The cars that got away

By: Cliff Chambers, Unique Cars magazine

Presented by

RR CLOUD CONV JAN 90 Rolls-Royce
ALLARD J2 JUL 95 Allard
CHRYSLER 360 JUN 04 chrysler

More quirky selections from young Cliff. Did you pick up one of these while they were still cheap?

The cars that got away
No-one wanted these for a while there - now they're desirable again.


Being sold in 'boom' times when silly money was on offer for pretty ordinary cars, this 'bitza' Rolls may indeed have sold for more than $300,000. Authentic Series 1 Cloud soft-tops are now very expensive (about A$1.2 million in the UK) and we can but wonder at the effect a grafted-on S3 nose might have had. Perhaps the $500,000 being asked currently by a UK dealer for S3 Drophead conversions - based on cut-down S3 Saloons - might provide a clue. Did this car stay as a S3 interloper or might a later owner have reunited it with the correct, single-light front?

THEN $325,000  NOW $500-550,000


Years before Carroll Shelby even considered stuffing V8s into a little British sports car, Allard scored a podium at Le Mans, won the Monte Carlo rally and its cars were scaring people witless all across the globe. Most were Ford-powered but you could have a 5.4-litre Cadillac if crazy enough.  With a 3.9-litre Mercury motor, Allard J2s like this would reach 180km/h and production managed fewer than 90 cars. Survivors have driven massive gains during the past 20 years and a car similar to this - perhaps the very same - was offered a few years back in Melbourne for more than $300,000.

THEN $118,000  NOW $400-450,000


Elsewhere in this issue our Style 'n Value gurus have nominated a quintet of desirable Aussie Chryslers to own and high on the list is this impressive model. In 1972 when Chrysler went chasing Fairlane and Statesman sales it left nothing on the shelf, with the biggest car, the biggest engine and a cabin that swallowed drivers of moderate stature. Not many Chryslers survive in the condition this one displays and only an insipid choice of colour might have made it tough to sell in 2004. Hopefully whoever now owns is happy with their bargain buy.

THEN $7000 NOW $18-22,000


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