Fiat Dino coupe + Austin-Healey 3000 + Ford Torino + Rover Mini - Ones That Got Away 435

By: Cliff Chambers

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fiat dino fiat dino

Looking back through the Unique Cars classifieds...

Fiat Dino coupe - Advertised March 1993

If in 1993 you wanted a Ferrari with the 2.4-litre ‘Dino’ V6 then a good one would have cost a recession-busting $125,000. That was down by around 40 per cent on the money being achieved three years earlier and the Dino Coupe, pretty though it was, still wore a Fiat badge so $45K in a struggling market was probably $20,000 too rich. If negotiations occurred and a sale was achieved, the fastback Fiat might have headed to the Northern Hemisphere where rust and 1970s Fiat steel had never played well together. Should it survive the value will have doubled since 1993.


Austin-Healey 3000 - Advertised February 2003


‘King of The Healeys’  the BJ8 was the final evolution of a design that began life in 1952 as Donald Healey’s London Motor Show stopper. Mark 3 Healeys were never plentiful in Australia and that’s hardly surprising when over 80 per cent of production went to left-hand drive markets. Research published by a Healey enthusiast some years ago suggests that 226 of these final-series cars had found their way to Australia over the past 50-something years but how many remain here is unknown. What we do know from recent sales is that buying one for $53,000 back in 2003 was a smart move.


Ford Torino - Advertised December 1996


If upon seeing the word ‘Torino’ your thoughts turn to striped-up orange coupes with unlikely police persons onboard then you may well have been brainwashed by your subscription to Stan. The vast majority of Torinos were not Starsky & Hutch hot-rods and probably wouldn’t score a second glance from anyone at the burger joint drive-through. Most on the US-market in 1996 were like this one; ordinary, unwanted and cheap. Selling here was through a dealer who was a master of moving dead stock. This Torino should have made its asking price and over time delivered the owner a modest return.


Rover Mini - Advertised February 2004


Round-nose Minis disappeared from Australian showrooms in 1971 but overseas the familiar shape would outlive the Clubman. ‘Classic’ Minis sold in various guises until 1999 and very successfully in Japan as the Rover Mini. These cars used a 1000cc engine and space was somehow found for an air-conditioning unit. No figures are available on how many later Minis went to Japan and how many were frog-marched out again once the high rates of tax on older cars kicked in. Australia has been the destination for many surviving Minis and values are increasing.


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