_IN THE _1950s, Ford and Holden were quite comfortable with being the two biggest car makers in Australia.
Ford Australia had been around since 1925 and the Holden car had been on the scene since 1948, when then Prime Minister Ben Chifley famously assigned it a gender and rated its looks with the remark: "She's a beauty."
That this apparently female form was later referred to as a "humpy" might not have been altogether flattering, but it was affectionate.
In the ensuing years, Australians bonded with their Ford Customlines and Holdens of both the humpy and finny varieties.
Then, in 1962, the Chrysler Valiant came along and suddenly there was a third big, affordable and distinctly Australian car to choose.
Although Australian Chrysler Valiant production ran for just 19 years, Australians formed a strong bond with them, and this will be abundantly clear at tomorrow's Chrysler Expo at Lathlain Oval.
Chryslers of all kinds will be on show - and not just the Australian ones - at this biennial event.
According to the Charger Club of WA, Chrysler racing legend Leo Geoghegan will be attending as the club's guest and will be available to talk to enthusiasts at tomorrow's show.
Gates open to the public from 9am and entry is $10 for adults and children over 16 years.
Ultra-rare, multimillion-dollar cars were not such a rare thing in Arizona last month.
While extraordinary cars were the norm there, the sight of any one of them in Perth could only be upstaged by Miranda Kerr in a black catsuit alongside it.
So, in a setting such as the major auctions held in Scottsdale on January 18-19, it took something truly remarkable to stand out from the stand-outs.
That car was a 1956 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America which had been sitting in a shed in Sacramento, California, for 49 years up until December 2012.
When exhumed it was dusty but complete and showed just 28,000 miles on the odometer.
Before it was sold, auctioneers Gooding & Co estimated the Lancia would sell for up to $430,000. As it turned out, the unrestored Aurelia went for $767,000 - nearly twice the average cost of a restored one.While that sale price does include the buyer's premium, it doesn't include recommissioning worth at least another $30,000, let alone restoration.
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