Pontiac GTO + Ford F100 + Mercedes-Benz 450SEL - Ones That Got Away 434

By: Cliff Chambers

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pontiac gto pontiac gto

Cliff Chambers looks back through the Unique Cars classifieds...

1965 Pontiac GTO - Advertised October 1999  

Australia saw a lot of GTOs as brand new cars and this might be a survivor. During the 1960s, Holden dealers in capital cities and large regional centres would import optioned-up US cars on behalf of prominent customers, convert them to RHD then leave the finished article on showroom display for a few weeks to attract floor traffic. Cars that have managed to survive more than 50 years aren’t common and there is no telling what may have happened to this one during the past two decades. If indeed it’s still here and in good condition the price would have doubled its 1999 level.

| 2019 Market Review: Pontiac Firebird/Trans Am/GTO

Then: $30,800. Now: $55,000-60,000


1954 Ford F100 - March 1996


F100s were once common sights on Australian roads, serving as police vehicles, ambulances, tow-trucks and occasionally private transport. Plenty remain but finding one like this ‘54 model in anything approaching ‘authentic’ condition is difficult. The original engine would have been a 4.6-litre ‘Y Block’ V8 but it has given way at some point to a big block  ‘390’. Thankfully the installer chose to stick with a Ford motor rather than corrupt the pedigree, as some  have done, by dropping in a Chevrolet power unit. Modifying F100s doesn’t seem to hurt values, however.

| 2019 Market Review: Ford F1/F100/F150

Then: $16,500. Now: $42,000-47,000


Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 - December 2004


Open the bonnet of a stranded and steaming 6.9-litre Benz you might sense your bank balance draining away in unison with the coolant. These are beautifully crafted cars but prone to sending anyone except wealthy, initial owners bankrupt should anything horrific go wrong. The possibility of massive repair bills has influenced demand for the big-engined SELs and contributed to enduringly pitiful used values. Cars today (presumably) have undergone lots of costly refurbishment to avoid failures and are being offered at considerably more than was the case 15 years ago.

| 2019 Market Review: Mercedes-Benz sedan/coupe 1955-1986

| Then: $14,000. Now: $50,000-55,000


Reader's One That Got Away:

1962 Lincoln Continental
Harry Tonte - Calista, WA


I have always loved the JFK-era Lincoln Continentals and had the chance to purchase a one owner black 1962 hardtop with 33,000 miles in 1999. I could not come to an agreement with the seller in California and let it go over $2000. I wish I had that car today. It was an amazing time warp of that bygone era.


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