BMW 323i Alpina + Porsche 356B + Chrysler AP6 V8 - Ones That Got Away 432

By: Cliff Chambers

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Looking back through the Unique Cars classifieds...

BMW 323i Alpina - Advertised January 1986

The money being asked in 1986 for this five year-old Alpina would have bought a lot of things, just not a brand new BMW 318i with 77kW and windows you had to wind for yourself. Those at the time cost more than $40,000 and showed how ridiculously expensive local-delivery BMWs had become. If this car was a genuine Alpina C1 – and a lot of ‘conversions’ were reportedly done using the basic 323i – it would have had a 2.3-litre, 170bhp engine and been one of 28 similar cars produced. Even as a replica it offered decent value and would be an absolute steal if proved to be genuine.

Was: $28,500. Now: $45,000-55,000


Chrysler AP6 V8  - Advertised September 1989


The classic vehicle market that awoke in 1987 was by 1989 doing quite silly things as demonstrated by the asking price for this average-looking AP6 V8.

Five years earlier it was possible to buy good examples of Australia’s first ‘family’ V8 for $3000 and a leap of this size would have convinced other owners to sell. Had they done so, they would have forsaken a fine ride over several decades and the appreciation that has sent excellent AP6 V8s climbing towards $40,000. Rust and other afflictions since 1989 have claimed a few and they are no longer an easy car to find.

Was: $10,000. Now: $35,000-38,000

| Buyer's guide: Chrysler Valiant AP5-AP6


Porsche 356B - Advertised June 2005


Recent years have brought huge increases in prices for air-cooled 911s but slower movement on the part of other Porsches. Now mainstream 356 models have chewed through their shackles and excellent cars have soared past $150,000. Open-top 356s including the much-admired Speedster have always been megabuck propositions but five years ago you could still slot into a good fixed-roof 356 for less than $100,000. Porsche did well in Australia even before the 911 arrived and good-quality survivors like this 356B are fairly easy to find. Just not cheap.

Was: $40,000. Now: $130,000-145,000



1971 Dodge Challenger R/T 440 - Advertised October 1999


Yes it’s a real Challenger. Yes the vendor says it’s an R/T and that it has a 7.2-litre, ‘440’ V8. And yes, $18K is all they wanted 20 years ago for a genuine US-made muscle machine. Sure it would have still been left-hand drive but if you could restrict your enjoyment of this beast to club events then it could have been used on Historic registration without any alteration at all.  R/T Challengers even today aren’t an easy car to find on this side of the Pacific so turning to the USA to check comparable values would bring a big smile to whoever owns this car now.

Was: $18,000. Now: $80,000-95,000

| 2019 Market Review: Dodge Dart/Challenger/Viper/Ram SRT10



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