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Of all the cars you had.. which do you want back?


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As I keep telling my son, nostalgia is the most expensive commodity.. just look at https://www.australianmusclecarsales.com.au/.


But, today amongst a suitably socially distanced gaggle of fellas drinking ale, we got talking about out cars.. and which of them we would want back...


These are the cars (I remember) I have owned:


  • TC Cortina Station wagon.. modified to the hilt.. I still have the shaggin wagon mattress - out daughter was born at home  (not made) on it... But, fair dinkum, although unnbelievably unreliable, it made Mahindras look reliable.
  • TA22 1974 Celica.. Was a bit of a chick magnet and they are effin expensive to buy now... but they are really, really boring...
  • Nissan MQ Patriol LWB Wagon
  • Nissan 360C (I was such a d!ck at the time)
  • VW Kombi - threw a conrod within a month of me buying it.
  • FJ55 Toyota Landcruiser.. Yes, that two tone cream and carp colour... made a TBM950 with all levers at the firewall seem frugal on fuel.. .Though, it was bloomin bullet-proof
  • Daihatsu Feroza - An unbelievably underrated 4x4 vehicle that could get you almost anywhere. First car I bought new.
  • Holden Commodore Exec (base model) 5sp manual VS.. Cruising all day long. Second (and I think last) car I bought new.
  • Audi A6 2.8 V6.. Better build than the crappydoor, but no where near as much go or fun... Having said that, had it up to 12mph (c. 200kph) in France (where I was still being overtaken)
  • SAAB 900 Turbo.. great character, but really over-rated.
  • SAAB 9-3 - Ran on a Vauxhall Cavalier chassis and was a definite step down from the 900 turbo in build quality but despite a 2l injected donk, I got 110mph out of it.
  • Volvo XC90 (previous model).. .The 200hp 2.2l tubo-diesel gives many slick 2wd vehicles a run for their money.. but they aren't the most reliable.
  • Mini Countryman 1.5l (actually is the missus's... Red wigh go faster stripes...


I am sure I am missing one or two... But for me.. if I could have one of them back... It would be the VS Commodore.. It is quintessentially Australian - rough around the edges, but built to go on and on.. And while it was definitely less refined than the Audi, it had a presence that just said, I am ugly, but I am here and honest.


So, list your cars and which one you would want back..


(oh, just realised, there was an XP Falcon in there somewhere, too... 3sp column shift.. Commodire still wins)...



Edited by Jerry_Atrick
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After I sold my 42WLA with side car in 1970, I bought a '64 VW for $150. Painted in white house paint, done with a broad brush, it took me all the way the Cracow, Qld. Next was a Star model Ford Mainline ute, then a Mainline sedan before I bought, new, a Honda Civic CVCC in '75. Next was a Fiat 850 sports coupe, then a 1979 XD Falcon. That was followed by a Mitsubishi Colt. Then back to the Falcons for many years, with a Camira wagon and an Austin 1800 ute in there somewhere. When I retired I gave up owning cars and bought my current WLA. But I bought the wife a Holden Captiva 7 Series 2, which was very nice and gave no trouble. The wife sold that and now we have a Hyundai Tiburon.


Which was my favourite? The Honda wins the engineering first prize. The Falcons win for space and ride comfort. The Fiat and the Tiburon win for hoon value. The Austin for uniqueness and load carrying - I carried a weighed tonne of fire wood in it. The VW for ease of maintenance. 

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GT Cortina, lowered by professionals for a racing driver who never raced it, I worked the engine over. I used to average 90mph on long journeys.

While I had it I think it was Alfa Romeo who did a 24 hour nonstop run on a track and I think it did 300 miles more in that 24 hours than I did in a day.

Next car was a Pontiac Laurentian, just great for towing my 25" caravan.

I would like to own either one of them now, but even better would be the Riley Kestrel I left in England when I came here. It would pass anything bar fuel pumps. Had a constant mesh gearbox, worked through a distant gear lever.

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I am another Cortina lover...had a TC Cortina with a 250 in it...all standard except for the Dragway mags but you didn't need to do anything to it, it just went like the clappers...it was in fact dangerous to the uninitiated. Afterwards I had the TD Cortina but that was no way near as good as the TC because it was then that they started bringing in all the emissions stuff. IN NZ I had the long Toyota MR2, now that was a nice car until we had our daughter and the MR2 was only a 2 seater. I had to wait till 1999 to get my next best and that was the AU Fairmont wagon...the Fairmont had a better front grill than the ugly standard AU grill and was built on the Fairlane chasis so it was huge inside...the BA Fairmont Ghia was junk

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Home built 1960 VW bush buggy circa 1969, then a 1968 Beetle,  two 6-cylinder Toranas, a 1976 Cortina wagon (First new car),  two Commodores, a 1978 V8 Holden, 1982 Fairmont Ghia with smelly velour upholstery, 1988 Ford Maverick diesel, Nissan Skyline, Landcruiser, Toyota Camry, two Ford Falcon utes, two Mercedes M series SUVs, and now a Toyota Prado. And as fun cars for weekends, two Austin A30s, a 1927 Chev tourer, a Jag XJ6, a 1949 Bentley special. Haven't included my wife's cars. Still have the Jag and Bentley. And many motorbikes over the years.


Of all of these I would have the 1968 Beetle, with its 1500cc engine and disc brakes, purely for nostalgia so I could feel 19 years old again.

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I had a series of bombs starting at age 16 and wouldn't particularly want any of them back.


  • Renault 16 (cost $250), lasted about 200km because I didn't put the bung back in after changing oil.
  • LX Torana - looked ok but had the 1900 Opel motor, so wouldn't pull the skin off a rice custard - plus had my first attempts at bog on it and could be started with a screwdriver.  Stolen once and unfortunately recovered.
  • 1968 220 Merc.  Could have been my best car, but bought it without engine as the main bearing had gone.  Subsequently put in a 250ci Falcon engine with 3-speed floor shift and Valiant tailshaft.  Looked very nice from the outside but had my 18yo attempts at upholstery on the dash, could start off in second gear and only did about 100kmh before screaming its ring out.  Dropped the front of the tailshaft at 80kmh one day, I was lucky it didn't imitate a pole vaulter.
  • XE Falcon.  3 careful owners, Tasmania Police, Taxi Combined and then me.  Bought it with 600,000 on the clock.  Only door which worked from both sides was the front passenger's.  Home made bull bar on the front which had a vertical post to hold the front of the hang glider.

After that I started getting reasonable vehicles including VP Commodore, Subaru Foresters (2 consecutive), and finally the current Hyundai Santa Fe which is, at 2015 model, the newest car I've ever owned.  Out of all of them, the current one is probably the best.

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I have never owned a new car and all of my cars have been older vehicles. 

First car was a 1970 Ford Cortina Mk2

Then a 1978 Honda Accord

Then during our 2 car phase the honda was joined by a sigma.

Then  a Nissan 720 diesel ute (awful)

Mitsubishi L300 which caught fire whilst I was driving it. 

A Commodore (rusty)

Magna (noisy timing chain) it's last drive was by my then 15 year old son in a motor sport event.

Then a 1995 bright red lancer.

My son then 17 bought a Falcon in order to tow a motorsport car on a trailer. He hated it and eventually convinced us to swap the Lancer for the Falcon.  After a few years my son had moved on from the lancer (to an MX5) so he did up the Lancer and gave it back to us. My son replaced the engine with a proton satria engine and a fancy gear box.  It wa extremely quick off the mark. We drove this car around until a year or so ago when we bought a Foid Focus.   I cant say i would want to own any of these cars again except the Lancer which had sentimental value given the length of time we owned it and it was my sons first car and the fact that he fixed it up for us as well as it being so much fun to drive,  Fortunately we sold it to a man and his 15 year old son who were into motorsport and had plans to put it on the the track. Hopefully it is still going. The Lancer had done  400,000ks 


When I look at my past cars I tend to remember how many problems they had compared to recent vehicles.  



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Only ever bought one vehicle brand new in 45 years of driving.  My list consists of:


1965 VW beetle - Bought cheap by Dad and we did it up together

1973 Chrysler (Mitsubishi) GB Galant wagon - bought it off Mum & Dad.  Traded in with 110,000 miles on the clock.

1978 Ford Escort 2 litre 4 door - Only brand new car ever.  Absolute pocket rocket of a car but I killed it in 130,000 km.

1980 Ford Falcon XD 4.9 litre V8 wagon - Base trim GL but V8, 4 wheel discs, LSD.


Then we get into cars I "had" but didn't own.


1985 (ish) Nissan Bluebird Twin Spark. First "company" car.

1988 Falcon EA sedan.  Original one with the 3 speed auto.

1986 Holden Commodore VK. Moved jobs and had a temporary car until the new one was delivered.

1989 Falcon EA Sedan. Update with the 4 speed auto.

1991 Falcon EB Sedan.

1993 Falcon ED XR6.  First one with the quad headlights.


Then I changed jobs and went back to having to buy my own. Bugger.


1996 Falcon EF Fairmont.  With Tickford suspension and 6 cylinder engine.

1998 Falcon EL XR8.  Last of the E series. Kept this one 8 years.

2004 Mitsubishi NP Pajero GLX DID.

1996 Falcon XH Longreach Ute.  Cheap hack bought as a work bus.

2009 Mitsubishi NT Pajero VRX DID.  Still have this one.

2018 VW Passat Highline Wagon 2.0 TDI.  You don't need a BMW or Mercedes any more.


The best car I have ever owned is the Passat.  Quiet, comfortable, pretty torquey and ridiculously economical.  Try 4.8 l/100km on the open road.  Other favourites are the Escort which was a hoot on a dirt road and the two XRs.  The XR6 was quicker than the equivalent V8 Falcons and Commodores of the day.  The XR8 was great fun and they had sorted all the bugs out by this stage of that body series so I never had any trouble with it.






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My first car was a 1957 Renault 750 cc rear-engined bit of rubbish. The rear drive-wheels were attached at the gearbox with a short horizontal pin so the wheels were restrained from moving fore and aft. Well this might have been ok when the car was new, but the wear meant that my car had the wheels forwards when driving and aft when in over-run. But they were not equal, so every gear-change meant catching the car with the steering.

I got 5 pound trade-in on a mk 1 rusted zephyr only because the zephyr guy felt sorry for me.  

renault 750.jpg

Edited by Bruce Tuncks
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I bought one of these new in 1975 and used it for work and wore it right out! (exact same colour and 4 speed manual). 


How I wish I still owned it, and it was still in good condition! The numbers of Sandman utes produced were very low.

They state in the specs they were available with the 308 cu in engine. I never ever saw one, and I don't believe the 308 was available as a factory option.

Many had 308's fitted later, and this leads people to think they were original.

But GMH would not fit the 308 to the utes or vans, this was the era of the anti-high-horsepower brigade, and the 240HP of the 308 was too much of a handful for the relatively light utes and vans, GMH engineers reckoned.




I'd previously bought a new HQ Kingswood sedan in early 1972, it was bloody powerhouse and a real handful.

I've always been a speed merchant, and I used to regularly sit it on 160-180kmh on gravel roads. Sure taught me a lot about high-speed handling.



Edited by onetrack
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My second car was much better, except that the windscreen wipers were vacuum driven and ceased to work on driving uphill or accelerating.

When I first cleaned it, under the rubber  floor mat was a bit of black plywood. When this was lifted up, there was the road!  Yep it was that rusted.



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My first car was a 1964 mini (Morris Minor version) complete with sliding windows

Next was a Holden HT premier wagon with 2 speed powerglide auto

Next was back to a Leyland mini panelvan which I hotted up with a bored out 1275 to 1320 and forged flat top Mahle pistons witha close ratio gearbox and ported heads done by a local mini racer guy..went like stink but needed a second radiator with a thermatic fan

Next was a VB commodore

Had a family so it was my first new car a Toyota Tarago  the square verson DX model...great car cost me 28k when I bought it sold it 5 years later with 120k on the speedo for 24K  best deal I ever got

Then a new 1996 VS commodore wagon..still have it..although its wrecked a few years ago..I gave it to my dad about 8 years ago be he had a argument with a bus

Then a Toyota Troopie I used in my business...It was decked out with rear draws etc..was a crap thing to drive

Next was a new VS  HSV Clubsort V8 auto..lovely car.

Then a new HSV VX R8 Clubsport 6 speed manual..best car I ever owned would love to have that car again

Then a large Iveco van..been a awesome vehicle..drives more like a car...I still have it..very useful to be able tostand up in the back and not touch the roof.

Then the Kia Sportage its been a great car and has done a power of work..I have put 170,000 km on it...but its now retired as of Monday and will sell it privately

The new addition I picked up last friday is the new MY20 Dual Cab Ute Triton GLS Premium with the new super select 2 gearbox...only done about 100km so far but its a nice car to drive for sure..very quite and good on the highway...7 years warranty is a good thing too. Got a snorker of a deal and saved over 10k...dealers have been hurting and getting rid of cars to try to get some money back. 

I think its going to be a good unit..especially going to and from the farm and of course now I can actually tow a load


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First was a 76 CL valiant ex Ampol staff car 28000km in 1993 (Tasmania km, nowhere to go)

I still have the VH Charger that came next, still Undriven since then

there was a few valiants sedans and chargers in varying condition then

a 78 Toyota Celica, I did not know there was such a thing as fuel economy until this one.

a 60’s Datsun 1000 Fastback import
a triumph 2500 sedan my brother gave me.
A VG coupe That I re assembled in WA and drove back here to nsw

then came a 1978 $300 corolla wagon
my new partner had  a Hyundai Which was nice to drive

then we have moved onto family people movers with 5 kids.
I have had a few work vehicles like a valiant Ute, a Holden jackaroo, a new Great Wall then 

i found a cheap $500 1 owner 1991 Mazda 121 shades and 14 years later we are still friends. We have travelled 80000 km together on its little 12 inch wheels, it is about to get a full birthday soon with lots of new bits I have piled up for it.
I would have liked not to have bent the chassis on the CL sedan and to have kept it, it was comfy, tidy and cool to cruise in. The VG coupe is fairly valuable now, but there is only so much room to keep these things. I left a VJ 770 charger behind in a paddock in WA, which carried me all over the state, I probably miss it the most.



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I bought a 1981 KA Ford Laser Ghia, 1.5L, 5 speed, 5 door hatchback in 1999, for a general cheap runabout - it had done about 115,000kms.

The drivetrain and body was good, but the interior was RS, it had been parked in the hot sun every day for years.

All the seats had covers on them, because the vinyl on the seats (and doors) was totally buggered.

But it went beautifully, ran on the smell of an oily rag, and I could fit as much inside it (with the rear seats down), as the average panel van! I ran it to about 150,000kms.

Then the day came when it blew a core plug in the centre of the top of the head. It's not actually a core plug as we know it, it's an aluminium plug that fills in a manufacturing access hole.

It is a major fault in all "E" and "B" series Mazda engines. Because it's an aluminium plug in contact with the coolant, it corrodes out, and drops all your coolant in the sump.

I parked it up for a while, then fixed the plug - but when I went to use it again, the fuel system had become plugged with gunk, and it wouldn't run properly.

I parked it up in 2007 and it still sits in my workshop, awaiting some TLC. I'll get around to getting it running again one day, it's just too much hassle at present, and I have too many projects.



Edited by onetrack
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I wouldn't want any of them back in a practical sense, but the old Holdens would have some collector value these days. In chronological order starting with the first car:

FE Holden sedan - had what I think they called a camping body; the front bench seat folded back so you could sleep in it.

Nissan Cedric station wagon - a horrible, horrible car.

3 speed petrol SWB Landcruiser - had long legs in first gear which is why the bull catchers used to like them, but that lower gear was missed for practical use.

EJ Holden station wagon - a $30 car painted with house paint; drove it for several months with some number plates found in the dump.

EK Holden sedan - almost mint freebie, only cost $20 for a new clutch plate.

EH Holden ute

HD Holden sedan - another almost mint car; it took 5 years to turn it into  a wreck.

XW Falcon sedan - a good car, nicer than the Holdens to drive.

HJ Holden ute

FJ-45 trayback petrol Landcruiser

HQ Holden sedan

MQ petrol Nissan Patrol trayback - never stopped cursing it, but must admit it did a lot of work.

NC Fairlane Ghia - a flash car with cruise control & sunroof, even had electric windows.

MJ Mitsubishi Triton petrol trayback

Current car is a Holden Rodeo diesel dual cab which might see me out. Out of all the cars past, the Fairlane stands out for it's sheer pleasure to drive. Good economy for a big car as well if you drove it sensibly. I think it was in the low revs; 110kph at only 2100 rpm. About 1950rpm at 100 kph..


Like Octave, I've never owned a new car and probably never will; don't really have the need for anything too flash.


Edited by willedoo
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