The Gemini is one of the most highly regarded small cars around, it building an enviable reputation for quality, handling
and performance. The Gemini was a concoction of the best from global GM, it being designed in Germany and sourced from Isuzu Japan. Within a year of manufacture commencing in Australia, the little car would be named Car of the Year and top the sales charts! Powered by the unstoppable Isuzu 1584cc 4 cylinder SOC engine mated to a 4 speed manual transmission
(although a TriMatic auto was available as an option), the car came with features few had seen, or expected, on a car that was supposed to be cheap-and-cheerful.
Front discs were standard fair, as was reclining bucket seats, carpet, fan boosted ventilation and rack and pinion steering
– certainly a far call from the Trabant! The next decade would see Holden undertake many revisions and model changes, each iteration having both cosmetic and mechanical change, along with special production runs such as the Sandpiper model, brimming with extra features including a stereo cassette player, four spoke steering
wheel and a wood grain dash.
Best of all was the TD, the Radial Tuned Suspension
(RTS) being fitted to the already well sorted chassis making for a real drivers car, something unexpected for a little 4 cylinder. By the time the RB model landed the Gemini had become merely an appliance, and the switch to front wheel drive would lose much of its appeal. The Button plan for local car manufacturing rationalization resulted in GMH
actively marketing their badge reengineered Nissan Pulsar, and without a whimper the Gemini’s run would come to an end in 1987, few noticed.