Classic Cars You Wish You Could Own
Nothing gets car enthusiasts more excited than classic cars. Nothing gets auctioneers more excited than expensive cars. Combine the two and pretty much everyone gets excited…
In this article, we take a look at some of the top classic cars you wish could own. To be clear, in Australia:
A classic car: 30 years or older – NSW, SA, QLD, WA, NT, TAS, ACT.
A classic car: 25 years or older – VIC.
JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) cars are shooting up in value these days. Pristine and unmodified examples are really pushing prices up all over Australia. It seems those who wanted them back in the ’90s but couldn’t afford, can now afford them – and the market knows it. If you’ve ever played Gran Turismo, you’ll be familiar with the ’80s and 90’s JDM sports cars – here are some classics…
1978 Mazda RX3 Coupe
Also known as the 808, Grand Familia Coupe and several other names depending on the market. The RX3’s tough styling and unique rotary engine made it a hit. Originally, the RX-3 came with a 10A rotary and was later upgraded to the 12A which also featured in Series One RX-7s. Most examples today have been fitted with the later model 13B rotary engines. In the ’70s, base models sold for $4,100 AUD which is around $22,700 in 2020 – however, mint-condition versions are commanding $90,000 price tags today!
1989 – 1994 Nissan R32 GT-R
Although later models are technically only a ‘classic’ in Victoria, we couldn’t leave the awe-inspiring GT-R off this list. The R32 really launched the Skyline GT-R to the masses – famously identified by its iconic circular rear taillights and the GT-R badge. The R32 GT-R was not the first GT-R produced by Nissan, but it did introduce the monstrous RB26DETT twin-turbo powerplant to an AWD drivetrain. The R32 got its Godzilla’s nickname here in Australia in 1991 when it knocked the Ford Cosworth off the podium at the Australian Touring Car Championship.
1967 Toyota 2000GT
With only 351 produced, the 2000GT is one of the rarest cars on this list. The 2000GT was also used in a James Bond film – You Only Live Twice. The car is considered a halo car for Toyota, meaning it demonstrated that its maker could produce high-quality sports cars. Toyota also entered the 2000GT in the Fuji 1000km race in Japan and won. Critics at the time of production described the car as one of the most exciting they’d ever driven. With the low production numbers, racing pedigree and Bond movie fame, the 2000GT are naturally mega dollars. In 2013, a 2000GT sold for $1.2 million USD.
The classic car scene is well established in the US. Think of all the brands that existed ‘back in the day’: Buick, Oldsmobile, Plymouth / Chrysler, Jeep, Lincoln, etc. Of course, also well established are the enthusiasts that follow the scene. Cars and coffee, for example, is a car show described as a ‘worldwide phenomenon’ that displays some prime examples of American classic cars.
1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
The iconic GT500 probably has more fans around the world than any other. Known for old fashioned cubic inches and grunt, it’s a common site on drag strips or locked away in celebrities’ garages. It’s hard to find original versions as most have had parts swapped out with parts from later models. In 2013, a variation sold for a giant $1.3millon USD.
1969 Dodge Charger Daytona
A definite head-turner, the Charger Daytona is recognisable due to its massive rear wing and pointy front end – not super common on muscle cars. Teams also used the Charger Daytona in NASCAR and were the first car in the race’s history to break the 200mph (322kph) mark.
1978 Pontiac Firebird
Another muscle car icon, the Firebird is recognisable due to its huge logo decal on the bonnet. Its V8 powerplant wasn’t the most powerful but the classic V8 rumble combined with the aggressive looks made the Pontiac Firebird a classic American car with a huge following. Models fitted with Ram Air IV engines made considerably more power – 345hp, a lot for a 1978 vehicle.
Classic cars and Europe go hand-in-hand. As does the need for deep pockets. Being home to Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti and more, there are obviously dozens of collectable cars. This list could have been huge if we’d included all of the classics like the Ferrari F40, McLaren F1 (which turns 30 in 2022) and Porsche 911 variations. Here are three European classic cars…
1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder
Commanding a cool $8 million-and-beyond USD price, the California Spyder is another top-dollar vehicle on this list. They come with Ferrari’s 3.0-litre V12 and tan leather interiors. Many experts peg the California Spyder as one of the most beautiful cars ever to leave Ferrari’s factory – a pretty bold statement when you consider the mind-boggling machines to have rolled out those doors.
1980s Lamborghini Countach
We put a whole decade for this one as Lamborghini produced it for a huge 16 years – an incredibly long production run for any car. The 80’s versions were hugely popular thanks to facelifts and modernisations from the previous decade’s models. Most enthusiasts will remember the Countach posters which lined the walls of so many bedrooms in the ’80s and ’90s. The unique front windscreens are so rare that even custom-made ones push north of $10,000aud – if you borrow a Countach, don’t touch the windows.
1965 Aston Martin DB5
The most famous and well-known Bond car, the DB5 is instantly recognisable. Interestingly, it came with electric windows… in 1965! The Bond DB5 sold for $6.3 million USD in 2019 and was, not for the first time, described as ‘the most famous car in the world’. It featured in the Bond movie, ‘Goldfinger’.
Which car would you most like to take for a ‘spin’? Classic cars and their restoration projects are massively popular in Australia – it’s no wonder either are looking at this list. They may not be the ideal vehicles for a road trip, but they still would be amazing to drive.
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