Ford XC Fairmont hardtop – Advertised July 199
If you want a really rare two-door Falcon, don’t spend megabucks on a GT or Cobra. Just track down a 5.8-litre XC Fairmont (if you can). From 1976-78, only 648 Fairmont Hardtops were built and far fewer would be running the most V8 engines in Ford Australia.
Few survived until 1999, yet this XC was extremely cheap and would surely have sold out soon after the ad appeared. Where is it now? Hopefully in similar condition, as seen here and not caught in a fake cobra. What is it worth now? Much higher than in 1999.
Then: $5500. Now: $85,000-110,000
Aston Martin Lagonda – Advertised in February 2004
Obviously, the car being sold is not the car being shown, but when the car in question is a Towns Lagonda, the real thing is less important than the effect on the owner’s self-esteem. William Towns designed his futuristic sedan for people with unlimited money and deadly philosophies, people who grew up watching Thunderbirds on TV and really wanted Lady Penelope’s roles.
The shape echoed Leyland’s ‘wedge’ designs from the 1970s, build quality was comparable and the car was full of quirky ideas. Only 645 were built and surviving cars rarely fetch more than $100,000.
Then: $105,000. Now: $95,000-115,000
Jaguar XJ-C 4.2 – Advertised in December 2003
Jaguar’s prettiest sedan ever took years to go from prototype to production, and all because one pesky piece of rubber refused to do its job. Air whistling between the side glass slabs vexed Jaguar’s designers and ensured that the XJ-C entered production several months later than it deserved.
Announced in 1973, the 4.2 and companion 5.3-liter version finally appeared in September 1975 and lasted until November 1977. A few hundred came to Australia and remained idle for some time. Values have risen recently, but not to unaffordable levels.
Then: $24,500. Now: $45,000-50,000
Chevrolet Impala 2-Door – Advertised in April 1997
Australia imported many American-style Chevs during the 1960s and some of these cars survive to this day. They required a RHD conversion when new which can cause problems, but none of that applies to this two-door Impala. It is a recent import in factory LHD form and comes with plenty of goodies to entertain Australian owners.
When this car was sold during the 1990s, economic problems hampered values and $26,000 could be hard to come by. This has changed over the past few years, although demand for Impalas has increased since the 1960s.
Then: $26,000. Now: $50,000-55,000
From Unique Cars #470, September/October 2022