Corvette Fuelie + Mercedes-Benz 560SL + Fiat 124S - Ones That Got Away 424

By: Cliff Chambers

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

1957 Chevrolet Corvette Fuelie - Advertised March 1996

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1996 Australia was being strangled by recession and significant cars were being seriously underpriced just to get a sale. We reckon this fuel-injected ’57 was worth around A$65k at the time, but then you look closer and the steering wheel is a metre to the right of where it should have been. RHD conversion hurts the value of significant LHD vehicles and we would almost bet that this car would have been switched back to original. If so, that $50,000 outlay represents an even bigger bargain for subsequent owners who can expect a ’Vette like this to sell for upwards of $200,000.

Then: $49,990. Now: $210-225,000

 

Mercedes-Benz 560SL - Advertised March 2004

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Ending the existence of its long-serving 107 Series cannot have been easy for Mercedes-Benz, especially since six and eight cylinder versions were still selling well. Fuel was an issue though and this 5.6-litre behemoth which must have gulped massive amounts of Premium on its way to morning coffee or Myers. As was typical of big-engined SLs, this car had seen minimal use and hopefully has stayed that way. Today, a vendor would be silly to set a price without a ‘1’ at the front or accept less than $90K for what should rank as a very desirable example of a very collectible Benz.

Then: $44,500. Now: $90-100,000

 

Fiat 124S - Advertised October 1999

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Fiat really changed its relationship with the Australian market in 1968 when the utterly lovely 124S coupe was launched. Lots were sold here but within a decade most had suffered rust to such a degree that repairs were uneconomic. This car, having survived in one family ownership and averaged just 5000km a year for its entire life, might have avoided the problems that afflicted other Aussie-delivered 124s – and European ones – and it may still be with us. Finding a Fiat of similar type in good condition has become difficult but prices remain very reasonable.

Then: $4500. Now: $14-18,000

 

Reader's One That Got Away:

Mitsubishi 3000GT

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A friend of mine once owned a red Mitsubishi 3000GT. I instantly fell in love with that car with its twin turbo 3.0 litre, AWD drivtrain. It ticked all my boxes on paper but was a maintenance nightmare at the time. Now I have the difficult task of finding an un-modified version in one piece.

DOMINIC SANTINI - Minto, NSW

 

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