Australian Car Spotters Guide - 1979

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Bolwell Mk. IX Ikara

Bolwell Mk. IX Ikara

  Also see: Bolwell Car Reviews
During the halcyon days of the fifties and sixties, sports cars were less compromising and offered no pretense of sophistication or luxury. Expectations rose during the 1970's (led in many ways by Mercedes seeking to make their expensive sports cars appealing to the Hollywood Boulevard brigade). It was inevitable then that the Bolwell Nagari also evolved as more a "grand tourer". It was against this background that Campbell conceived his next and last vehicle. In 1979 the Ikara (Mk IX) was born. But he decided it had to be different - different from the past and different from the competition. The first priority was to make the car extremely light, and so he choose to revert back to the space frame chassis. Instead of doors the Ikara used step over sills, just like that of the Elfin Clubman of the sixties. High strength-to-weight fiberglass body panels and a mid-engined configuration made the Ikara a real driver's car.
1979 Ford Falcon XC Station Wagon

Ford Falcon XC

  Also see: Ford Falcon XK to XC Car Reviews and Falcon XC Specifications
In a move away from imperial measurement, the Falcon XC range was badged as 3.3, 4.1, 4.9 and 5.8 liter instead of the previously used cubic inch capacity. Strangely, Ford's second longest running model, the Futura, was dropped from the XC lineup. So, much more regrettably, was the GT (the GXL was "supposed" to be the replacement, but it would fail to capture the hearts and minds of the Ford enthusiasts). Mid way through the life of the XC, Ford made some radical improvements to the car's suspension to allow for radial tires, and these models tend to be known as the 'XC and a half'.
1979 Ford Falcon XD Sedan

Ford Falcon XD

  Also see: Ford Falcon XD to EF Car Reviews and Falcon XD Specifications
Ford took a huge gamble when it invested more than $100 million on the XD Falcon – but fortunately for the blue oval the investment would quickly pay off. The XD Falcon marked the start of Ford's determined push to become market leader in Australia, a goal they ultimately achieved, but one that, at the release of the XD, was beyond their grasp. The perceived fault lay in the size of the XD in comparison with its competitors. After its initial launch, the XD enjoyed great popularity, outselling the Holden Commodore.
XD Falcon Alloy-Head Six

1979 Ford ZJ Fairlane

ZJ Fairlane

  Also see: Ford Fairlane Car Reviews and ZJ Fairlane Specifications
The popular XD Falcon was joined by the ZJ Fairlane in May 1979, featuring for the first time the six-window profile, something that would quickly become the hallmark of Australian built luxury Ford's. The luxury Ford range was also simplified somewhat, the Marquis being dropped and the range now consisting simply of either the Fairlane or LTD. The new Fairlane was also smaller and lighter than its predecessor as it shared its floorpan with the Falcon Wagon. Fortunately though the engineers were able to maximise interior space so that, inside the cabin at least, the new model was actually bigger than before.
1979 Holden TE Gemini Diesel

Holden TE Gemini Diesel


Also see: Holden Gemini Car Reviews and TE Gemini Specifications

After 4 years and 3 model revisions, in 1979 GMH finally gave the Gemini a complete makeover, which included a revised engine and alteration to virtually every body panel. The Gemini had now spanned the casm between the traditional large HZ Holden HZ to the new smaller VB Commodore, and the styling changes reflected Holdens new visual identity, with the TE looking very much the little brother to the VB.
1979 Holden VB Commodore

Holden VB Commodore


Also see: Holden Commodore Car Reviews and Holden VB Commodore Specifications

The dash of the Commodore featured a large hood stretching across to the passenger side of the car, and even in base models the addition of a "fuel economy meter" made the instrument layout look far more comprehensive over that of the HZ. The 3.3 European Pack and 4.2 Sport Pack (with manual transmission only) came with full instrumentation, 4 wheel discs, alloy wheels and headlight washer/wipers. Probably the most popular model in the Commodore lineup was the "SL", fitted with the 3.3 liter and Tri-Matic auto as standard.
Holden Commodore VB
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