Dealer Outtakes: Call Henry!

Cannon Hill is a suburb (neighborhood) relatively close to the Brisbane CBD – about a 20 minute drive outside of rush hour. It’s not the kind of place I’d expect to see a seemingly abandoned lot strewn with cars ostensibly for sale but, well, here we are.

The signage is in disrepair but the sales office looks maintained and the grass isn’t ridiculously overgrown. There are a few old-fashioned car lots dotted around Brisbane and they all seemed to use decorations like this. Most of them are abandoned now. Perhaps these dealers were driven out of business by the larger dealerships or maybe they all migrated to more highly-trafficked areas like the Moorooka Magic Mile, a long stretch of nothing but car dealerships. The only remaining indication this is a business is the placement of “Call Henry” signs in a few of the car windows.

I was concerned the property may have been owned by a nearby resident and I didn’t want to trespass so I kept on the boundary. From that vantage point, I could still see some interesting classics. Look over yonder and you’ll spy a Volvo 940, a Nissan EXA (Pulsar NX), a Eunos 30X (Mazda MX-3), and a Nissan Pintara/Skyline. There also appears to be a Mercedes W124 in the middle of the lot.

Keen eyes will also spot the Holden Frontera, a rebadged Opel Frontera which was related to the Isuzu Rodeo. And at the very front is a Mitsubishi Verada, the luxury version of the Magna which, in wagon form, was exported to North America.

At the entrance are two Daewoo Matizs, their sub-Kalos (Chevrolet Aveo) microcar. The silver hatchback to the right is a Holden (Opel) Astra, one of the best small cars sold here in the late 1990s/early 2000s and a hot seller; to its left is its big brother, the (also Opel) Vectra. There’s also a Ford Falcon ute from the 1980s to the left.

Brisbane is still full of these second-generation Camrys, a testament to their reliability. At the front of the lot is a Mitsubishi Mirage, a truncated version of the Lancer (Mirage to North Americans) and a hot seller in its day.

And look, another Camry. Great cars but nothing that really stirs my senses. The Subaru Liberty (Legacy) is a bit more interesting although, like many cars on this lot, it’s a bit sun-damaged. Also, there’s the final generation of Holden Vectra up the back – I always loved their blocky, Germanic styling, although I just noticed their roofline is vaguely reminiscent of the Buick Lucerne. Oh and for Aussie car lovers, you’ll just spy the Ford ED Falcon (1993-94) from the lead photo.

There’s a lot of 1980s-2000s iron on this patch of land and who knows what else lies towards the back of the lot. If you were calling Henry to buy one of these cars, which one would it be?