Chrysler Royal + Kougar Jaguar + Saab 96 - Ones That Got Away 413

By: Cliff Chambers

chrysler royal chrysler royal

Looking back through the Unique Cars archive


Last year when profiling the Chrysler Royal we identified its heritage as a North American Plymouth with modifications for Australian consumption. However, there was never a US station wagon version and the unique Plainsman bodies were built at Chrysler’s Mile End factory in South Australia, They were spacious and handsome but not hugely popular and poor sales prevented production of an AP3 version. In addition to the 156 AP1 models (of which this is one) there were 224 of the AP2 Plainsman sold including 32 with V8 engines. A few from both series do survive, perhaps this car is among them.

Then: $6200. Now: $25,000


KOUGAR JAGUAR - Advertised May 1986

Kougar -jaguar

The first Kougar was built in 1976, using a wrecked 3.8-litre S Type for mechanical parts and the 1950 Healey Silverstone as inspiration for its body design. The UK company changed hands in the 1990s and still exists. It produced a Mark 4 version of the Kougar which it sold as a kit or complete car. A few Kougars did find their way to Australia, most likely as complete used cars to avoid the certification issues that accompany a kit. The US Kougar market is strong, with some cars priced above $50,000 and one selling at auction for US$68,000. Locally they are likely to bring less.

Then: $17,000. Now: $45-50,000


SAAB 96 - Advertised May 1991

Saab -96 

School excursions to Canberra were usually drab and chilly events, made bearable by the wealth of oddball cars to be sighted on practically every street of our nation’s capital. The majority arrived courtesy of overseas embassy staff and this Saab would almost certainly have been a ‘Diplomatic Import’ that had been sold off when its keeper returned home. Later versions of the 96 were officially sold here but they were the Ford V4-powered version and not the amazing two-stroke that ran at the front of so many European rallies during the 1960s. Hope it remained here.

Then: $9570. Now: $16-20,000


Reader's One That Got Away - Fiat 130 Coupe

Fiat -130-coupe

For a good six months I would see a silver 130 Coupe parked outside a garage in metro Melbourne. I always wondered why such a beautiful car would be left outside in the weather. I had the best intentions to approach the owner and rescue the Fiat but all of a sudden it vanished to my horror!



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