Porsche 968 CS + XA Falcon ute + Mini Jem + Maserati Merak - Ones That Got Away 448

By: Cliff Chambers

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porsche 968 porsche 968

Looking back through the Unique Cars classifieds...

Porsche 968 Clubsport - Advertised August 2003

If you always wanted a Porsche but were wary of a rear-engined layout, then the 968 Clubsport may appeal. Porsche built 1923 of these between 1993 and 1995 and only 19 were officially supplied to Australia. How many may have come in privately isn’t known but the CS still aren’t the kind of Porsche you’ll find parked around every corner. New in 1994, a local 968CS cost $120,000 yet only the best cars have today recouped their new-car price. Finding one like this at $65,000 might have triggered a temptation to haggle but the long-term benefits of owning it would not be just financial.

Was: $64,900. Now: $100,000-115,000


Ford XA Falcon 351 utility - Advertised September 2006


Ten years before this Falcon was built, the Aussie ute was a purely functional device with no ambition to be a performance car. By 1972 though, you could buy an XA commercial model with bells, whistles and Ford’s biggest V8, all for not much money at all. These Falcons did suffer some rust issues which meant that by 2006 there would not have been a lot left. Certainly not many in this kind of condition. Finding them today for the purpose of price comparison was tough but we did spot one minus the GS Pack and with some rust offered at $50k. That’s not a bad gain in 15 years.

Was: $16,500. Now: $45,000-55,000


Mini Jem - Advertised November 1992


Making your Mini look different from everybody else’s Mini wasn’t hard during the 1960s. Radfords made luxury Minis, Broadspeed made fast ones, Marcos and Mini Jem made theirs in the shape of a Cornish pastie. This car, located in South Australia, is very likely one of the TaylorSpeed versions built under licence in Adelaide and with detail differences from the British cars. Ten were reportedly built here, with recent photographs of red and orange cars indicating that at least a couple have survived. Anyone know the fate of this white car or seen one recently?

Was: $3000. Now: $15,000-20,000


Maserati Merak SS - Advertised September 1986


Want a junior Italian supercar for the price of a Calais? Head back to 1986 and here was your chance. SS versions of the Merak made 164kW from their 3.0-litre Citroen V6 and if you bought an Australian-spec car in 1977 it would have cost $36,000. By 1982 that price had more than doubled to $80,000 and you can understand why later Meraks are rare over here. The odd early car does pop up at around $100,000 but hunting RHD examples gets easier in Britain or SE Asia where you could save some money. Then again, the taxes and other costs will likely gobble up any benefit.

Was: $29,000. Now: $90,000-110,000


From Unique Cars #448, January 2021

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