chrysler by Chrysler

- Jaguar XJS

- Ford Skyliner

 

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