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Top 5 Australian Cars of the 20th Cenury

Although Australian cars are the world over known for certain characteristics, it goes without saying that often people don’t sit down to think about the specific cars that have helped shaped the nation for generations. In this blog post, we look at the top 5 Australian cars of the 20th Century, and give our reasons as to why, despite flashier or smarter options available, these workhorses have kept the country turning.

The Ford Falcon

One half of the Ford/Holden rivalry that continues to this day, the Ford Falcon was in many ways seen as being bested by the General Motors variant. The Ford itself however was, and still is, a perfectly capable family sized powerhorse. It’s inclusion on this list is indisputable – Ford is planning on stopping Falcon production in 2016 as the sales of larger, gas guzzling cars begins to dwindle.

Ford Falcon Australia

Holden Commodore VT

The Commodores as a line of cars themselves are of course perfectly able – but the VT model of 1997 is especially important, as it marked the beginning of Holden’s recognition in global spheres. It still is the best selling Commodore to date – and with a more European inspired design (such as the rear suspension from the Vauxhall Omega) parts were fairly easy to come by.

Holden Commodore

Toyota Avalon

The Toyota Avalon didn’t sell well, but it is important in the car market in Australia, if only because it inspired the enormously popular Toyota Aurion. Introduced as a 1995 year car, it may look boring, but was one of only a few in its field offering front wheel drive in a largely rear wheel drive market. As you can expect, attaching a 3.0 V6 and an automatic gearbox to a front wheel drive car didn’t provide the world’s best handling.

Toyota Avalon

Toyota Camry

Originating in approximately 1980, and following the same lines as the Toyoto Celica Coupe, the Camry continues to this day to be North America’s best selling car and incredibly popular in Australia and Asia. At the time, it was considered well equipped and well designed – it also followed the trend at the time for Australia’s cars to be more economic, cheaper and lighter.

File:1997-2000 Toyota Vienta (MCV20R) Grande sedan (2011-06-15) 01.jpg

Holden VL Commodore SS Group A

You might think that all the cars we’ve featured so far have been pretty bland – and to some extent you’d be true – but you wait for this one…

The Holden VL Commodore SS was the first car produced by the Holden Dealer Team – an official partner organisation to Holden who boosts the performance of stock cars to eye watering levels of speed and power. The Holden VL Commodore SS Group A spawned a generation of Holden Special Vehicles and helped promote the V8 Racing Scene to the hugely popular levels it enjoys today.

Holden VL Commodore SS Group A

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Author: David Lye

One comment

  1. Josh says:

    This may sound incredibly stupid, especially since I’m American. But, that Holden Commodore sure looks like the American made Ford Mustang of the mid 1990’s. I know it isn’t one, but the resemblance is striking.

    Really is too bad that Pontiac didn’t survive. Those GTO’s (based on your Commodore SS, I believe) were some quick little cars. Ah well, such is life.



    October 12th, 2013 at 3:44 am