Lotus Cortina + HDT VL Bathurst + Jaguar XK150S - Ones That Got Away 448

By: Cliff Chambers

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lotus cortina lotus cortina

Looking back through the Unique Cars classifieds...

Lotus Cortina - Advertised May 199

A few issues back, Uncle Phil found a delightful but historically unremarkable Lotus Cortina Mark 2 selling for a neat $100,000. That triggered a quest to locate a significant example of the more desirable Mark 1 and compare its progress. We found this car with a superb competition pedigree being sold 21 years ago for strong but appropriate money. Then we hit the overseas auction trail and were astonished to discover, just weeks ago, the sale report on a Mark 1 that had been raced, among others, by two Formula One World Champions and had sold at the equivalent of Au$303,000.

Was: $39,900. Now: 175,000-200,000


HDT VL Bathurst - Advertised December 1995


Peter Brock’s fate as a car-builder was by late 1987 pretty much sealed and his organisation offered a welter of low-volume VL variations as a means of survival. The Bathurst in this format looks bland, but literature for Brock’s VL range showed a range of body mods available and 5.6 or 5.8-litre Stroker engine upgrades. If ordered from Brock, the stroker added $8250 to the cost of a basic vehicle and that alone would have restricted sales. Some of these and other HDT models may have had larger engines added later on, so original documents need to be supplied with supposedly genuine cars.

Was: $26,990. Now: $75,000-90,000


Jaguar XK150S Drophead - Advertised January 1995


By 1959, Jaguar was two years away from stunning the world with its E Type but did have the triple-carb, 3.8-litre engine ready to go. Some of these went into a run of XK150S sports models that today rank with the most desirable of Jaguars and would have justified a $95k asking price back in the 1990s. This car, providing it is a genuine 3.8S Drophead, would be one of 649 built and perhaps by now will have enjoyed a comprehensive restoration. Even if basically original, its value will still have climbed considerably.

Was: $95,000. Now: $220,000-250,000 (restored)


Reader's One That Got Away:

Ferrari F355 Berlinetta


I have always considered the 355 the ultimate Ferrari, the shape is unmatched in my opinion and I have dreamed of owning one since my teens. Approximately 10 years ago they fell under $100K and I thought my dream car could possibly become a reality. Life and kids sidetracked the idea, and the demand has now made them unaffordable.

Evan Psaras - Richmond, NSW


From Unique Cars #448, January 2021

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