Jaguar E-Type, Lotus Elan, Triumph GT6 - Ones That Got Away 457

By: Cliff Chambers

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jaguar etype jaguar etype

Looking back through the Unique Cars classifieds...

Jaguar E-Type S1 roadster - Advertised January 1993

Turning 60 this year and with plenty of people wanting to own one, early E Types are very much top of mind with enthusiasts and investors. Look back to the depths of the 1990s Recession though and a car like this occupying space in the garage and on the balance sheet must have been seen as a liability. Just three years earlier, SI Roadsters in top condition were market darlings and had been flying out the doors of specialised car auctions at $125-150,000. Today the good times have returned and 1990s purchasers who held on are headed for an excellent payday should they choose to sell.

Then: $95,000. Now: $250,000-280,000


Lotus Elan Drophead - Advertised April 1996


Lotus was unlucky that its stunning little Elan arrived in the market at virtually the same time as Jaguar’s E Type. Australian sales, despite distribution via some high-profile vendors including the Brothers Geoghegan, were slow and availability of good Elans in the local classic market is now limited. This car, resplendent in red, looks a cracker and was keenly priced as well so we have no doubt it would quickly have found a new owner. Just have to hope that the intrepid buyer was Australian and it didn’t disappear overseas to further deplete local stocks.

Then: $29,500. Now: $55,000-60,000


Triumph GT6 Mark 3 - Advertised August 1993


No prizes for guessing where the inspiration for this six-cylinder, fastback-bodied Triumph Spitfire was found. The 1960s was an era when the desire to own an E-type was irresistible but not always affordable, where Triumph’s GT6 filled a niche between Jaguar’s astonishing E and Honda’s rev addicted S800 coupe. From 1966-73 around 31,000 were made, with most going to British buyers. A lot of them added a roll back Webasto roof to let cabin heat escape, so you can imagine how much fun they weren’t at the height of an Australian summer. Survivors do bring significant money.

Then: $14,950. Now: $35,000-40,000


Reader's One That Got Away:

Plymouth Belvedere


Ever since I watched Christine the movie as a kid in the 1980s I have had a fear and fascination with Forward Look Chrysler cars. About six years ago I saw a salmon coloured 1958 Plymouth Belvedere for sale in SA for a reasonable sum of money. Gee I wished I hadn’t hesitated on that car as it had its original paint and more importantly it was on home soil. Jimmy Sampson - email


From Unique Cars #457, Sep 2021

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