Honda S800 coupe + Pontiac Fiero + Mustang Grand 429 - Ones That Got Away 437

By: Cliff Chambers

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honda s800 coupe honda s800 coupe

Looking back through the Unique Cars classifieds...

Honda S800 coupe - December 2003

For those who couldn’t afford a two-seat E-Type Jaguar with hatchback access to its luggage area there was always Honda’s rev-it-until-your-ears-bleed S800. Trouble with the Honda, despite being lots cheaper than the Jag, was scarcity even when new. Then the complex mechanicals began failing so fast that only a handful made it past their 10th birthdays. Some owners kept them going with conventional engine transplants (this one running a 1.3-litre Suzuki) and cheap body restos. This car looks good and if someone managed to find a correct engine its value could soar by $20,000.

Was: $8500. Now: $25,000-30,000


Pontiac Fiero V6 - January 2005


Pontiac’s mid-engined Fiero was never actively sold in Australia yet every GM-themed car show seemed to have a few on display. First we knew about threats to the Fiero’s effective lifespan came when owners could not source the weirdly-sized tyres and replaced genuine rims with after-market alloys. Then came deteriorating body plastic and other expensive parts that saw local cars become scarce and values for survivors trapped below $15,000. If you were the lucky buyer of this tidy V6 version you might have made enough since 2005 to fund a couple of sets of tyres.

Was: $11,500. Now: $13,500-15,000


Ford Mustang Grande 429 - November 2007


How many people would have glanced at this advertisement, thought ‘$58K is silly money for a plain old Mustang like that’ and never bothered reading the text to discover just how extraordinary this bland-looking Grande truly was. The original Boss 429 was ferocious in every sense and was just about the fastest muscle car ever made. For 1971 the engine was detuned and more than 1800 of the big-engined Mustangs were sold. This one was offered again a few years back for around $68,000 and that seems fair given Grandes in today’s US market barely make US$30,000.

Was: $58,000. Now: $65,000-70,000



Plymouth Station Sedan - November 1992


In the midst of Australia’s last real recession, selling  ‘classic’ cars at sensible money was tough enough without trying to scrounge $9500 for a Plymouth with rust and a crooked bumper. Via some old 1990s Price Guides we discovered that Suburbans similar to this were valued at US$1600-2000 or around A$3500. They also revealed that around 55,000 wagons were built during 1953, so scarcity wasn’t going to help justify big money either. What has helped is the popularity of 1950s Ford and Chev wagons and by now the old Plymouth should have doubled even that astronomic 1992 price. 

Was: 9500. Now: $18,000-20,000



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