Looking for Aussie muscle? We’ve trawled the classifieds to find the best value buys for budget Aussie motoring fun.
The rules are simple: less than 150,000km on the clock, in decent, near-original condition, and inside 20 years old.
This story has been updated to reflect prices as of early 2020.
Go for an unmolested 2001 original, in CV8 manual rather than antiquated four-speed automatic or breathless CV6 guise, and you’ll have a future classic on your hands.
We found good examples of this sleek, 225kW/460Nm two-door 2+2 all between $25,000 and $75,000. Spend what you can and chances are your Monaro won’t get less valuable.
Ford BA Falcon XR6 Turbo
Super-sharp steering and a sophisticated independent rear suspension gelled with the 240kW and 450Nm that was on tap in the BA Falcon XR6 Turbo.
Over time the chassis became more exposed as Ford turned up the boost and when the VE Commodore arrived the Blue Oval lost its dynamic dominance and never regained it.
So the BA XR6 Turbo is where it’s at, and we found that you can pick one up from $10k up to $20k, though there’s one particularly well-kept example in the mid-20s…
Holden VE Commodore SS or HSV VZ Clubsport
If you can stretch to around $15,000 or beyond, forget Falcon for a moment because the beautifully engineered VE Commodore is where it’s at.
The 270kW and 530Nm from the 6.0-litre V8 are barely changed even now in VF guise, and the VE actually has the more relaxed stability control system and feelsome steering compared with the newer car. Expect to spend anywhere from $14,000 to $30,000 on a VE or VEII.
If you want to get down and dirty, an alternative is a VZ Clubsport manual, which weighed less than a VE SS (1643kg versus 1770kg) yet boasted 297kW/530Nm and a 5.2-second 0-100km/h time.
A VZ Clubsport will set you back around $30k, give or take a few thousand.
Ford Performance Vehicles FG-generation
FPV models in FG guise weren’t bad cars that have depreciated faster than their HSV counterparts.
An FG GT, GS, or F6 for around $30k isn’t a bad buy, though the options get better and the models rarer the more you spend. GT-Fs are up past the $80-90k mark, which can’t really be considered ‘budget’.
HSV VE Clubsport and Senator Signature
It is worth remembering that the VE Commodore had a two-year head start on the FG Falcon, and that’s two years of sheer dominance compared with the ageing BF of the time.
That means you can pick up a HSV E-Series made in 2006 for under $30,000. Both deliver 307kW and 550Nm, or more power and about the same torque as the VF SS.
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