Mazda RX-3 + Honda Insight + Ford Fairlane - Ones That Got Away 417

By: Cliff Chambers

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mazda rx3 mazda rx3

The cars we should have bought or are just glad we didn't...


MAZDA RX-3 COUPE - December 2001

Very few cars featured in these pages will achieve a tenfold increase in value. Of those, only a very select group manage that level of growth in the space of 20 years, so please congratulate Mazda’s RX-3 Coupe. These cars have been an enthusiast favourite since the 1970s and never far from the limelight as show, race and road cars. They were star performers in the annual Bathurst 1000 and that alone helped keep prices climbing. Five years ago, cars in similar condition to this one were worth $35,000 but demand from the international market has sent values surging.

Then: $11,000. Now: $90-100,000




The mid-1980s saw Fiat in huge strife with a drab product range and appalling build quality. Regatas came here in small quantities and needed to be heavily discounted in order to sell any at all. A hundred or so found owners here and we imagined a few from that number might have survived. Apparently not. While there were reports of Regata sedans being sold, of the Weekender there was nary a trace. One in decent condition popped up in Holland but it was the one. So has the Regata Weekender really become extinct in Australia? If not and you have one please send a photo.

Then: $11,000. Now: $4500-5500 (Maybe)


HONDA INSIGHT - October 2007


Australians are known as early adopters but it seems we will not have a bar of electrically-powered motor vehicles. The Insight with its way-out styling was seen as the harbinger of a new automotive age but from 2001-04 a pitiful 45 examples of the ZE1 Hybrid were sold here. Changing to conventional styling in 2010 did little to help and the four-door was axed after selling a total 1229 cars. Will the early Insight acquire a cult following once electric/hybrid cars become typical? Quite possibly? Did this one sell for anywhere near the $14,990 being sought? Highly unlikely.

Then: $14,990. Now: $7-9000


1961 FORD FAIRLANE - November 1990


The sharp-eyed among you will have already spotted $1000 worth of XR GT wheel-covers adding a bit of bling to the car nicknamed ‘The Tank’. Ford’s local big-car line skipped one complete model sequence – jumping from the Customline that had been superseded elsewhere in 1957 straight to this shape. Tank Fairlanes served as VIP transport for politicians and mourning coaches for funeral directors but rust had by the 1980s trashed most of them. A survivor in this condition – and especially a white one – would have been scarce. Hopefully it survives.

Then: $6900. Now: $18-22,000


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