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The best Australian cars

Over the years, both in print and on-line, many a discussion has been generated around Australia’s worst cars. But with the Aussie car industry on its knees, I thought it was time to introduce some positivity to our home-grown motoring story, and ask our readers: What are your favourite Australian cars?

Xy Ford Falcon

 

From the advent of the first Holdens in the 1940s through to today, there have been some wonderful Aussie cars, designed locally for local conditions. There were hardships of course, particularly in those early years where the content was largely inspired by America; indeed, early Falcons were positively flimsy and could simply fall apart, until Ford got serious with the legendary XP’s Aussie development program.

Leyland P76

Personally, my list of solid Aussies includes what is generally perceived as a lemon: the Leyland P76. With its light, all-alloy V8, big body and nice ride, I think the concept was right; it’s just a pity the execution (and subsequent reliability jibes) hampered its sales.

Of course, the massively successful HQ-series Holden (485.650 produced) personifies what Aussies (used) to want in a car; space, robustness, power and a semblance of style.

I also love the American-influenced ‘muscle car’ era, back when racing at Bathurst in production-based cars was actually beneficial to sales. Think Ford Falcon XY GT-HO, Chrysler Charger R/T E49 and Holden Torana A9X.

Ford EcoBoost Falcon

Of later machinery, the Falcon EcoBoost was an on-trend alternative for modern times, retaining the sense of size, power and reliability that the best Aussie cars have but combining it with ultra-modern mechanicals which provide that power with economy. It’s a great drive, too…it’s just a pity that Ford didn’t have the marketing capability to really sell the product.

We could argue forever about why we no longer buy Australian (fuel costs affecting fleet sales, extra competitive market, lack of investment/’feel’ for the market…the list goes on) but let’s instead try and gain inspiration from the past: What are some of your favourites?

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