GTHO, Torana, Volkswagen - the cars that got away

By: Cliff Chambers, Unique Cars magazine

Presented by

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Uncle Cliff takes us through some old gold in our classifieds from years past.

GTHO, Torana, Volkswagen - the cars that got away
A GTHO auto? Doesn't seem quite right...

Ford XW GTHO Automatic – advertised Nov 1989

This one presents a conundrum that won’t be solved unless the actual vehicle comes to light, hence the broad value range. 

Reliable GT Falcon sources say that XW GTHOs never departed the factory with automatic transmission. One car was coded as an auto and likely converted from a four-speed shortly after production. However, it wasn’t Silver Fox.

This car hit the market at a time when the collector market was having its first ‘boom’ and any authentic Falcon GT was peaking in value.

Recession and 15 quiet years would follow until values surged again.

Then $20,000 Now $80-165,000

Holden LX Torana V8 Hatch – advertised Sep 2002

Not long ago or far from here you could have bought a V8 Torana Hatch for less than $10,000. Truly, you could.

Even better for whoever slapped down the $9500 needed to acquire for this original-looking LX is that you would get a Hatch Hutch thrown in.

The Hutch was a zip-in tent that allowed camping couples to sleep up high and relatively dry in the back of their hatchback Holden.

No, it didn’t become a long-term fad but acquiring a hutch today will cost around $3000.

The car to accompany it will bring at least 10 times that figure. 

Then $9500 Now $35-40,000

Volkswagen 181 – advertised Mar 1986

Australia had a go during the 1960s at making Beetle-based bush-bashers, but the Country Buggy died when VW stopped local assembly.

The 181 – or ‘Thing’ as they called it in some markets – was based on the WW2 Kubelwagen and racked up more than 90,000 civilian sales without ever officially making it to Australia.

That doesn’t mean that imports from North America, Europe or SE Asia don’t pop up from time to time to tempt local enthusiasts.

We recently saw a decent-looking 181 on offer here at $12,000. This one if it remains should do better.

Then $7000 Now $13,500-16,000

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