Alfa Romeo Montreal + HSV SV89 + Daimler 2.5 V8 - Ones That Got Away 453

By: Cliff Chambers

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Looking back through the Unique Cars classifieds...

Alfa Romeo Montreal - Advertised December 1994

It is hard to look at this car and not mourn the absence of pure aesthetics from modern automotive design. The Montreal was intended to showcase Italian automotive mastery at an event called Expo 67 and while they could have sent a Lamborghini Miura (both came from the Bertone design studio) the Alfa did its job of stunning and delighting Expo visitors. Making the little V8 delight buyers was more difficult and only 3925 cars were built. Fewer than 100 came here and prices since 1994 are up significantly, with an exceptional car offered recently at $170,000.

Then: $47,770. Now: $140,000-160,000


HSV SV89 - Advertised November 2003


At a time when some HSV values have hit half a million dollars, it is easy to forget that not every product of the fledgling business was destined to spawn a Bathurst winner. Cars like this SV89 were essential to keeping dealers supplied with cars that were cheaper and easier to sell than the controversial VL Group A and just 200 of the SV89 were built. All were white and based on the VN Berlina V8, with an experimental cold air-intake system and uprated transmission. They don’t appear for sale very often and our price range is an estimate, so if you recently sold one please let us know.

Then: $10,500. Now: 40,000-50,000


Daimler 2.5 V8 - Advertised May 1988


Many years passed before the classic vehicle world came to acknowledge the worth of Daimler’s 2.5-litre V8. Yes, the car shares its shape with a Jaguar but the V8 offered a delightful and delicate alternative to the straight-six Jag motor; a unit that was effectively four BSA motorcycle engines cast in series with a wonderfully resonant exhaust. Plenty of the baby Daimlers came to Australia and survivors aren’t difficult to locate, however they do share the Mark 2 Jag’s penchant for body problems and expensive leather retrims. One in this condition should have trebled its 1988 value.

Then: $12,000. Now: $35,000-40,000


Buick Riviera GS 1968 - Advertised October 1991


What a bargain this Buick appears to be and what a nice car to own if you were the first to arrive in Canberra with $12K in your top pocket. Unlike a lot of ACT-registered American cars, this one has been converted to RHD drive so perhaps was not among the diplomatic imports that once were common sights on the roads of our National Capital. With the GS pack it should have included disc front brakes, heavier springs and shocks and some added interior frills, but even without them this was a lot of car for the price and today worth considerably more.

Then: $12,500. Now: $35,000-40,000


From Unique Cars #453, May 2021

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