The boom in classic car restorers

The boom in classic car restorers

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Uh-oh. Here he comes. Did you hear that vrooooom? Anthony Madani is a man who adores his V8s, and he’s got a garage full of them to prove it.

As Madani tells it, you can separate the real motorheads from the also-rans by how much they relish the roar of those eight cylinders. “I’ve always loved that sound,” enthuses the 36-year-old electrician, who owns 14 cars – seven at his home in Sydney’s west (his outsized garage boasts two car hoists and a sizeable mechanic’s workshop) and another seven at his parents’ property. Madani’s eight-year-old son shares his dad’s passion. “At 18 months, he could operate a little ratchet spanner, and he loves the sound of the V8s, too.”

Madani’s V8 collection includes a ’72 Ford XA Falcon GT (left) and ’82 XE Fairmont Ghia ESP.Credit:Wolter Peeters

One of the first V8s Madani restored was a Ford XA Falcon (pictured above left) – “Everyone has an XY; I wanted an XA!”, he says – which he bought from his cousin and used as his wedding car. “You can make good money on classic cars – and not just the rare collectors’ items – if you do the work yourself and don’t take any shortcuts.”

The classic-car market has been outperforming property and sharemarket investments for astute buyers over the past decade, enjoying a 500 per cent rise, according to Lloyds Auctioneers and Valuers. Depending on a car’s condition, its rarity, and the year it rolled off the assembly line, it could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Last year, a Ford GTHO Phase III, formerly owned by cricket legend Jeff Thomson, sold for more than $1 million.