Fri. Apr 16th, 2021

Torque n Power

Motorsport and Motoring Media

The Perfect Storm

This 1971 Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III sold for $1.15 million.

In an era of climbing values associated to pastimes and hobbies it is really no surprise to see another record broken in the Australian collectable car market. This time we have seen a record price paid for an XY GT HO Phase III in one of their most exciting colours – Electric Blue. This Phase III is no stranger in the 300 Phase III’s that were built. I have vivid memories of this car when the FPV BA GT was released….it was the very same car used to promote the FPV return to the GT marque.

This GTHO ended up in Western Australia and was recently auctioned amongst some other collectable vehicles. Some of the other items also fetched some stout prices with a Torana A9X hatchback also selling for $435,000.

In January we saw $1,050,000 for a 1 of 4 HSV GTS-R W1 Maloo, so the trend on Australian production vehicles is on the rise. The question is, when will this trend slow or plateau? I was asked that question and what was the driving force behind this trend? I honestly believe there would be a number of people verse in financial and economics matters that are in a better position to answer this question, however at an educated guess, I am going to suggest the sale prices on the big ticket, big name Aussie cars from the 70’s to plateau. In terms of the driving force behind the rise (pardon the pun), I would suggest the perfect storm.

The Perfect Storm “is an event in which a rare combination of circumstances drastically aggravates the event”. If you pull out the Australian calendar of events in 2020 you will see two events that were only separated by days and had an influence on this trend we have seen. On the 19th of February 2020 Holden announced its closure and retirement of its brand in Australia. This was not just a closure of manufacturing – that had already occurred three years prior, this was a complete closure of its nameplate and retirement of the Holden brand – never to be seen again. Days later on the 27th of February 2020 Prime Minister Scott Morrison activated the Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for Coronavirus (COVID-19), stating that the rapid spread of the virus outside of China had prompted the government to elevate its response. A few weeks later the government announced numerous stimulus packages resulting in around $90 billion injected into the Australian economy. This included income support, access to superannuation, grants for small and medium-sized businesses and above all limited access to overseas countries.

So collectively across Australia, travel was limited, most businesses resumed operations after an initial lockdown and the economy was relatively buoyant given the surplus of cash derived from a few different reasons. The focus had certainly shifted to past times, hobbies, enthusiasts’ pursuits, and the motoring scene makes a large portion of this in Australian culture. Suddenly a VF Commodore SV6 had become somewhat of a collector’s car. At our 100th Podcast Episode event held by Shannons “The Gone But Not Forgotten” Holden on through time car show we were unable to secure a VK Commodore, yes, the very same car that I cut my teeth on and sadly destroyed by striking a tree, was now a unicorn. Thankfully, our co-host was able to secure a customers VK Calais and we were saved at the 11th hour.

When I suggest a plateau of values and sales prices on some of the “big name” cars of the 70’s, I am not suggesting an overall plateau. We are likely to see increased growth in the mid to late 80’s vehicles as well. We have already seen unprecedented growth on the VL Commodore, XE and XF Falcon however those are not done yet. If you can secure a good example of one of these I would suggest getting on board – they still have room for growth. The VN 304 V8 is also a good example – the last home designed, and homemade Aussie V8 – these still have room for movement. Sadly, the EA Falcon will not share that accolade – I would suggest leaving that one owner EA Falcon GL on Gumtree as I cannot see much calling for the EA……EB 5.0 V8 completely different story.

Most of these predictions are based on the market and its consumers remaining the same. In life that does not happen so it is difficult to determine where the Millennials, Generation Z and Generation Alpha’s will take it in years to come. Will they have the same passion for a 2017 VF Clubsport? Will they even know what it is?

Regards Nick Dicembre

NB: Any advice contained in this story is merely based on opinion only and has been prepared without the knowledge of the readers investment objectives and financial situation. While there have been some vehicles sold previously for more than the stated record of $1,150,000.00, these vehicles were deemed one off special build.

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