Tuesday 30 June 2015

Working Gemmy..!

Unexpectedly came across this at the Trafalgar Holden Museum this past weekend; on display among what are generally earlier cars from Holdens history..

A 1982 TF Holden (Isuzu) Gemini Panel-van, originally used as a RACV (Royal Auto Club of Victoria) roadside-assist service car.
According to the RACV history page, "Geminis were introduced into the fleet because they were fuel efficient and more suitable for city driving." A single sentence.. but sums it up fairly accurately I imagine!

1982 was the first year of the TF update, with some minor changes inside and out over the longer-running TD model it followed..

..the update included this newer dashboard setup.
There was one more facelift (or model code change at the least) to the TG Gemini, before the switch to the new generation front-drive car in in 1985.

Love the visor on its own.. but with a RACV light in the centre? Awesome..

Roof-rack cross-bar style light mount a little further down the roof.

This was a 3door Panel Van version. There was an option for a second row of seats (in the 'wagon' model), just dont expect another pair of doors..!

A cage behind the drivers seat gives a space to mount the spare wheel, while also protecting the back of your head from a wayward flying spanner..

Toolboxes (..colourmatched toolboxes...) in the middle, set far back enough to still have a little cargo room..

Couple extra lights and stickers on the back..

 ..and a low shot, showing off those skinny wheels and tyres!

Likely not particularly surprising; but as with any old service cars (Police, ambulance, branded trucks/vans/etc).. I'd totally drive this as-is. Stoked to see this one still around too (supposedly it was on loan from RACV?) and in such great condition.

Cool display at a great museum.

Friday 26 June 2015

Nissan's 4Runner: The Navara-based D21 Nissan Terrano..

Nissan's entry into the small ute/truck-based, passenger 4WD market in the mid 80's - the first-generation D21 Nissan Terrano (Pathfinder).
Launched the same year as the Navara/Hardbody of which it is based, this model ran all the way through until 1995. The second generation Pathfinder followed, and two more generations again has the Pathfinder name still in production today..
..The D21 Navara though.. in true Nissan 4WD fashion (like the later D22, Y61...) just kept getting built; running from the D21 chassis' 1985 introduction to the late 2000's! 

This particular car is an early, top-spec car - a 1986 Terrano R3M 2door. A 4door was also available.
It seems that while these are getting fairly rare to see, they're still not particularly sought-after.. with this excellent example currently for sale at a dealer in Japan for only ~700k Yen..
Not much money for something different, that has managed to stay this neat for just off 30 years!

The fact its not the prettiest thing about, may be scaring some people off; while the road-friendly suspension configuration might keep more serious four-wheel-driver's away.
Being small-truck based has it on a separate chassis; but is a torsion-beam, double-wishbone, independent front.. and 5-link coil-sprung solid rear.

Useful opening rear window in the lift-up tail-gate, but having the spare wheel mounted in the interior is a bit of a pain. Exterior, underfloor, would have been nice.. but there was definitely a rear-mounted tyre carrier on some years.. or offered as a genuine accessory..

Love the red-on-red interior, and the additional (hilux-esque) gauge pod mounted on top of the dash.
Usual Nissan again with plenty of recognisable (shared) interior pieces and trims.
Awesome factory mats there too..

Being an early build car, means the SOHC, 3.0litre, V6 is in single-point injected VG30i guise rather than the multi-point VG30E version.. but it still made adequate power and torque compared to some of its 4cylinder competition. The auto mated to this particular car's V6 probably isn't helping forward progress though...
If petrol wasn't for you, there were also turbo and non-turbo versions of a 2.7litre diesel available.

Neat, classic, different.
.. then there's that metallic crimson paint, matching velour, and sunroof! raad..

Sunday 21 June 2015

Wind Surfing. Water Ski. Tennis..? ..Maybe Tennis? ...City Cabriolet!

Eventually getting back to posting a little more of this - a 1984 Honda City Cabriolet I'd seen at the Honda Collection Hall earlier this year..
..and promised I'd post more of. Magically that time is now.. so you know.. CITY!

(..scrabble tiles..?)
The 1984 introduction of the FA Cabriolet was already 3 years into the 1st Gen City's 5 year production run. Designed by the Italian design firm Pininfarina, and using the Turbo II's widebody as a base. As a base. Essense of Turbo II. So widebody, yes; but unfortunately missed on the Turbo EFI version of the little 1.2litre four.. leaving the poor cabrio to work with a whisker under 50kw..

 ..but you do get that fabulous lack of roof...

..and epic plaid-houndstooth seat trim! This pattern is amazing.. and there is just so much of it..

Worked well with the otherwise quite odd solid green paint! This was actually one of two greens.. as well as three blues.. red.. orange.. pink.. yellow.. and the standard range of shades, that made up an impressive early colour range!

Done. Sweet little Cabriolet-Kei.

Tuesday 16 June 2015

Pulsar Reebok..!

Highlight of my week.. right.. here. 
I had been keeping my eyes open for pics of one of these for the longest damn time! For a model that is really quite infamous in Australia (if for no more than simply being a head-shakingly silly concept), they really are so rare to see..

The car? a 1990 N13 Nissan Pulsar Reebok - a decal-heavy limited-edition, based on a very late production Pulsar hatch.. which was naturally combined with a popular 80's English sports-shoe manufacturer..

Yes.. this one.

I came across this poor car at the wreckers on the weekend, and just about shed a tear when I saw how nice it still was. Straight body, rust-free, very original, likely garaged, and ~125k km on the full-featured instrument cluster..
I understand every car just cant be around forever, but it doesn't stop the pain when I see things like this.

 Picture of the original tapedeck still in place after 25years...

The special grey velour interior, with matching blue piping. This went well with the unique white-and-blue exterior. There were no other colours available with the Reebok..

Now.. the greatest part of the Reebok (other than it likely came with a pair of Reeboks..), really is the decals. They transform this gem from your nan's nuggety white Pulsar, to the prestigious collectors item it so clearly is..

On the doors; these large stripes look as though they've come straight from the sides of 1990's coolest footwear. The green/teal and blue speckle is a nice touch..

On the front passenger side of the bonnet/hood - Pulsar Reebok Reebok Reebok Reebok..

...and in reverse on the rear garnish.

I couldn't find a brochure image to include at this point, but this may be one better: the period 15second TV spot!

...aaand since its very likely that link will eventually fall off the Internet, a couple radtastic screenshots.
..if you watch the above ad, you'll see this is seriously pinging by this point!

 ..looks great on its original white hubcaps too. You'll have to use your imagination on the pics of the car I posted, as its barely got its wheels.. let alone those tremendous couldmatched wheel trims..

Bargain! I wonder where that car is now..?

aaaanyway; getting back to the Pulsar-at-hand.
Partly because I couldn't leave empty handed, partly because I'd been laughing about the Pulsar Reebok.. for just the longest.. damn.. time...
..and the rest because pickapart was doing 50% off anything starting with a 'B' that day..:
The boot garnish.. here photographed during a thorough morning-fresh cleansing program.
At $12.50, I was boldly setting records for this absolute collectors item.

Pulsar Reebok garnish - for the astute collector..

..lavishly decorated in contrasting decal work..

..October 1990 production confirming authenticity..

Done. A sneakerhead's ride of choice.