From the cupboard part 2: Classic Cars Australia

On December 19, 1969 someone bought a copy of the Herald and used it to line the cupboards in the den of spanners I now call my home. Whoever you were, thank you – as I’ve discovered a treasure trove of 60’s Australian automotive flashbacks (its Classic Cars Australia Mania!) In the second part of our three part series we continue with a look through the classifieds, to find out what might be an absolute nest egg by today’s standards…

Firstly in our look back at Classic Cars Australia (mania), we start with a bunch of repo’d and private cars on auction. We wonder how many of them have been lovingly restored and are still hitting the roads today…


Right, now that the auctions out of the way, let’s have a look what’s on offer!

Austin A50 and 1800




Austin A50
Austin A50
Austin 1800
Austin 1800

A what exactly?: The A50 was a lovely car that with 37kw could get you from A to B in comfort and style, provided you took the week off to get there. The 1800 was a European car of the year winner and was nicknamed the Landcrab over the fact that it was wider than a lot of other options in the market at the time. When was the last time a car had a crustacean nickname?

Howmuchforit?: For a sniff over $500 you could find one that needs a lot of time and money put into it. For between 6-10k you can find some examples in decent condition.

Future gold mine?: Er…probably not. Not a golden crab then.

Various bargains in Classic Cars Australia


Now while you’re probably choking on your coffee at the fact that these seem like absolute steal (including registration which would set you back $640 this year here in Australia), just note the year – 1969. Baz the family mechanic pointed out that he was making $20 a week back then which meant after rent and living expenses, it’d take most of the year to buy the FC Holden listed. Still, compared to some of the other prices of the higher end cars in this paper..

Isuzu Bellett 1500


Bellett Classic Cars Australia


A what?: A compact Isuzu with a bit of a cult following and one of the most successful Japanese imports to Australia in the 60’s.

How much?: Depending on the condition and modifications, start at a few thousand. The good news is, if you can’t find a Bellett to your liking locally you can import one over from Japan. Just have a look through the Iron Chef Imports Facebook page shows you’ll need money in the low teens for one that needs a bit of work..(and for a GT version? Aim for over 20k to get one over here..)

Should I have kept mine then?: Quite possibly, especially if you had a GT version that you got for cheap and left in the shed to keep the ks low..

Brand new cars – Classic Cars Australia

Brand-new Classic Cars Australia

Such a great decade for muscle cars! Imagine trying to convince the wife at the time that the Pontiac Firebird would be a great edition to the family 🙂

Buick Special



Why no pic?: With no year specified it could be a number of models. If any Buick fans want to chime in and let me know what it could be given the info available, I’d love to hear from you.

So how much then?: Depends on everything. Year, condition, rust etc.

Should I have bought this back in 1969?: Jury’s out on this one. Depending on which is it, it could have made you a bit of money but unless someone who bought it back in December 1969 trips over this page, we’re probably never going to find out.

Chevrolet Impala

Chevrolet-Impala Classic Cars Australia


Want!: Who wouldn’t want this gorgeous piece of American muscle history in their collection?

Want now!: Cheapest example I could find currently would set you back around $25K. After that it goes up and up and up and up…

Investment?: Oh god yes, it’s a huge collectors item now. I mean look at it!

Falcon XT


Classic Cars Australia

Amazing to think that once upon a time a radio was an option as was a heater. Two things I just couldn’t travel without nowadays.

Ford Thunderbird


Classic Cars Australia


What’s the bet that Neil misses his 1965 Ford Thunderbird now? The good news is that he can relive those memories and show off his pride and joy at car shows for a touch over 20 grand. So it’s still an affordable classic and not asking for drug money just yet. The Capri though…


…awesome! While the one listed above was not one of the 100 Tickford Turbo’s you could still picture yourself screaming around in one in the 60’s complete with hair that took up the entire passenger seat. Glorious 😀

Hillman Hunter

Hillman-Hunter Classic Cars Australia

Hillman Hunter Classic Cars Australia

Please tell me more!: Fully functioning wagon by a group called Rootes Arrow (have a read here, I’m very confused.)

And in today’s prices?: From about $500 for a parts car to $7000 for a well maintained runner.

So it wasn’t my key to millions?: Nay.

Holden Belmont




A what then?: I am the furthest you’d find as a Holden expert so it’d be far easier to point you in the right direction for info rather than completely stuff it up (which I possibly would as there’s so many Holden models and variations out there). What I can say – it’s a classic panel van with plenty of enthusiasts for it.

Howmuchizittoday?: I can’t find any panel vans for sale currently but there’s plenty of Belmonts to choose from and a huge variety of prices depending on how much you want to get your hands dirty and do some work.

Would it be worth more today?: Restored or in tip top amazing condition? Quite possibly. Seen a lot of this beautiful country and on its third engine? Probs not.

Honda N600



What is it?: A Taiwanese made little buzz box with a larger engine than the Honda N360 is was based on that managed to top out at a scary 130kph given that some of it’s plastic parts such as the boot lid. In 1972 they gave it a less powerful engine and improved the brakes, which weren’t great.

What’s it worth nowadays?: From a quick scoot around the net it looks like an average one will set you back at least 4 grand while one that was fully restored from the ground up project sold for an impressive $7k us.

Worthy investment?: The inflation calculator sets it at $14698 in today’s prices. That’s a negative then.

Humber Super Snipe


Snipe Classic Cars Australia

What is it?: The first British Car to fit two sets of headlamps. According to reviews at the time the instruments were all over the shop and the choke light was too bright. Still it did well, lasting for another two series.

What’s it worth nowadays?: About $800 to $10000 depending on condition and how much work you want to do yourself (or pay someone to work on it).

Worthy investment if bought in 1969?: Not really.

1960 Deluxe Mazda

Mazda classic cars Australia

What is it?: Well it took a bit of homework but I eventually stumbled over that this would have been a Mazda R360 Deluxe… which means it was one of the first Mazda’s ever released! 

How awesome would this thing have been!
How awesome would this thing have been!

Yes an iconic piece of Mazda motoring history with only 19,000 miles. Wow, what a find! Of course it was small and would have putted around just fine provided you weren’t keen to get anywhere in a hurry.. but what a head turner!

What’s it worth nowadays?: God only knows. There was a rusted to bits one on Craigslist for just over a grand a couple of years ago but info on recent sales price is rare through Google. Be prepared to do a lot of work if you find one it seems.

Worthy investment?: Only if you could sell it for over 20k today which is what inflation brings it to…

Mercedes-Benz 190B

Merc-190b classic cars Australia


So what is it?: 1.9 litres of 4 cylinder fury pumping out a staggering 56kw of road burning fury. Often called a ‘Ponton’ which is German for Pontoon, referring to it’s styling. Looks like an early Bond movie bad guy car. Would probably fit at least one exotic cat in the back for stroking while planning world domination.

What’s it worth in 2016?: We stumbled across one here in Australia for a sniff under 20k. That’s pretty much all we can go on until someone who reads this updates us on current prices.

Investment?: In good condition yes. Given that this one had a full history, even more so if kept that way.

Mercedes-Benz 250 SE

Mercedes-Benz-250 classic cars Australia

250 se

What is it?: Very stylish for one. Possibly a four or an inline six. Not one of the ones assembled here in Australia. Very classic gangster mobile.

How much would one set you back nowadays?: About 10-35k if you can find one. Underline if you can find one as there seem to be more sedans than coupes for sale at the moment.

Investment if you bought it from this ad?: Possibly. Depends on how much you haggled back in the 60s..

Pontiac Parisienne


Pontiac Classic Cars Australia



Pontiac Classic Cars Australia

What is it?: Absolutely lovely American v8 muscle that was actually bolted together here in Australia to save costs.

Okay looks great! How much for one nowadays?: Just looking at similar examples from the same decade prices start roughly from 12K right up to a lovingly restored version at $40,000.

Should I have kept this one when I bought it in 1969 then?: Considering inflation pushes this beast to a staggering $67,000 in 2015 standards, you won’t be a millionaire for holding on to it, no.

Valiant VE


ve classic cars australia

What’s the go: A car that’s so popular around these parts it’d probably get snapped up before the ink dried on the latest classifieds. No seriously, go to a local Chrysler show and see how many the car community love these things.

How much to jag one myself to take to Chrysler Club shows then?: Depending on condition anywhere from 7k right up to $30K+

If I owned one since 1969 and sold it today, would it make me squillions?: Nope. But you’d find plenty of great homes for it to go to. As Classic Cars Australia go, this one is still popular!

Vauxhall Cresta

Vauxall Cresta Classic Cars Australia


A what?: The year would make it a PA model with an inline 6, 3 speed, some leather and a heater as standard. A great car if you’re a rock n roll revivalist who needs a project.

I want one! How much now?: Not that there’s many to snap up in 2016 but I found one in bits for $900, one not in pieces for 3k and one that had been converted into a long range rally version for $8000.

So probably not a retirement nest egg then?: Not at the moment, no.

So that’s it for today’s look back at Classic Cars Australia – here’s hoping we trip over another old newspaper soon!


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