Australian Car Spotters Guide - 1975

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1975 Chrysler VK Valiant

Chrysler Valiant VK

  Also see: Chrysler Valiant Car Reviews and VK Valiant Specifications
The VK Valiant was yet another mild makeover of the previous VH and VJ models. The obligatory new grille design combined with a revised tail light assembly made up the more obvious of only a handful of changes, leaving many to ask why Chrysler had indeed bothered. The answer, at least as far as the local distributors were concerned, was that the VK was only intended as a stop-gap before the release of the all-new VL model. The model range was to again undergo some rationalisation, the model line up being reduced from 11 to 8; available was the Chrysler sedan, Regal sedan and wagon, Ranger sedan and wagon, Charger XL and 770 and Dodge utility.
1975 Chrysler Centura

Chrysler Centura

  Also see: Chrysler Car Reviews and Chrysler Centura Specifications
In response to the growing success of the medium sized Ford Cortina and Holden Torana, Chrysler countered with the Centura. Based on the French "Simca", the Centura was considered by many to be too little too late, being released in 1975, some 8 years after the Torana and TC Cortina had made inroads and established their market share.
1975 Chrysler Centaur GL

Chrysler Centura GL

  Also see: Chrysler Car Reviews and Chrysler Centura Specifications
Entry level Centura's had the donor Simca's 4 cylinder engine bored out to increase capacity from 1.8 liters to 2.0 liters. But to be competitive in the Australian market, and compete equally with the Cortina and Torana, Chrysler needed a mid sized six cylinder car. Chrysler Australia engineers set about transplanting the Valiant's Hemi 245 engine, utilising an Australian Borg-Warner gearbox, tailshaft, and differential. The Centura was criticised at the time for its handling, particularly in 6 cylinder form with a heavy front end and extremely light rear end. However unlike the Valiants and Chargers of the day that had torsion bar front ends with leafsprung rears, the Centura had coil springs all round.
1975 Ford Escort Mark 2

Ford Escort Mark 2

  Also see: Ford Escort Car Reviews and Escort Mark 2 Specifications
At a time when the 'world car' concept was becoming highly fashionable, the Ford Escort entered the fray in 1968 as the replacement to the aging, but always popular, Ford Anglia. Over the years it underwent several styling revisions, and right through the 1970’s it remained one of the most popular cars around. The first major styling revision occurred in 1975, giving the car a crisp lean flowing style that was well in proportion and arguably a cut above the small car offerings emanating from Japan. The interior was always functional, but was somewhat Spartan in comparison to the Japanese cars – but on the plus side the seats were extremely comfortable even on very long drives.
1975 Ford Escort Mark 2 Ghia

Ford Escort Mark 2 Ghia

  Also see: Ford Escort Car Reviews and Escort Mark 2 Specifications
For the over ten years that the Ford Escorts was on the Australian market, it underwent many and varied model improvements, including different engines and changes to its  image. Starting off with the 1.1 liter Kent, they had six engines in the next eight years, and by 1981 the 1.6 liter was offered on the L Sedan, with the option of the 2.01itre in the GL, and the 2.0 liter only in the top-of-the-line Ghia. The Escort had unashamedly evolved from a basic and utilitarian 'point A to point B' vehicle, into a surprisingly quick and surefooted performer. The SOHC four-cylinder 2.0 liter engine developed a healthy 70 kW of power at 5200 rpm, with torque of 148 Nm at 3800 rpm.
1975 Ford Falcon XB Sedan

Ford Falcon XB

  Also see: Ford Falcon XK to XC Car Reviews and Falcon XB Specifications
The XB gained immense popularity, and would out-sell the XA by some 68,156 units. No surpirse then that it was with this model that Ford notched up the two-millionth car manufactured in Australia, however this milestone came with no fanfare, it occuring on Remberance Day, and if that wasn't enough, then Governor General John Kerr would sack Prime Minister Gough Whitlam (see: Chronicles - Year In Review 1975). For the image conscious, the "Surferoo" offered the much needed bedroom on wheels. In reality the Surferoo was a simple 500 Panel Van, fitted with a moulded fiberglass storage compartments, foam matress, ice-box and flourescent interior lighting.

1975 Holden TX Gemini

Holden TX Gemini


Also see: Holden Gemini Car Reviews and TX Gemini Specifications

In 1975 GMH began the manufacture of the Gemini in Australia, and within a year of its release the little Gemini had become the most popular car on the market (no doubt helped by the low price tag and its being named Australian Car of the Year). The Gemini got its power from an Isuzu 1584cc 4 cylinder SOHC petrol engine. A four speed floor mounted manual was standard, but the car could be optioned with a Tri-matic auto.
1975 Holden HJ Premier

HJ Holden


Also see: Holden HK to WB Car Reviews and HJ Holden Specifications

On the inside, the HJ Holden had new seats made from a full-foam construction (rather than the previous models Z-spring design). Apart from being more comfortable, they were considered safer as the head restraints were now integrated into the seat design. An even more upmarket luxury Holden was introduced with the Statesman "Caprice", the existing "DeVille" now a 2nd tier luxury car sitting above the sedan based Premier. Mechanical improvements included cable-type throttle control on all engines, while the 308's were mated to the Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 transmission rather than the Tri-Matic. The Kingswood now sported power front discs, and was fitted with the 3300 (202) engine as standard, but unfortunately the HJ saw the demise of the Chevy 350 engine and with it, the GTS350.
1975 Holden HJ Monaro GTS

HJ Holden Monaro


Also see: Holden HK to WB Car Reviews and HJ Holden Specifications

More imposing than its predecessor, the four door HJ Monaro GTS featured a prominent, blacked-out grille, bigger wraparound rear lights, more aggressive side vents and decals. Full foam high-backed seats came in a variety of trims, including herringbone with a red centre stripe. The GTS instrument panel featured multiple ventilation outlets and clear recessed instruments with international symbols.
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