Leyland Mini, Chev wagon, Panther J72 - Ones That Got Away 463

By: Cliff Chambers

leyland mini leyland mini

Looking back through the Unique Cars classifieds...

Leyland Mini LS 1275 - Advertised June 1994

Mini sales in the UK rampaged on until 1999 but out here the death knock came – unless you were a Moke – in 1978 and LS 1275 sedans were the last in an illustrious line. The LS was hardly luxurious but did come with decent, cloth-bound seats and proper wheels to help with the ground clearance. Just 400 are believed to have been made; painted silver or gold and list priced at $4760 – just $300 more than the very basic Moke. The model remains popular with Mini collectors, so a decent proportion of the cars built have survived and prices are yet to become ridiculous.


Chevrolet station wagon - Advertised January 1993


For reasons best known to General Motors-Holden, locally assembled Chevrolet station wagons were never part of its plan to dominate the 1950s Australian market. Cars like this were hardly ever seen and it wasn’t until the mid-1960s that Chev wagons became popular with dealers who would import brand new US-built models for favoured customers. We asked automotive value tracker Hegarty.com for more detail and discovered very little. Sales of wagons during 1954 topped out at 10,770 and a surviving Bel-Air in excellent condition will today likely cost around US$18,000.


Panther J72 - Advertised April 1991


Enormous money back in 1991 for what essentially was a fairly cheesy replica Jaguar, but Panther still went on to create its own niche in the classic market. Anyone considering this car would have been wise to deal hard and not be suckered into believing fairy tales about long-term gain. Very good ones in the British market now make around A$70,000 but here where the brand has no profile they will struggle. A car similar to this was advertised a while back at $58,000; suggesting that anyone who paid the 1991 price then held on grimly for 30 years would be behind by a fair old slab.


Reader's One That Got Away 

1961 Lincoln Continental


Back in 2007 I purchased and imported a ‘59 Buick from a collector in Arizona. He owned an unrestored 19,000 mile ‘61 Continental at the time that he said he would never sell. Come 2020, I received a random email from the owner offering the car to me! With all the Covid dramas, my chances of importing another car from the USA were over.

Colin White


From Unique Cars #463, March 2022


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