Torana XU-1 + Falcon XA GT RPO83 + Maserati Mexico - Ones That Got Away 454

By: Cliff Chambers

Presented by

holden torana gtr xu1 holden torana gtr xu1

Looking back through the Unique Cars classifieds...

Holden LJ GTR XU-1 - Advertised April 1993

At this turbulent point in history, it is easy to predict that any Aussie car being sold at auction will achieve its estimate, there is still a plenty of room for open-mouthed astonishment. Certainly, there was astonishment aplenty when an unassuming LJ GTR XU-1 not only set a new record for the model but smashed the previous best for a road-going LJ by more than $100,000. The provenance of that $325,000 XU1 was undeniable and, with mileage nudging 25,000, probably unrepeatable but its success is will most certainly influence the money now available for cars like our featured example.

Then: $13,000. Now: $175,000-200,000



Ford XA Falcon GT RPO83 - August 2003


Reviewing an RPO83, especially one that appears to be pristine, is scary. From one month to the next the money available for such cars can literally double, but we will have a stab anyway and hope the ‘New RPO Record’ bells don’t start ringing before this issue reaches the news-stands. An RPO tag would traditionally add 30 per cent to the price of an XA GT sedan and maybe 50 percent to a Hardtop. Today they start at $300k for a wreck and people bid until the wallet empties. This Yellow Glow beauty seems to need nothing, so stand well back if it ever comes up for sale.

Then: $18,000. Now: $300,000-350,000


Maserati Mexico - December 1994


Named in honour of Mexico’s president who bought the prototype, these Vignale-styled sports sedans helped prolong the life of the original Quattroporte by sharing a shortened version of the bigger car’s chassis. The Mexico was list priced locally at $22,000 – in 1971 that was about four times the price of a Phase 3 GT-HO – and hardly any were sold new into Australia. In fact, just nine RHD Mexicos were built from a total 485 cars and this one is likely a conversion. A car very similar to this was sold during recent years and hopefully it remains on Australian roads.

Then: $49,950. Now: $145,000-160,000


Prince Skyine GTB - November 1989


Finding a model that can appreciate by a factor of 10 is a rare event, but how about one that has smashed through the 2000 percent barrier? Skylines from the 1970s have been enjoying surging demand and their global good fortune is flowing through to earlier versions. These cars on paper should have been serious Bathurst 500 contenders, complete with triple Webers and a massive fuel tank in GTB trim, but the best result we could find was 13th in class C at the 1967 event. Never mind, if you have a Prince hidden in the garage it’s worth a bit more than the last time you looked.

Then: $2750. Now: $45,000-55,000


From Unique Cars #454, June 2021

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