We have come to the end of an era and I for one am not happy about it, surprisingly I am not talking about Michael Clarke’s retirement; I am however talking about the end of Australian based motor vehicle manufacturing. By the end of 2017 we will no longer build cars in this country when the last Toyota dealership closes its gates. Yes the last car to be built in Australia will be a Toyota Camry. Ford’s Broadmeadows and Geelong factories are due to close by October of next year and Holden’s gates outside of Adelaide will slam shut for the final time a year later. It was only six years ago that we had four companies manufacturing cars on our shores so it is amazing to think that in just a few years that number will be zero. In light of this we decided to have a look at some of the most iconic cars ever built right here in Australia. These are all cars that you can still find around today and get great deals on car finance through 360 Finance.

Looking To Finance A Holden Kingswood

A Cream Holden Kingswood on GrassAh the Kingswood, does any car mean 1970s Australian suburbia more than the Kingswood? The first Kingswood was a HK model which was released in January of 1968. The HK featured the first V8 in the Holden range.

The Kingswood had a major part not only in Australian motoring history but also in pop culture after being a major plot point in the Australian sitcom Kingswood Country in the early 1980s.

The last Kingswood was the WB series which was discontinued in 1984 when Holden announced they were vacating local production of large luxury vehicles to concentrate on their medium car range i.e the Camira and Commodore. With car factories closing shop across Australia, where are the loyal Holden fans going to get their next fix? Consider investing in an older holden with a low rate car loan today.

Leland P76

Blue Leland P76In 1973 Wheels magazine made the P76 the Car of the year! So how can you go from that to being considered the greatest failure in Australian Motoring History?

Leyland Australia had decided that they wanted to be a part of the full sized sedan/station wagon market which was dominated by the Holden and Ford companies. What came out of all of this was 1973’s Leyland p76. The P76 was a decent concept however execution was an issue. If you have watched Top Gear you probably would have heard Clarkson and co discuss the quality control issues at British Leyland’s manufacturing plants. The Zetland NSW plant suffered similar issues, on top of that the car just simply wasn’t right.

Owner’s regularly complained about loose fitting doors that let air and dust in and the rear windows would often fall out when you went over bumps. Then there was my favourite little quirk of the P76, due to the way the exhaust system was designed the piping was so close to the floor that if you had paid for the optional carpet it began to smoulder.

General consensus is that the V8 engine of the P76 was a masterpiece of 70s manufacturing and the body shape was designed in a way that you could fit a 44 galleon drum in the boot. However these positives did not outweigh the negatives and once you throw in that the margins were incredibly tight the car was destined for failure. The margins are mind boggling with Leyland only making $40 per base model and $200 per V8. So although the P76 is not without merit unfortunately it makes this list as an iconic lemon.

Holden Torana A9X

Red and Black Holden ToranaOnly 405 A9X Toranas were produced for sale to the public and these consisted of 305 four door sedans and 100 2 door hatch backs. The A9X was built to be a race winner and that is exactly what it did, winning the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1978 and 1979. It was the Sandown 500 winner in 77, 78 and 79. The A9X also claimed the Bathurst 1000 in 78 and 79. With 1979 being a huge year at Mount Panarama for the A9x claiming the first 8 finishing positions.

With a top speed of 210 km/h and doing 0-100 in 8.2 seconds the Torana was exceptional for anyone who wanted a sports performance vehicle. It was originally $10,600 to buy; nowadays a true A9X will cost you around $100,000 – $130,000.

Holden Monaro

Blue Monaro with White Racing StripesThe Monaro was produced by Holden originally between 1968 and 1977 before returning in 2001 until it’s eventual demise in 2006. The Monaro is regarded as one of Australia’s greatest muscle cars, starting with a bang when the original HK range won Wheels magazine Car of the Year in 1968.

The Monaro has been exported to overseas markets in various guises over the years. HT and HG coupes were sold in South Africa as both Holden Monaros and cosmetically altered as a Chevrolet SS. The Monaro crossed the Middle East as the Chevrolet Lumina coupe, however most famously the Monaro appeared in the USA as the Pontiac GTO.

Monaros won Bathurst in ’68 and ’69, interestingly these were the only two years the Monaro appeared as Holden’s main vehicle. In 1970 the Monaro became the first Australian manufactured vehicle to win the Australian Touring Car Championship.

If you are in the market for a Holden Monaro, why not see what is out there on Gumtree and see how low your car loan repayments can be with 360 Finance today.

Chrysler Valiant

Chrysler VF Valiant Pacer on grassThe original Chrysler Valiant sold in Australia in 1962 was a rebadged Plymouth Valiant built in America however in 1963 all manufacturing was moved to Australia. The Valiant quickly established itself as the third of the “Big 3” Australian-made vehicles behind the Holden Kingswood and the Ford Falcon. In the mid to late ‘60’s Chrysler Australia could not satisfy demand for their vehicles despite regular increases to production. By this time it was the eleventh largest company of any kind in Australia and the second largest exporter of cars. 1969 was the banner year for Chrysler Australia with 42,654 Valiants sold. However a series of misfortunes, fuel crisis, quality control problems and unpopular models saw Valiant lose sales during the early 1970’s.

However Chrysler carried on with the Valiant through til 1981 when the last CM model rolled off the production line. The last Valiant ever made was given to their most successful dealer The Purnell Brothers of Bankstown who had sold and financed over 20,000 Valiants over the years.

Holden Commodore VE

Holden Commodore VE on TarmacThe Commodore in all forms is quintessentially Australian but in 2013 Wheels magazine named the VE the greatest Australian car ever made stating “More than a good honest car, this was the commodore that proved, beyond doubt, that Australia’s got talent” Now take the talent show pun out of it and that is high praise and the VE deserved it. It was the first Holden Commodore designed exclusively by Holden Australia. It was also Holden’s largest and most expensive project ever entered into.

It all paid off however as the VE has not only received high levels of critical acclaim but commercial success also. The VE consistently outsold its rivals in the large car market, at one point VE sales were double that of its nearest competitor, The Ford Falcon. In 2007 the VE became the fifth commodore model to receive Wheels magazine’s Car of the Year award.

The VE was discontinued in 2013 and was the last Commodore built in Australia. Since 2006 520,000 VE’s were produced 350,000 of which were sold in Australia

The Holden Sandman

Lime Green Holden SandmanLet’s talk about the Panel Van. In Australia panel vans were a development of the good old Aussie ute. In the ‘70s panel vans were all the rage however by the late 1980s they began to disappear as demand fell and major manufacturers stopped building them. There were many panel vans to choose from, maybe a Chrysler Drifter took your fancy or even the Ford Falcon model.

But for most of us the panel van was best represented as the Holden Sandman. In 1974 Holden introduced the Sandman, a version of the panel van designed to incorporate many of the features of the Monaro. Sandman’s were visually identified by stick-on vinyl decals on the exterior. The Sandman gained popularity amongst the Australian youth earning the nickname “Shaggin’ Wagons”…we will let you work out why.

You can buy a brand new revamped Sandman this year, 40 years after it was originally introduced however these 70s classics don’t come cheap. If you are looking for an affordable alternative, why not get in contact with 360 Finance today to discuss a car finance solution that suits your budget and lifestyle.

Ford XY Falcon GTHO Phase III

Purple and Orange Falcon GTHO Phase iiiThe Ford Falcon has been a stalwart of Ford Australia since 1960. The Falcon along with its biggest rival the Holden Commodore have dominated the ranks of taxis and police vehicles across Australia and New Zealand for decades. But let’s look specifically at an Australian made muscle car, the Ford XY Falcon GTHO Phase III. This modified version of the GT was built in 1971 with a heavily updated engine, a four speed top-loader gear box and Detroit locket 9” differential.

Sports Car World Magazine described the Phase III as “…simply one of the best cars in the world, a true GT that could take on Ferraris and Astons on their own terms…” The Phase III has a top speed of 228 km/h and did 0 – 100 in 8.9 seconds. Allan Moffat lifted the Bathurst 500 trophy in 1971 with a Phase III as his car.

The Ford XY Falcon GTHO Phase III is in incredibly high demand due to its small production run, with one being sold at a Bonhams & Goodmans auction in March 2007 for $683,650. The sale set a new auction record for Australian Muscle cars.

Here at 360 Finance we will find you the best rate and repayment on the market no matter where your car was built but we can’t deny a bit of sadness that this great Aussie manufacturing will come to an end soon.

Give us a call today on 1300 361 360 or fill in our quick quote form and we will get you in your classic Aussie car faster than a Torana around Mount Panorama.