RACV Members save 5%* and get exclusive specials at Repco everyday
The new classics: Nine of the hottest collectors’ cars
Grays Australia classic car specialist reveals the most sought-after collectors’ cars.
As the saying goes, one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Take the clapped-out 1973 Ford Falcon XA GT left to rot in a shed behind chicken wire, then sold at auction a couple of months back for a cool $300,000.
It’s a remarkable but hardly unique turn of events. Across Australia, classic car enthusiasts are on the hunt for their dream car, scouring classifieds websites and auctions and prepared to pay top dollar whether their find is painstakingly restored or in a state of disrepair.
In fact Rian Gaffy, classic car specialist at Grays auction house, says some vehicles sell for more when they’re in less-than-perfect nick. “The cars must be in good, original condition, the more original the better. If you get one that has been hot-rodded, the value drops dramatically.”
So what are the cars that bring in the big dollars? Rian says classics from international marques are always in hot demand, but Australian-made icons have also shot up in value in recent years.
We asked Rian to name some of the most sought-after makes and models on the collectors’ market.
Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) models like the GTS and the ClubSport are more popular now than ever.
Ford XY Falcon GTHO Phase III
The iconic 1971 GTHO Phase III has become the most sought-after model among Australian collectors and investors, with models fetching upwards of $600,000. The Aussie-built sports sedan carried Allan Moffat to a win in the 1971 Bathurst 1000 and the overall Australian Touring Car Championship. Powered by a 225kW Cleveland V8 driving the rear wheels via a four-speed manual gearbox, the GTHO completed the 0-60mph in 6.4 seconds. It’s believed there are fewer than 100 genuine examples of the GTHO remaining, which will only amplify its appeal.
What will it fetch? In 2018, a GTHO owned by former Australian cricketer Jeff Thomson sold at auction for $1.03 million. And in October a GTHO that had been left to decay in a shed, with dents from an axe attack and no engine, sold for $400,000. Two GTHOs advertised online range in price from $635,000 to $660,000.
The iconic 1971 GTHO Phase III (right) has become the most sought-after model among Australian collectors and investors.
Holden LX Torana A9X
Launched in 1977, the A9X was a performance-option package available with the LX Torana SS or SL/R 5000 with a 5.0-litre V8 engine. Essentially built for racing, the A9X was stripped of sound-deadening materials and wasn’t even fitted with a radio. Cosmetic flourishes included a reverse airscoop on the bonnet, bolt-on flares and rear spoiler, and brake-cooling ducts in the front spoiler. In all, 305 sedans and 100 hatchbacks were produced.
What will it fetch? In 2018 one sold for $365,000 at auction, while a seller in Sydney was asking $495,000 for a hatchback in June last year.
Valiant Charger E49 R/T
Chrysler disrupted Ford and Holden’s Australian-made muscle-car dominance with the release of the Charger coupe in 1971, which promptly took out that year’s Wheels Car of the Year award. An upgrade in 1972 dubbed the E49 R/T ushered in a better four-speed gearbox and bump in power for the six-cylinder Hemi engine, and it was a more accomplished track weapon than its predecessor. Chrysler built just 149 examples and the E49 has gone on to become a collector’s item.
What will it fetch? These are selling online for more than $250,000 – quite a jump from the original $4300 price tag.