Holden EH Premier + Sunbeam Rapier Series V + Fiat 850 - Ones That Got Away 439

By: Cliff Chambers

Presented by

holden eh holden eh

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

HOLDEN EH PREMIER - December 2007

At the time this car was advertised the average price of an EH Premier was around $10,000, but quite obviously this was not an average EH Premier. Any vehicle that could snare a Summernats category win merited respect and in a market already paying big money for locally-built performance cars the price was feasible. Premier values during the period 2008-12 moved steadily towards $25,000 before joining the 2015-16 value surge and climbing past $40,000.

Providing a car is excellent and basically authentic, that surge has continued and one of this quality should today top $65,000.

Was: $22,000 Now: $65,000-70,000


SUNBEAM RAPIER SERIES V - Advertised August 1992

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No this model wasn’t just a fluffed up Hillman Minx with a couple of doors welded shut. The pillarless Rapier dated back to the 1950s when Britain’s Rootes Group was trying to build cars that would attract buyers in export markets. Australia apparently didn’t rate as a target for flashy two-door versions of Rootes’ very boring sedans so the only Rapiers we saw were personal imports from Britain and perhaps New Zealand. Good fun but hard to value now due to scarcity. One car with rally history sold in the UK for around A$30K, this one would be worth less.

Was: $8000 Now: $13,000-15,000


FIAT 850 - October 1994

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If your rear-engined Fiat looked a bit drab then the easy remedy was to add a nifty grille and spice up a bland front panel. Fiat’s 850 will be best known to Australians in its coupe guise, however a few sedans were sold here as well. Finding one in Australia more than 50 years after sales ceased is hard but not quite impossible. Looking to Italy where most of the 1.8 million 850 sedans were sold, survivors are predictably plentiful. If you don’t mind mandatory left-hand drive and some fairly gaudy repaints, an excellent cousin to this car should cost slightly less than $12,000. Plus freight.

Was: $2200 Now: $10,000-12,000


Reader's One That Got Away 

Lancia Beta

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About a decade ago a local panel shop had moved premises and decided to abondon a pair of Beta’s in the front holding yard. The poor Lancia’s were eventually scrapped with the building demolition taking place. What a shame I let them go, I have grown quite fond of the Beta in recent years and could have made one good car out of the two.



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