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As you know the prices of prawns go up the closer it gets to Xmas.

Classic cars are the same.

Duttons in Richmond, Victoria, have a 1987 Porker 959 for $2.2m, a 2016 Porker Turbo for $299k (advertising it at $300k would turn a lot of punters off) and three Holdens ranging from $189k to $109k. More on these later. None of this should surprise you since two lots of research have shown that the classic car market in the UK is worth $32bn, employs over 110,000 people and the number of owners has jumped 40 per cent. Scotty, forget the Asia strategy, the answer to our economic future is right here in our own car ports.

Now old metal prices still have a long way to go.

In June a 1981 painting by Frank Bacon sold for $110m. Frank says it’s of an old Greek King who come backs from a war, finds the wife has been having it off with a bloke who was the son of a union between his Dad and his daughter. Unlike the Godfather Parts 1, 2 and 3, Mrs Agamemnon gets together with her lover and kills Mr Agamemnon. Then Agamemnon’s son kills his mother and the boyfriend. I hope that makes it all clear. Anyway, Frank was the son of an Adelaide laddie and like many from the city made famous by the Kensi and Coopers, he eschewed a career in the Army (Dad, Eddie Bacon, was a captain) and the racing caper (Ed was also a racehorse trainer) and began his life’s journey as an interior decorator, bon vivant, and gambler before getting into the more lucrative painting (canvas, not walls) business. Anyway, three years ago, someone paid $180m for a 1969 Bacon of his mate Lucien Freud — grandson of the shrink best known for being an enthusiastic user and promoter of cocaine and smoker of a pack of gaspers a day — probably not knowing you could get three 1962 Feezer 250 GTOs for the same price. Can you drive a Bacon? No. Can you do a bit of horizontal Austrian folk dancing in a Bacon? No. So what’s the point?

After all that you’re probably wondering why don’t I just buy the safest car in Australia. The good folk at Monash University Accident Research Centre have just released its 2019/20 Used Car Safety Ratings. The ratings are based on real-world data from crashes in the most serious states in Australia and Kiwi land. Generally speaking, the later the model the safer it’s likely to be. But included in the top of the safe class are the 2002-13 Audi A3, the 2010 to 2017 Maxda 3, the 2004-2011 Peugeot 407 and the 2009-2016 Merc E Class. In the naughty corner are models including the 1998 to 2007 Corolla and the 1994 to 1998 Honda Accord.

Associate Professor Stuart Newstead is the gun on vehicle safety. As opposed to most international vehicle safety experts, Stu and the team at Monash focus on the real world. What they’re concerned about is driver protection and the protection of the people you run into. Some home truths. Vehicle safety is about protecting everyone. How big and heavy your car is makes a difference. You can’t beat physics. “The ultimate reality is, if you’re buying for safety, keep away from smaller cars. There’s only one winner in a crash between a Hilux and a Kia Rio,” Stu told me from his home where he has a VF Commodore in the car port. The move from car-based utes to truck-based utes like the Hilux, Ranger and Everest has set the road toll back 3 to 5 per cent a year. Medium-sized SUVs are safer. If you’re buying a car for someone more likely to have a prang, like a young driver or an elderly driver, buy a medium-sized car. The full report is on the Monash website and we’ll keep coming back to Stu for more insights.

Enough of the mundane. If you’re looking for a late pressie for that someone or something special in your life then I can heartily recommend the one-off, hand-built 1993 Isdera Commendatore 112i, fitted with Mercedes-Benz’s M120 V-12 engine that RM Sotheby’s are offering in their Paris auction for around $1m. No, the Commendatore was not named after Peter Brock’s Bathurst special but it got to 100km/h in under 5 seconds and could hit 370km/h when needed. You need to know that Eberhard Schulz had a knack for designing and building wedge-shaped hypercars. His first project was the Ednilreg (named after his wife who didn’t kill anyone) which he put together at home. He then got a gig at the Porker factory but at night built another racer that he wacked a Merc star on the front. Anyway, on he went turning out seriously good looking, seriously fast machines until he got caught in a financial squeeze, went belly up, got bailed out by some Swiss persons and finished the only Commendatore.

A renowned Swiss collector bought it and then tried to sell it on eBay in 2005 but not many eBayers had $2m in the cunning kick ready to spend on an Eberhard Schulz. By the end of 2016, Isdera bought it and restored it to the original 1993 specs. Today, it has covered less than 10,500km from new.

Righto let’s get back to Duttons Commodores, not Commendatores. Before I do can I just say that Lou Hamilton earned $71m this year and that two lucky readers picked up my planted mistake to see if you are really paying attention. Yes, I called George Russell George Williams because that’s who he drives for. Yes, I bet Lou and George would love the 2017 HSV GTS R Auto in Light My Fire Orange paintwork with a black interior with only 292km on the clock for $190k. I will be talking to Duttons about the 2014 Holden Special Vehicles Maloo GTS, finished in Heron White paintwork with a black leather interior with a serious supercharged 6.2L V8.

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