Contraband: 3 Cars That You Couldn’t Buy

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In certain markets some cars are illegal to purchase for various reasons. Sometimes those reasons are sensible, but sometimes… well, not so much. Here are three cars that might as well be impossible to buy.

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1992 Jaguar XJ220

Authorities in the US decided Jaguar’s XJ220 supercar was too fast and too powerful to be driven safely on American roads. So they made it illegal and banned Jaguar from selling the car in the US.

Which may sound like a wise idea in the interests of road safety until you realise that Jaguar only built six XJ220’s in total. Yep, six.

In those numbers they were hardly ever going to pose too much of a threat to American motorists, but that wasn’t the point. Regardless, in 2022 the XJ220 will be 30 years old so any American who can both find and afford one will be able to legally import and drive the Jag supercar anyway.

Image: classicdriver.com
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1972 Ford Falcon GTHO Phase IV

There are few Australian cars that carry the level of mysticism and reverence than the Phase 4.

The Phase IV was canned after the “supercar scare” where new vehicles from Ford, Holden and Chrysler were rumoured to have top speeds of 160mph and were declared by fear-mongering politicians as being too fast to be driven on the road.

This came on the heels of the Phase III GTHO’s sensational Wheels photo from its blast up the Hume Highway. The photo taken over the drivers shoulder originally showed the speedo around 140mph but was touched-up prior to publication to reduce the speed down to 100mph. At the time the Phase III was the fastest four-door production sedan on the planet.

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This all unwittingly contributed to the demise of the Phase IV. Political pressure saw all three manufacturers pull the pin on their “bullets on wheels”, but not before Ford slipped four Phase IV’s out the door. One was production-spec and the others were racing-spec.

Beyond that, the new GTHO was nothing more than a dream to prospective buyers.

Three survive to this day (including the sole production version shown in Calipso Green below) and rarely come up for sale. When they do they invariably appear at auction and you should expect to part ways with at least two millions dollars for the privilege of parking a legend in your garage.

Image: Unique Cars. tradeuniquecars.com.au
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2002 Ferrari Enzo

So let’s say you had the $650,000USD for a brand new Enzo. You could walk right into a Ferrari dealership and buy one, right?

Wrong.

As has become common practice in the world of supercars, Ferrari was very selective as to whom they would sell the car that bore the name of the company’s founder. As a bare minimum, you needed either current or previous ownership of an F40 and an F50. Even then it wasn’t guaranteed.

Your relationship with your local dealer was part of the equation. Your overall Ferrari ownership history was another criteria. Simply put, you had to prove you were worthy in the eyes of Ferrari. Just having the cash wasn’t good enough.

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But the cash was still important. Once you got your hands on an Enzo simple things like a basic service and oil change could set you back $9000USD. Ouch.

If it sounds like a lot, bear in mind that a second hand Enzo is probably going to cost you double what they were new. If you can even find one for sale. Rare, exclusive and desirable, they are one of the few supercars that has defied the usual drastic depreciation trap of such vehicles.

And since Ferrari cannot control the used car market there are no restrictions on who can buy one now. Besides the money. You’ll need lots of it.

Enzo. One of the most iconic Ferrari’s ever made.
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