Datsun 2000 Sports, Holden HK Monaro GTS, Pontiac Grand Prix hardtop - Ones That Got Away 452

By: Unique Cars magazine

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Looking back through the Unique Cars classifieds...

Datsun 2000 Sports - Advertised November 1998

The Japanese were masterful at taking other car-makers’ designs and improving upon them, sometimes to devastating effect. This Datsun is a perfect example, beginning life as a 1.5-litre rival to the MGB and called the Fairlady. No old iron here though, because the underdone Datsun soon grew flared mudguards, a five-speed gearbox and brawny 2.0-litre engine. 2000s delivered the grunt to win production sports car races around the world but were expensive when new and a lot dearer today. If you can find one. This rare early car was a show winner and well worth its $20k.

Then: $20,000. Now: $55,000-60,000


Holden HK Monaro GTS - Advertised April 1996


Everybody in 1968 wanted a GTS327, but insurance costs and sheer lack of stock meant that most HK V8s were the 307 cubic inch, 5-litre version. These were still a Chevrolet supplied motor – the Aussie-made ‘308’ more than a year away – and delivered a still useful 157kW. Most surviving HKs seem to be automatic so this manual version – if it exists – will be considerably more valuable. Adding to its appeal in a market that is very keen on provenance is the unusual Inca Gold paint and those distinctive GTS hubcaps. If you own this car now, we would love some photos.

Then: $22,500. Now: 170,000-180,000


Pontiac Grand Prix hardtop - Advertised December 1994


Holden dealers in major cities ran a lucrative sideline during the 1960s, importing and converting cars from the USA and marketing them as a step beyond the locally built Chevrolets and Pontiacs. This Grand Prix with its wheel on the right-hand side of the cabin would have been one such car; offering frills such as power windows and seat and almost certainly air-conditioning. The mighty did fall a long way however and $10,500 asked for an old dinosaur in a depressed market was probably $3k too much. Today though, these cars are back in fashion and prices have climbed.

Then: 10,500. Now: $24,000-28,000


Reader's One That Got Away

Ford Sierra cosworth 


Growing up in the 1980s I was mesmerized by the Ford Sierra Cosworth in the touring car series. I wanted a red one just like Dick Johnson and John Bowe. In 1994 my mother’s cousin owned one in Germany and took me for a ride, I was totally hooked.

I always planned to buy one when I was old enough but they seem thin on the ground and above my budget nowadays.

Benjamin Saharez - via email


From Unique Cars #452, April 2021

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