HSV Astra + Lincoln Continental + Mercury Cougar - Ones That Gotaway 420

By: Cliff Chambers

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hsv astra hsv astra

Uncle Cliff takes a look back through the Unique Cars classifieds...


HSV ASTRA - Advertised September 1989

Back when HSV were struggling to shift unwanted stocks of VL Group As and cash-flow was essential, any GM-H product could be co-opted to help keep the doors at Notting Hill open. HSV gave its specialist treatment to only 65 Astras and of those just 30 were sedans so this is an extremely rare car. There do exist recent videos featuring SV1800s so we know that at least a couple survive. The pricing is a guess because we found none offered in the market for over a decade. So, would owners of bigger-engined HSVs want one as a runabout?

Then: $21,750. Now: $12-180,000

| Read next: 30 years of HSV


STEYR PUCH 650 - Advertised May 1995


‘You Steyr, I’ll Puch’ or so the old joke about Austria’s most prolific car-maker used to go. In addition to building trucks and the quirky Haflinger off-road buggy, Steyr also assembled Fiats under licence, improving on the original design where possible. This very serious looking rework of a 500 Nuova came with a 660cc version of the Fiat twin, which in Steyr guise developed DOUBLE the power of Fiat’s version. With 30kW and a potential top speed of 140km/h a TR II version won the European Rally Championship in 1966. How this one got here who knows, but hope it stayed.

Then: $10,500. Now: $30-35,000


LINCOLN CONTINENTAL - Advertised November 1999


Unless the absent Roadworthy Certificate was due to terminal rust or some other dastardly flaw, this Lincoln had to be the bargain buy of 1999. The market by then had recovered from recession and prices across the older car world were climbing. Fuel costs were stable too and there was every reason to slap down $7500 or maybe a bit less on a massive sedan with always-interesting ‘suicide’ doors. Today there still exists a reasonable supply of 1960s Lincolns and prices, while up appreciably, haven’t climbed to levels that might have been expected of a model so iconic.

Then: $7500. Now: $25-30,000




Mercury got the idea of selling a car with links to drag-racing culture after ‘Dyno’ Don Nicholson took his Cougar to quarter-mile immortality in 1968. Mercury offered its limited-edition Eliminator in four colours and with three engine options. They included the ‘Boss 302’ made famous in Mustangs but which also made the Cougar eligible for Trans Am racing. This one uses the more common ‘Boss 351’ with four-speed transmission and performance to match our XY Falcon GT. But look at the price. Owning a scarce Cougar even in today’s market will cost half the price of a good XY.

Then: $55,000. Now: $70-80,000


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