RX-7 Limited + Impala wagon + Lloyd Alexander - Ones That Got Away 464 1

By: Cliff Chambers

mazda rx 7 mazda rx 7

Looking back through the Unique Cars classifieds...


Mazda RX-7 Limited - Advertised December 2003

For many years it remained possible to buy well equipped RX-7s like this one for about $10,000. Then the market rose and if you look at your Japanese Value Guide from 2015, an S3 Limited of Condition 1 quality would at that time cost $16,500. Three years later the price had surged to $37,500 and, after recent gains, we see excellent cars nudging $50,000. These original-shape RX-7s are good fun, easily tweaked for added performance and have enough inclusions to make them liveable. However, they aren’t so rare as yet that people should be panicked into paying excessive prices.

Then: $11,500. Now: $45,000-50,000


Lloyd Alexander - Advertised October 1999


AKA Lloyd Hartnett, these twin-cylinder, German-sourced microcars were promoted by former Holden boss Sir Larry Hartnett after his own project based on the French Gregoire went belly up. The Lloyd deal was better for all concerned though, with Borgward supplying kits in the same way Goggomobil did for Bill Buckle. The cars were assembled in Brisbane to boost local content and keep prices down. Around 3000 Lloyds were built, with sedan or station wagon bodywork and an electrifying 18.5kW of power. Arrival of the BMC Mini killed demand, but some survive.

Then: $1800. Now: $10,000-12,000 (restored)


Chevrolet Impala wagon - Advertised October 1997


If you wanted to look like the Brady Bunch or Griswolds on vacation, then $11,000 wouldn’t have been too much to spend on this impressive Impala wagon. It was presumably a fairly recent arrival that hadn’t been converted and keeping it that way would be a smart move. A few of these eight-seat Impalas had been imported when new, but those cars by 1997 would have been scarce and hardly any would look like this. Checking overseas listings revealed that these wagons and are hard to find even in the USA but not too costly to buy. Dealers have good ones available at US$30,000.

Then: $11,000. Now: $45,000-50,000


Rambler Ambassador - Advertised September 1986


Ramblers from the 1960s were viewed in some circles as Australian rather than American, principally because they were assembled in their thousands by Australian Motor Industries and sold to various arms of government including the Police. This one looks to have led a gentle civilian life and with a splash of new paint was ready for a new start. With care, it
should survive until today, just not at the money being realised by Chevs and big Fords of similar age. Certainly, a car worth preserving due to its unique style and links to AMI; for many years Australia’s most prolific automotive assembler.

Then: $3500. Now: $16,000-18,500


From Unique Cars #464, April 2022


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