Monday 1 February 2016

A significant moment - meeting the Barina Sportsgirl..

Bucket-list stuff right here..

..a chance anyone playing nugget-limited-edition bingo would absolutely die for..

One of the handful of hilariously-obscure brand tie-in special editions to grace the Australian market in the late 80's and early 90's. In this prestigious world of Carla Zampatti Laser/Meteors, Mizuno Charades, and Reebok Pulsars; this is definitely one of the key players.. and one I've been keeping my eyes open for, for a LONG time..

1992 MH Holden Barina Sportsgirl.
Local badge-engineered version of the second-generation Suzuki Cultus/Swift, introduced in 1988. This was the second and last Barina to be based on Suzuki's Swift, with both generations of the little Suzuki forming the basis of many GM-branded variants.
Yet I have no doubt, the hundreds of millions of GM/Suzuki dollars spent over 10+ years developing the two generations, was working towards this point.. right.. here.
..and the Sportsgirl limited edition.

To anyone that has never heard of it; Sportsgirl was/is an Australian women's fashion brand, and chain of clothing stores. I don't really know a whole lot about it; but its more than enough to find their branding on a small hatchback hilarious - a sure-fire way to absolutely exclude any male buyers in its day!

I spotted this gem at the wreckers last weekend, amongst a handful of Holden's drearier re-badged GM-world products.. and almost gave it a pass from a distance. White with black steelies? Surely it's just another basic Barina?
Always worth a look though, and I'm glad I did! You should've seen my grin when I spotted those decals...

The Sportsgirl-coloured pinstriping...

...and decal on the rear door.
Love that gradient...

Making my way around the rear, and another decal on the hatch...

The pop-up sunroof - part of the Sportgirl limited edition...

..otherwise fairly standard fare in here. Dirty, but essentially in quite nice shape, and completely original to boot..!

The Holden-branded tapedeck.
Interestingly seems to be the same unit that is fitted to local N13 Pulsars, and as is in the Reebok Pulsar post from a couple months ago.. 

Passenger footwell, and... a Sportgirl branded floormat..!

Oooohhhhhhh... thats SO good...

...pop the rear hatch, and the excitement continues - there's the original hubcaps!

..because I can't help myself..

...that's more like it!

Done! SO damn stoked with this..

Otherwise, it's all familiar small-Suzuki here. These were powered by the single-cam, 8valve, carb-fed, 1.3litre G13BA four; driving the front wheels through a 5spd manual (good - like this one!) or 3spd auto (..sad times). Minimal power, but weighing well under a ton meant punting these around was definitely a bit of fun..!

Moving on...
The 1992 commercial, on Youtube.

Screenshots, assuming one day the link breaks..
"The new Holden Barina Sportsgirl comes with a $50 Sportsgirl gift voucher, a Sportsgirl bag, a sunroof, and.. sports mirrors. With all that in Australia's most economical four-cylinder car, no wonder its a limited edition. It's simply unbeatable."

..with a constant 'meep meep'.. 'yeah..' in the background.

..I won't lie though.. seeing the headlights flash with the first 'meep-meep' hits me in the feels! Poor little car..

..but that's it on this one for now!
The hunt for the Carla Zampatti Lasers/Meteor continues.....

1 comment:

  1. Time for my inner nerd to shine, the radio cassette deck pictured was made by Philips (model 668), they came in a variety of different configurations
    Single side play, auto reverse, 2 or 4 speakers, orange or green lighting etc. They were not a Hi Fi top quality unit but rather a basic low end built to a price unit that was O.K for the time and did the job. For some reason it became the "go to" standard equipment radio cassette deck for Australian sold cars in the early 90's, Ford used them in their base model laser Telstar Falcons, Toyota had them in the Camry and Corolla, Holden had them in the Barina (as pictured) some Commodore's and possibly a few other models, as you mentioned they were used in the Nissan Pulsars even my Suzuki Swift (not rebadged into a Holden) had one. Possibly the only Aussie sold cars that didn't use this radio cassette deck were Mitsubishi because they made their own radios. To those who made it all the way through my long rambling comment, WELL DONE!.