VW Kombi + Corvette C3 + Mazda R100 - Ones That Got Away 449

By: Cliff Chambers

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vw kombi vw kombi

Looking back through the Unique Cars classifieds...

Volkswagen Kombi Microbus - Advertised December 1987

Yep, that price is correct, or at least it was at around Christmas time in 1987. Back then the world had not gone nutso in its determination to own old Type 2 Volkswagens, and especially those with more than their regulation issue of windows.

Kombis like this with an extra row of glass around the roof and roll-back fabric sunroof are these days worth mega amounts, so any still rotting quietly in the wilds of Far North Queensland are well worth exhuming and having restored. Anyone recall buying this scarce Microbus or know where it is now?

Then: $1000. Now: $110,000-130,000 (restored)


Chevrolet Corvette C3 427 - Advertised January 1993


What cooler way could there be to cruise through a hot 1993 summer’s night than in a red Corvette with the desirable 427 big-block motor and chromed side-pipes? This car at the time of being sold was not a cheap purchase, but considerably less
expensive than similar cars still in their country of origin. Those at the time would have cost around US$40,000. Finding a genuine C3 big-block still isn’t an easy task and the money on offer for excellent cars – especially Roadsters – has climbed to match demand. Even at $80-100k one of these is a compelling buy.

Then: $48,000. Now: $85,000-95,000


Mazda R100 - Advertised December 1991


Trawl back 30 years, if your memory extends that far, and unkempt R100s like this one were common sights. Neglect and tricky handling ensured that very few survived to see retirement age; especially those kitted out as a purposeful plaything by someone intent on challenging the treacherous terrain of the Snowy region. Once a bargain but now very scarce and enjoying strong international collector demand, an R100 even in dire need of full body and mechanical rebuilding will currently cost around ten times the money being sought in 1991.

Then: $3800. Now: $40,000-45,000


Reader's One That Got Away 

SAAB 900 Turbo
Stephen Sanchez - Banyo, Qld


My neighbour owned a black Saab 900 from new. I always loved the shape and tri spoke alloys. He had it for seven years and parked it on the highway verge with a for sale sign in the mid-90s and it was sold within a few days. It may have gotten away as I was in no position to buy it, but they are substantially cheaper today! Now I need to find a decent one.


From Unique Cars #449, February 2021

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