HSV Astra + BMW 2000CS + Ferrari 500 + Dodge Phoenix - Ones That Got Away 436

By: Cliff Chambers

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Looking back through the Unique Cars classifieds...

HSV ASTRA - Advertised September 1989

HSV entered the world in a huge hurry and with hardly any product to supplement its VL Group A Commodore. Virtually all the new HSVs made in 1989 were based on VN Commodores – everything except this all show-no go Nissan Pulsar. Sorry, Holden Astra. HSV made 65 of them in Hatch and sedan form and seemed to have trouble finding buyers. Flash wheels, decals and interior upgrades pushed the price of a sedan to $24,000 and anyone paying  $21,700 or less was doing OK. Hardly any appear for sale (the last one we found was in 2012) so current values are open to debate. Was $21,700.

Now: Less than $21,700


BMW 2000CS - Advertised April 2012


The 1960s brought big changes for BMW. The brand that had been best known for its motorcycles launched the 2002 sedan and developed a six-cylinder engine to power its lovely but underdone CS coupe. The 2000CS was built by coachbuilder Karmann, and succeeded the V8-engined 3200CS. Not many of the 2.0-litre cars would have come to Australia – not until replaced by the six-cylinder 2800CS – and although a couple have been offered for sale here in recent years the market is driven by LHD sales in Europe and the USA.

Was: $23,000. Now: $45,000-50,000


FERRARI 500 SUPERFAST - Advertised February 2003


Last of the ‘super cruiser’ Ferraris and soaring in value as enthusiasts recognise their significance and scarcity. Only eight of these cars were built in right-hand drive and seemingly only one Superfast – a gunmetal grey car – was sold new to Australia. It was followed in 1977 by a well-known UK car and that appears to be the one offered here.  It is known to have spent some years in local collections before being returned to the UK where it was offered for sale recently at an undisclosed sum. In 2016, a LHD car of similar quality was sold at auction for US$2.7 million.

Was $625,000. Now: $4.5-5M


DODGE PHOENIX 1963 - Advertised March 1993


Poor old Dodge. Late in 1959 it seems to have turned its styling department over to the work- experience kids who for several years afterwards produced weird shapes with appalling grilles. The one on this locally-built 1963 Phoenix was nicknamed the ‘dollar grin’ but looks more likely to have been inspired by manic Jack Nicholson in The Shining.  Dodge at the time sat in 8th place on US sales charts but enthusiast buyers today are more forgiving and happy to pay increasing amounts for a chrome-dripping Dodge.

Was: $5900. Now: $18,000-22,000


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