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My 1976 Holden HX Kingswood

Yes, by the time you read this, the odometer on Allan Clancey's 1976 Holden Kingswood will have clicked around to six zeros.

The odo won't show the "1", but that's one million kilometres or 25 times around the world.

"When I bought it new in '77, it had just 23km on the clock," he says.

"I reckon I'll have a glass of red and quietly celebrate when it goes from all 9s to all zeros."

The 66-year-old retired geologist and teacher now enjoys fossicking around the outback for gems and has driven his HX Kingswood all over Australia except for Cape York and the north-west coast.

"You name the place and it's probably been there," he says. "I bought it in June of '77 and we drove it to Perth that Christmas."

The car is largely in original condition with wind-down windows for airconditioning, a Brisbane UBD instead of satnav and no anti-lock brakes, airbags, CD player or cruise control.

Apart from "four or five" replacement engines, the only modifications have been a five-speed gearbox from a Toyota Supra replacing the three-speed column shift and an LPG conversion.

"It's very reliable with only a couple of hiccups. I've only had to call the RACQ a couple of times," he says. Clancey bought the car for $5400 and believes he could get up to $10,000 from a car restorer or collector.

"I reckon I've got my money back many times over," he says. "But why would I want to sell it? It will do me out.

"I still enjoy driving it and it's cheaper to keep than buying a modern car.  The others can leave me behind at the lights but it's got pretty good pick-up.

"I can also tow a caravan with it to the gem fields; I still have a claim at Rubyvale. He's also got an auto gem in his garage.


Price: $5400
Engine: 3.3-litre six-cylinder
Power: 87kW
Transmission: 3-speed manual
Fuel economy: 11L/100km


Price: $39,990
Engine: 3-litre V6
Power: 190kW
Transmission: 6-speed auto
Fuel economy: 8.9L/100km