Ford Escort + Chev Impala + HK KIngswood - Ones That Got Away 458

By: Cliff Chambers

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Looking back through the Unique Cars classifieds...


Ford Escort Twin Cam - Advertised November 1997

If you avidly view European retro rally events you will already know why Escort ‘Twink’ values have soared. These cars when new were dogged by unreliability, due in part to appalling build quality but also because Ford didn’t plan for the merciless flogging, they would be given by people who bought them. Today those deficiencies have been overcome and Twin Cams are being driven more vigorously than ever, so local survivors have become scarce. Instead, we looked to Britain for comparable pricing but even there it is difficult to buy a Twin-Cam for less than A$100k.

Then: $11,500 Now: $90,000-100,000


1968 Chevrolet Impala - Advertised April 1986


If you were alive and under 50 in 1968 there would have been hardly a time during the previous 50 years when local dealers could not supply a new Chevrolet. For several decades we bodied our own and since the 1950s they were delivered in crates from Canada for local assembly. That arrangement ended in 1968 when Impalas like this cost $6680 yet demand remained fierce. Eighteen years on, this vendor wasn’t being greedy and only seeking that outlay back, however for reasons more complex than nostalgia, values since then have climbed significantly.

Then: $7000 Now: $30,000-35,000


Holden HK Kingswood - Advertised December 1994


Who in recent times has seen an HK that is as yet to click over the fifth digit on its odometer? Not many, I would suggest, because had there been one, some auction house would have that car headlining its next sale and be predicting bids in the vicinity of $100,000. Power accessories fitted to this one help, but it is still a Kingswood and a six-cylinder version at that, so we have tempered our estimated value with reality. Did any of our readers buy this car back in ’94, and in the depths of the 1990s recession did you outlay the entire $10,000?

Then: $10,000 Now: $50,000-60,000


Iso Rivolta Le Le - Advertised December 2002


Diversity came easily to Renzo Rivolta’s Iso conglomerate, which made millions from refrigerators, motor scooters and bubble cars before losing lots on high-end Grand Tourers like this Lele. By 1969 when this model reached the market Iso had pretty much had its chips and the fuel crisis when it arrived in 1973 finished them off. Only 317 Leles were made (some say only 280) and few came to Australia. This example is one of the later ‘S’ versions with a 268kW Cobra-Jet Ford V8 and, If the manual gearbox is original, one of just six made RHD in that format.

Then: $32,500 Now: $120,000-150,000


From Unique Cars #458, Oct 2021

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