Pontiac Trans Am + Daimler SP250 + Aston Martin DBS V8 - Ones That Got Away 449

By: Cliff Chambers

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pontiac trans am pontiac trans am

Looking back through the Unique Cars classifieds...

Pontiac Trans Am - Advertised April 1996

Seeing this Trans Am in Bandit Black with its ‘screaming chicken’ hood emblem sent memory cells scooting back to 2016 and the sale of a similar Pontiac. That car had been the property of screen legend Burt Reynolds, who although aged 80 and in fragile health, attended the sale to watch his car set a world record price of US$550,000. While this one won’t be reaching six figures for a while, its stocks would certainly have risen on the back of the Reynolds sale. Today, and providing its keepers during the past 25 years have been kind, $65,000 is certainly possible.

Then: $19,900. Now: $60,000-65,000 


Daimler SP250 - Advertised August 2003


Daimler wanted its two-seater Dart to sell well in the USA, so it styled the car to suit that market. Problem was that the Dart, which would rapidly be renamed SP250 after Dodge complained, was launched in 1959 with a finned fibreglass body which looked better suited to 1954. The engine was a V8 but at 2.5 litres a bit small to be competing with 4.6-litre Corvettes.

Then in 1961 along came Jaguar’s E-type. Only 2654 of the V8 Daimler two-seater were built from 1959-64, so cars like this are scarce. UK sales suggest a good one will have almost doubled its 2003 value.

Then: $35,000. Now: $60,000-65,000 


Aston Martin DBS V8 - Advertised August 1986


The day that Aston-Martin discovered the limitations of its glorious straight-six engine it began designing one of the world’s best V8s to replace it. That car, as displayed here in early DBS form, appeared in 1969 and changed little during a lifespan of 20 years. Australia during the 1970s managed to support a couple of active Aston-Martin agencies and V8s were relatively common sights in major cities. Later imports boosted local numbers but more cars available in a market that still views them as desirable hasn’t hurt sales and values continue to climb.

Then: $25,000. Now: $200,000-225,000 


Ford XM Falcon ex-Victoria Police - Advertised December 2002


Every Aussie knows the chant that shames a miscreant being ejected from the cricket or hauled away from a pub brawl, but who has actually seen (or been driven home in) an old-style divvy van? Here’s one claimed to be a genuine survivor, or at worst restored by someone with a keen eye for detail. Finding an early Falcon van of any kind has become difficult and they generally bring considerably more money than passenger versions. Hopefully, this significant piece of Australian cultural history found a sympathetic home and survives.

Then: $9500. Now: $35,000-40,000


From Unique Cars #449, February 2021

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