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Holden Gemini
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Originally part of General Motors’ T-car “world car” programme, led by Opel of Germany. Australia’s Holden Gemini was in fact a cooperative model, set up for dual manufacture with Isuzu of Japan, hence the name. Initially badged Holden–Isuzu as the marque, the Gemini won the coveted Wheels Car of the Year competition for 1975, even if handling and ride were sub-par. High equipment levels helped the car win favour, and gradual improvements helped, though with less power (in favour of fuel economy) and competitors’ switching to front-wheel-drive always kept the Gemini feeling old-hat. The R-car, launched in Australia in 1985 and again shared with Isuzu, attempted to get the Gemini back on top, but a limited model range (no hatchback, which was what compact car buyers wanted) and confused marketing (Holden also fielded the Astra, a rebadged Nissan Pulsar) killed the last model after two years.

Marque: Holden | Predecessor: Holden Torana | Successor: Holden Astra


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Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024