Fiat X1/9, Falcon XR GT, Austin-Healey 100/4, Buick Riviera - Ones That Got Away 463

By: Cliff Chambers

Fiat x19 Fiat x19

Looking back through the Unique Cars classifieds...

Fiat X1/9 - Advertised June 2001

Some cars charm buyers out of the treetops and appreciate wildly while equally worthy designs can’t even keep pace with inflation. The energetic X1/9 Fiat sadly falls into the latter category. With a body by Bertone, 1.5 litres, four discs and a five-speed, Series 2 versions look good and get along quite nicely while remaining among the least expensive sports cars of their era. Yes, Fiats rust but so do Alfas and Lancias and their appeal doesn’t seem to be suffering as a consequence. We can only assume that the Fiat is awaiting its time in the spotlight and values one day will ignite.

Then: $9000.  Now: $16,000-18,000


Ford Falcon XR GT - Advertised August 2000


As did happen to GTs back in the day, this Old Gold XR has been messed with beneath the bonnet but retains the external embellishments that made these a traffic stopper when new. Unless you count the GT500 Cortina, Australia prior to 1967 never had a genuine road-going racer but Ford with this car made up for lost time in one swoop. Fewer than 600 were built but for years they were ignored by people who preferred later GTs with 351 engines and more muscular looks. That changed about 15 years ago, with prices surging and despite authenticity issues this car should still make $100k.

Then: $17,000. Now: $95,000-110,000


Austin-Healey 100/4 - Advertised December 1996


Christmas-time 25 years ago would have seen a few Unique Cars readers tempted to put this Santa-spec (red over white) Healey into the stocking. $30k was at the time fair money for a decent but not exceptional 100/4 and this car shouldn’t have struggled to find a buyer. Fast forward to Christmas just gone and the same car might have been back in the market and tempting a new generation of cashed-up empty nesters. This time though, with Big Healeys of all kinds in hot demand and buyers on the hunt for good 100/4s, the price will more likely be $99,999.

Then: 29,999. Now: $90,000-100,000


Buick Riviera - Advertised July 2003


As an impressionable 11-year-old I managed to score a whirl around the block in the passenger seat of a LHD Riviera and have never forgotten the experience. ‘My’ Riv was a personal import and not required to be RHD, however a lot did arrive via big-city Holden dealers to be locally converted and sold with new car warranty. Whether this one is a survivor from those times, or a more recent import is impossible to say, but it looks excellent and should have survived the years since 2003. Had you paid $17k for it back then, the ledger would by now be looking very healthy.

Then: $17,500. Now: $50,000-55,000


From Unique Cars #463, March 2022



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