Sometimes I get asked why I don’t do more of everybody’s darlings. My usual answer is: Because the other cars want T-Shirts too. It is actually a reason why I started the Volvo series in the beginning, because I wanted a certain style of T-Shirts with wagons on it, but couldn’t find anything I liked. So yes, I feel dedicated to the cars in the second row. The ones that, if they are lucky, become cult, decades later. The ones that are loved only by a few enthusiasts. But there is something else: These cars thought me more about automobile history than any Ferrari or Porsche. I learned about brilliant engineering and great stories from cars I barely knew before. And there are of course the fans. People pointing out details to me, changes in model years or rare colors. Stories about their own cars with links to forum posts that are more capturing than a season of ‘Breaking Bad’.
I mentioned the Holden Monaro earlier. Now I finalized the stack here is what I learned about a car I took as a rebadged Pontiac GTO with ill fitting hood scoops: That a big car company put a concept car into production because people loved it. That this car was so hot that other GM brands wanted it with non or just little changes. And I learned about Peter Brock – A racing legend who drove the red Monaro into 1st position at the Bathurst 24 hour race.
So this is a big thank you to all the people filling the internet with facts, photos, and stories of cars I learned to love and to draw in the recent years.
If you know Volvos you probably also remember that there was a time when it wasn’t easy to describe them as cool, good looking, elegant, or sporty. That was around the same time when they decided they want something cool, good looking, elegant and sporty. In 1985 this was the 480. A three door, wagon style, sporty looking liftback that looked like a P1800ES at Wikipedia had an intense affair with a 3rd gen. Honda Civic hatchback at Wikipedia. Looking at what the Japanese with these types of cars Volvo never gave the 480 it’s full potential. Especially the Renault F-engine didn’t really match the exterior. But nevertheless it’s still a great looking car that draws a perfect line from the P1800 to the C30 and the present V40. Some enthusiast even found ways to give their 480s the power they deserve.
I really like the fact that Holden build a true muscle car without adding any retro to it. I also like that they did not add any overly edgy and aggressive tone. I just love how this is just a good looking coupe. We can debate about the hood scoops, but this is a timeless design and for sure a future classic. So here is the first render of the Holden Monaro series. I hope you like it.
Thank you to Melanie helping me finding the right approach into the Australian car culture. Please read (and follow) her blog with great black and white photos.
It’s done: The Omegas (yes, yes, the Carltons) are up and ready to order at Redbubble. From top to bottom:
So now since we established a first line featuring GM’s V plattform the moment has finally come to visit Australia: Get ready for Holdens!
You might remember that I made a few Tercel 4wD wagons a while ago. So it happened that the Tercel forum picked it up and soon I got contacted by a forum member named Mark you asked me to do a custom stack of his past and present Tercels. Here they are! Thanks again to the people of tercel4wd.com who are keeping these oddball cars on the road. This is such a great car in many ways. So how can you not like this collection of japanese econoboxes.
We are closer to a new stack: Following the Lotus Omega (Sorry Great Britain, I just can’t call it a Carlton. Omega sounds so much sharper) I follow up with the Opel Omega 3000 GSi and the Caravan which was also available with a 3.0 24V 6 straight six engine. It might not be the coolest car in the world but I think it got a pretty sleek design for a 80s car (introduced 1986). It also moves us one ocean closer to some more interesting cars from Australia: Omegas have been the base for a few Holdens and since they managed to fit a V8 in it it shouldn’t be ignored. I promise to come back to that later.
The Omega 3000 was the sports version of the Omega A model range. It featured a straight-6, 3.0-litre, 12-valve engine, which produced 177 bhp (132 kW; 179 PS). Other modifications from the base model included a lowered suspension and limited slip differential, as well as different fascias and a rear spoiler. The car had a top speed of 220 km/h (137 mph), and accelerated from 0–100 km/h in 8.8 seconds. (Wikipedia)
Opel Omega A2 3.0 24V Diamant Caravan : Huge rear wheel drive wagon with a 24V 3.0 straight six engine made by GM? Unfortunately they never made it to the states. Holden sold a variation called the Commodore and even offered it with a V8. That was when the American Caprice Classic looked like a brick. Although now considered cool, at that time not even close to modern architecture of the Opel.
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