Favourite Family Cars - Staff Picks

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The Unique Cars team brings quite different perspectives to the task of listing their top three family fav cars

 

ROB BLACKBOURN:

With kids onboard, whether for around-town duties or travels across this wide brown land, station wagons have always been no-brainers for me.

1. 1964 EH Holden Premier wagon

Teenage memories of a Kalgoorlie gold EH and its stunning owner from a summer way before I was a family man – a heady blend of 179 red-motor grunt (Wow, a 3.0-litre Holden six!) with competing aromas of new leather trim, coconut oil and sweat. Sweet…

Worth $30,000-plus

| Read next: Holden EJ-EH 2019 market review

 

2. 1974 Ford XB GS Falcon wagon

Ford 302 power with its lovely accompanying soundtrack, 4-speeder, all the GS stuff and the rear-facing third seat for the growing family, in Tropicana green. Unfortunately owned far too briefly because a mate made me an offer for it I couldn’t refuse.

Worth around $35,000

 

3. 2008 Holden VE Commodore Sportwagon

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A Sportwagon would be perfect if I was still at the family car stage. Prior to this svelte creature’s arrival Holden and Falcon wagons had grown to resemble scout halls. Make mine an SS with the six-litre V8 manual, preferably in Provence blue.

Worth $15,000-plus

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GUY ALLEN:

1. EH Holden sedan

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Yes, I know it’s basic, and yes I know they’re not the quickest thing on the planet. But last time I drove a basic EH, complete with three-on-the-tree, it was an absolute delight.

The 149 hums along quite nicely and does the job in what is a (by today’s standards) very light car.

Despite its modest spec, I just got the sense you could point this thing in any direction and it would get you a long way past the horizon, without fuss. I reckon there’s a little bit of magic in that.

Worth around $20-30K

 

2. Ford ZC-ZD Fairlane

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Okay it might be as American as it is Australian. This series with the vertically stacked headlamps does it for me, and I’d really be looking for one with the 302 V8, which was very much a motor of its time, in the snout.

Though it may have appeared terribly luxurious back in the day, they now look very sparse.

However you can just imagine loading it up with friends and luggage and heading off somewhere into the middle distance, with no particular schedule in mind. Just letting the miles roll under you and see where you end up…

Worth around $25-35k

 

3. Chrysler CL Valiant wagon

It may be partly illusory, but these things look as though you could land a Cessna on the roof – I just love the sheer scale of them.

There’s some appeal in having the latest model possible, but I have to admit I’d go a lot earlier if the right example turned up.

Is there an Australian equivalent to the Griswold family of movie fame? If so, this is what you’d load them into. Meanwhile the market seems not to have gone nuts on these things (yet), so they look like decent value for money.

Worth around $10-20K

 

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ANGELO LOUPETIS:

1. Chrysler Royal

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I absolutely love the Aussie built Chrysler Royal and think that they are amazing value. It would need to be the 313ci V8 version and I would be opting for the most vibrant paint scheme I could find, Salmon and pink works for me. Find a solid car with the best pot metal (diecast) trims as restoring one would be seriously expensive and parts would be difficult to source. A Royal is worth saving and is a great Aussie alternative to a US "Forward Look" Mopar. It really is the best of both worlds for me, American styling, locally built.

Worth around $15 to $25K

 

2. Holden Commodore VK SL 5.0 Litre

Yes I will admit that I love Commodores from the VH-VL range but they need to be the forced six or an eight. A VK SL would be a great cruiser with a factory 5.0 to create some noise. It would be mildly tweaked with pipes and a set of HDT Aero wheels and a long range tank.

Worth around $15-30K

 

3. Ford KF-KH Laser TX3 Turbo

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I’m back into Laser territory, this time with the last of the TX3 series. The newer shape is not to everyone’s taste but these Mazda powered 1.8 4WD turbos are great hot hatches of the 90s. The interior seems to have held up well compared to the KE series and I have seen two gems on offer recently under $10K!

Worth around $6-12K

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ALEX AFFAT:

1. 1973-1976 Ford XB Fairmont

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While Ford XA-XCs are hot property these days, the XB to me is the best looking iteration, of Ford’s best looking generation. I’d be after a luxuriously appointed Fairmont for niceties like power assisted steering. Ideally, I’d want at least the 250 six, or the any of the V8s.

There’s a gorgeous 302 V8, Sandstone Beige over Chamois trim example on our classifieds at the moment, priced at $35,000. We also recently came across a very original 250 six example, priced under $30,000. I wouldn’t turn either of them down…

Worth around $25-40K

 

2. 1977-1980 HZ Holden Statesman

The Statesman was the General’s answer to Ford’s big Fairlane. At the time that the HZ arrived, the standalone Statesman was the flagship offering. With the HZ came those three magic words: "Radial Tuned Suspension". It also had disc brakes at all four corners. I wouldn’t be too fussed about the engine – but I’d be gunning for the highest available spec out of the De Ville, SL/E and Caprice. Prices vary depending on condition, but $15k-$25k should see decent examples with original engines well within reach!

Worth around $15-25K

 

3. 1969-1972 ZC-ZD Ford Fairlane 500

The ZC/ZD Fairlane was a breakout car for Ford, ruling the luxury segment for years. It crossed cultural divides too, looking at home in the main street of a rural town, or outside a bank in Melbourne’s or Sydney’s CBD.

I’d have the V8-powered 500 with disc brakes and buckets seats as standard. 302 or 351, I wouldn’t be fussed – this is a car to cruise! $20-$30K should see you a neat useable example.

Worth around $20-30K

 

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PHIL WALKER:

1. 1966 Ford Mk1 Cortina GT

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Had one new in 1966. Great little fun packed car that you can enjoy with the family on board. Would expect to pay around $18-22,000 for a nice car.

Worth around $18-22K

 

2. 1971 Mk2 Mini Cooper S

Way ahead of the times.The best bang for buck you get at the time you could Race /Rally/or use it as a daily driver. Would expect to pay around $35-50,000 for a genuine example.

Worth around $35-50K

 

3. 1966 Ford Fairmont

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A very nice car to drive with all the luxury we were never used to. One of the best Falcons ever produced. Still looks good today.

Worth around $20-30K

 

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