Home » Holdens, Vans, And Peugeots (Oh My!): Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness ‘Straya Edition

Holdens, Vans, And Peugeots (Oh My!): Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness ‘Straya Edition

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Happy Friday, Autopians! I’m taking over for Mercedes today, as she heads out on a super secret mission. There will be tire-roasting. That’s all I’ll say. Welcome to Marketplace Madness: ‘Straya Edition! All the vehicles you see below are for sale within Australia, or are Australian cars available for sale overseas. 

I’m not including Aussie cars that were sold in the USA brand-new such as the 2000s Pontiac GTO or G8/Chevrolet SS as they are not that hard to find Stateside.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

I burned quite some hours on the various sales sites last night to give you this bag of ‘Strayan mixed-lollies (candy), so big props to both Mercedes and Mark Tucker for their consistently high-standard of vehicle sale content!

1954 Peugeot 203 – $10,500 AUD

Generated By Pixel @ 2023 07 03t02:08:00.031136
Photo: CarSales.AU

Something that is not widely known is that Australian motorists had a long history with French vehicles. Some of the earliest cars to reach our continent were French, with the first Renaults arriving by 1903 according to Drive.com.au.

Regarded by many as having rugged suspension and good overall reliability to survive on the harsh unsealed roads in Australia, the three mainstream French manufacturers (Citroen, Renault and Peugeot) continued to sell in good numbers from the 1910s and into the interwar, and post-WW2 period. The first car known to drive all the way around Australia was a Citroen in 1925. That vehicle is kept in the National Museum of Australia.

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This 203 sedan is from the third year of this model and was assembled in Australia. A 203 won the 1953 Redex Trial, a 6,500 mile rally held over fifteen stages, which saw 142 of the 186 starters finish the Trial.

According to the advert, this 203 has had a full restoration completed in the past decade, including a disc-brake upgrade, and has covered 15,000km or a little over 9,000 miles, presumably since the restoration as the seller is unclear. The seller also states there are receipts for the restoration work and a spare gearbox is included

Located in sunny Queensland (the second-largest state in Australia, larger than Alaska!) and priced at 10,500 Aussie Dollarydoos or approximately 6,972 ‘Merican Freedom Tokens this could make a nice ‘Cars and Coffee’ cruiser that you know could also handle a rough track if needed.

1961 Holden ‘FB’ Special – £24,300

Photos of the vehicle
Photo: Facebook Marketplace

Are you a fan of the ‘Tri-Five’ Chevrolets but have a small garage? This 1961 Holden ‘FB’ Special might be just up your alley!

Dating from the period where Holdens looked like Chevrolets or Buicks at 2/3 scale, overall length is only a tick over 15 feet which makes it at least 16 inches shorter than a ‘56 Chevy.

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As the penultimate model to feature the ‘Grey’ Holden inline-six, with a sedate 75 hp hauling around 2500 lbs it was never a barn-stormer in terms of performance, but kept Holden in market dominance before sales started slipping in the face of stronger competition both from Ford/Chrysler and the growing Japanese imports.

With the old ‘Grey’ being put to pasture and motivation now from an appropriately-British-via-Buick 3.9L Rover V8, this would presumably make for a lively little sedan.

Priced around 31,000 Uncle Sam discs, or 46,000 Skippys, it is certainly up there for a customised four-door sedan a long way from home, but I’m sure you’ll get confused looks at the local car meets which would be worth it.

1971 ‘XY’ Ford Falcon – ฿290,000

1971 Ford Falcon Xy2
Photo: Facebook Marketplace

Moving over to Thailand, we have this more squared-off bright-red slab of an Aussie sedan. The Big Three carmakers (Holden, Ford and Chrysler) in Australia all had export programs from the 1950s to the 1980s and beyond, with varying levels of success.

All three sold cars throughout the Pacific in particular, and old Aussie cars still turn up in places such as Indonesia and Thailand.

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When the original American Falcon hit our shores in 1960, the vehicle wasn’t an immediate hit and struggled against the dominant Holden. The car also took flak from the Chrysler Valiant when it came through in initially limited numbers the following year.

Numerous failures with the front suspension on rough Australian country roads resulted in significant time spent engineering much stronger replacement components to allow the Falcon to start to gain ground in sales. By 1965, in the wake of a legendary marketing stunt (70,000 miles at an average of 70mph!) it was finally perceived as ‘tough enough’ for Australian buyers.

By the time this XY model had been released, the Australian Falcon had started to deviate from their American parent model significantly, with the styling gradually becoming unique. The inline-six was increased in size to a uniquely-Australian 200 cubic inches and the hot ticket to performance was the GT-HO model with a 351 ‘Cleveland’ V8 under the bonnet.

There even was a 4×4 version of the Ute, as detailed by David Tracy once he lifted his jaw from the bitumen upon gazing at the Aussie Jeep CJ-5.

The Falcon in this listing has much in common with a ’50s car from Cuba, running a locally-sourced four-cylinder in place of the big inline-six or V8 it would likely have originally had fitted.

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As for price, it’s a bargain compared to the same model in Australia. According to the internet, 290,000 Thai Baht is roughly equivalent to $8,300 USD. A complete XY in Australia running even the most bare-bones specification is more like $20,000 USD. I’m not sure how easy it is to export vehicles from Thailand, but at that price it might tempt some Aussies!

1970 Chrysler Valiant VIP Sedan – £8,000

Chrysler Valiant Vip
Photo: Facebook Marketplace

Staying in the UK, this one is a bit more of a bargain. It’s the fancy-pants version of the Aussie Valiant, like if Project Cactus went on an exchange program to a good school and came home speaking in Received Pronunciation.

With Ford Australia adding new front and rear sheet metal and a longer wheelbase to their Falcon to create the local Fairlane range in 1967 as a new entry in the luxury segment and Holden responding via a long-wheelbase Premier the following year, Chrysler Australia needed a spruced-up Valiant to take on this emerging new market niche. Initially, it began with the 1968 VE-model Valiant VIP, and then followed into the VF and VG series of cars. 

This car is from the VG series, denoted by the flat front grille and the quad-headlights having their own surrounds, whereas the similar VF had the convex grille and more integrated quad-headlights that was more similar to the more pedestrian twin-headlight models such as Cactus.

Valiant 2
Photo: Facebook Marketplace

Powered by the venerable 318ci ‘LA’ small-block Chrysler V8, this should offer moderate and torquey performance from a car weighing around 3200 lbs.

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The seller notes there is some rust creeping around the rear window and arches, and the paint is getting a little worn. At approximately $10,200 USD it doesn’t seem like a bad buy for what is a rare vehicle even within Australia and although it’s a ‘more-door,’ I’m sure there would still be plenty of double-takes if this landed in the USA due to the unique styling and correct-hand-drive layout.

If there’s no takers in the Northern Hemisphere, I know quite a few Aussies would be considering giving this car a repatriation at this price.

1998 Ford Falcon ‘XH II’ GLi Panelvan – $7,500 AUD

Weird Falcon Panelvan
Photo: CarSales.AU

The Ute-based panelvan is an Australian oddity I hope to one day cover here in some depth. [Ed note: Why do I want this thing? I want this thing. – MH]

This 1998 ‘XH Series II’ Ford Falcon panelvan is the penultimate year for this model, and the final panelvan series made in Australia, as this was not replaced with the now meme-lord ‘AU’ series of Ford Falcons.

The ‘XH’ designation was only for utes and vans in the Ford Falcon range. An offshoot from the market-leading XF Falcon range that included the sedans and wagons (technically the utes/vans are ‘XFN’ in that series), this means the bones of this vehicle date back to 1984, when Holden gave up on utes until 1990, and panelvans altogether.

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Regarded as a decent, but a little out-dated workhorse, the XH has been immortalised in Australian motoring history (link NSFW and 100% unfiltered Aussie), the 4.0L ‘SOHC’ inline-six can trace lineage back to the 1960 Falcon as well as forward to the ‘Intech’ and later ‘Barra’ sixes that replaced it, and is regarded as a long-lived and relatively trouble-free engine with plenty of torque. At nearly 200,000 miles there’s likely some life left in the six-banger, and column auto means this van may have started life with a bench seat before a centre console and buckets were nicked from the wreckers, and a console-shifter hole covered in duct tape.

Prices were climbing for these vans just before 2020, but it seems they may be returning to more sane levels based on the $7,500 or ~$5,000 USD asking price.

With the large cargo area, you could stuff this one to the gunnels with spares to keep it going overseas and have something uniquely Australian for not too many dineros. A vehicle equally at home with a mattress in the back or shipping steel.

I hope you enjoyed this special-edition of Marketplace Madness, it was fun to search for vehicles and do some virtual tyre-kicking to fill in for the inimitable Miss Mercedes!

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Boris Probotkin
Boris Probotkin
10 months ago

The oldest car in Australia is a Peugeot from the 1890s. It’s at the Birdwood Mill.

The FB was not the penultimate “Grey”, there was the EK, the actual penultimate Grey and then the EJ; the last of them.

And any Peugeot of the 60s, 70s and 80s would eat a Holden on a dirt track

Last edited 10 months ago by Boris Probotkin
Laurence Rogers
Laurence Rogers
10 months ago

Yes, I meant to say ‘penultimate of the mini-Chev look powered by the Holden Grey’.

changedmynameasIworkinadealershipandsomeofourbrandsarentgreat
changedmynameasIworkinadealershipandsomeofourbrandsarentgreat
10 months ago

So weird thing about the XH Falcon. I have a recurring nightmare where I am driving an XH ute along warrandyte-research rd here in VIC which was part of my commute to school twenty years ago and therefore a road I know very well except in this nightmare I cannot see over the top of the dashboard so I am guessing which way to steer and I don’t really have any way of stopping or controlling acceleration. I don’t crash but I never get to the roundabout near Research shops either before the dream restarts. Its always a white XH, basically the old XF ute body with the EF front

Last edited 10 months ago by changedmynameasIworkinadealershipandsomeofourbrandsarentgreat
Mikan
Mikan
10 months ago

technically the utes/vans are ‘XFN’ in that series

I’m pretty sure the XFN designation was only for the XF utes that were badged as and sold by Nissan as the ‘Nissan Ute’ under the infamous Button Plan, where Australian and Japanese carmakers sold rebadged versions of each other’s models to consolidate local manufacturing:

https://www.drive.com.au/caradvice/how-a-ford-falcon-ute-became-a-nissan-the-ute/

(Hey Laurence, any plans to do an article on the Button Plan and the painful demise of the Australian car industry?)

Laurence Rogers
Laurence Rogers
10 months ago
Reply to  Mikan

You’re correct, I had a bit on the Nissan version in an earlier draft and that slipped through.

The Button Plan is something I’m planning to write about, haven’t gotten around to any in-depth research for that or some other topics for a little while with life getting in the way

changedmynameasIworkinadealershipandsomeofourbrandsarentgreat
changedmynameasIworkinadealershipandsomeofourbrandsarentgreat
10 months ago
Reply to  Mikan

I wonder if someone has made a Ford Maverick into a two door pick up like the old GQ Patrol pick ups

Boris Probotkin
Boris Probotkin
10 months ago
Reply to  Mikan

It was inevitable that Australia stopped producing cars. We’re too expensive with labour costs. But as automation becomes mor pervasive perhaps, perhaps our time will come again.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
10 months ago

I like big ฿s and I cannot lie

Morgan Thomas
Morgan Thomas
10 months ago

If there’s a halfway-feasible way to ship a car from Thailand (maybe sneak it onto a ship bringing in all the new Ford Rangers that people that used to buy Commodore utes now buy) for that price an XY Falcon would be a great buy. I’d even be tempted to just leave the 4 cyl engine in it to confuse and annoy people at car shows!

Greg R
Greg R
10 months ago

One small error Laurence, I am sure it was just an oversight on your part. The extended wheelbase Holdens were known as Broughams, the Premier was just a top of the line standard wheel base. The Brougham was only around for three models from 1968, HK, HT and HG.

Morgan Thomas
Morgan Thomas
10 months ago
Reply to  Greg R

Broughams didn’t actually have a longer wheelbase, Holden went with a ‘cheaper’ method to make them longer by simply extending the rear panels to add 8″ of length to the boot but keeping the standard wheelbase, so they looked a little out of proportion from a side view. It wasn’t until the Statesman was released in 1971, based on the HQ model, that there was an actual long-wheelbase Holden.

Laurence Rogers
Laurence Rogers
10 months ago
Reply to  Morgan Thomas

Yes, I meant that to read extended-length. Got a little mixed up!

Boris Probotkin
Boris Probotkin
10 months ago
Reply to  Greg R

I learnt to drive in a HK Bruggum.
Then I discovered Euro cars. I’ve owned one Holden but I was 16. I’ve owned one Ford, it was the worst 6 weeks of my life

Last edited 10 months ago by Boris Probotkin
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
10 months ago

uɐʌlǝuɐd ʇɐɥʇ ʇuɐʍ I

Turkina
Turkina
10 months ago

The 1961 Holden FB looks fun, but the pinstriping and “Sh*t Happens” is some poor judgement.

Great finds!

NJR
NJR
10 months ago

Thanks for the background about French cars in Australia and for sharing that beautiful Peugeot.

I was raised in the US (in places where French cars were essentially invisible even when sold), but my family is Australian on both sides. My maternal grandfather swore by French cars in the 80s and 90s, first with a Renault 18 (which I just read was Australian assembled) and a Peugeot 405 SRDT for which he’d claim some kind of ill-defined motorsport heritage as justification. I recall the Peugeot being slow but reliable until my cousin stuffed it into a wall; by that point my grandfather was not around to replace it by another French car. IIRC the family’s next car was a Toyota Lexcen wagon, which of course wasn’t a Toyota at all.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
10 months ago
Reply to  NJR

> French cars were essentially invisible even when sold

Unless you worked at an auto shop.

Boris Probotkin
Boris Probotkin
10 months ago

I dunno what you are talking about. I’ve owned Peugeot’s since 1989. They are brilliant, reliable and tough. Since 2000 the sports and diesel models are the ones to have with the basic ones (88kw petrol type of things) to stay away from.

I get parts readily available and cheap. And going back to 60s / 70s ones are far better than their Ford / Holden equivalents.

Seriously it’s a myth that they are unreliable and expensive. Poor maintenance on sny car is ehy they end up being difficult

Myk El
Myk El
10 months ago

I like the panel van. But I already have an Australian car and that’s my limit.

SK2807
SK2807
10 months ago
Reply to  Myk El

If you like panel vans, the 70’s and 80’s were a great time be alive!

https://www.whichcar.com.au/features/where-are-they-now-jade-sandman-survivor-van

Classic and Clunker
Classic and Clunker
10 months ago

I thought the NSFW bit was going to be an Aussie movie clip demonstrating the panel van as “shaggin’ wagon”

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
10 months ago

French cars were popular because the reverse threaded fasteners worked better daown undah.

Boris Probotkin
Boris Probotkin
10 months ago

Reverse thread?

Last edited 10 months ago by Boris Probotkin
A. Barth
A. Barth
10 months ago

a rare vehicle even within Australia and although it’s a ‘more-door,’

I would definitely have to think about this one.

One does not simply walk into more-door.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
10 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

True, it takes hours of slogging through hundreds upon hundreds of pages filled with tedious scenery and landscape descriptions to get there.

Misplaced Aussie
Misplaced Aussie
10 months ago

Great stuff Laurence!!! Nostalgia with a topping of Jimmy Barnes

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
10 months ago

 (link NSFW and 100% unfiltered Aussie)

NSFW – New South Fucking Wales, right?

Brooks Fancher
Brooks Fancher
10 months ago

I really love that Valiant. Such a beautiful example of that generation of Aussie Chryslers.

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
10 months ago

¡ɯǝɥʇ ƃuᴉɹɐɥs ɹoɟ sʞuɐɥ┴ ˙sɹɐɔ ʇɐǝN

Chris Moore
Chris Moore
10 months ago

That 203 is gorgeous. That is all…

Boris Probotkin
Boris Probotkin
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris Moore

Every Peugeot is brilliant. If l had the money I would’ve bought that 203 and there was also a low mileage 404; silver n blue

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
10 months ago

The panel van would allow me to live out my Mad Max cosplay.

Data
Data
10 months ago
Reply to  Arrest-me Red

Username doesn’t check out. I was thinking more along the lines of Toecutter.

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
10 months ago
Reply to  Arrest-me Red

I was going to say the same thing LOL

Data
Data
10 months ago

Does it come with a free Wombat?

STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
STEPHEN WALTER GOSSIN
10 months ago

Fantastic, Mr. Rogers!

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
10 months ago

… I know nothing about Australian prices, so, uh…

I guess every one of them is a steal if they throw in a Quokka?

10001010
10001010
10 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

Dude, I’d even take a PT Cruiser if you threw in a Quokka.

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
10 months ago
Reply to  10001010

Really now?

Laurence, I’m gonna need you to run down to the pet store that sells those in bulk please.

Last edited 10 months ago by RootWyrm
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
10 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

I’m going to leave this quokka link here and check up on y’all tomorrow

https://imgur.com/gallery/VJgZd

Ron888
Ron888
10 months ago

I laughed .A LOT.
.. But i feel bad about it.Does that help?

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
10 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

Aw.. it looks like a baby Fozzie Bear.
I’ll take two.
Quokka Quokka!

10001010
10001010
10 months ago

I was kinda hoping all the pics would be upsidedown 🙂

Panelvan for me pls.

Parsko
Parsko
10 months ago
Reply to  10001010

NO, not again.

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