TE GEMINI SANDPIPER
The Holden Gemini is a compact car which was produced by Holden and sold in Australasia from 1975 to 1986. It was based on the Japanese Isuzu Gemini, one of the many models based on the GM T-car platform.
The TE series Gemini was introduced in October 1979. It featured significant exterior changes with new front and rear styling, comparable with the Isuzu Gemini and Holden Commodore models of the same era. By this time, the Opel Kadett had been changed to front wheel drive and no longer resembled the original Kadett C.
The TE GEMINI SANDPIPER was the most popular out of all the Geminis, selling over 70 000 units. Initially only available as a sedan, in February 1980 the Panel Van and Station Wagon were added to the line up while the coupé version was no longer available. The luxury SL/E version was also removed from the line-up, replaced instead with an SL/X variant. In 1981 the TE was introduced to New Zealand, replacing the British-sourced Vauxhall Chevette range.
A limited edition “Gypsy” van was made available in February 1980 and was offered with a tachometer and console gauges. Individual plaid cloth seats were available (a different plaid to other earlier Geminis). The Gypsy featured blacked out grille treatment and door window surrounds, square headlights and full chrome bumpers, full length headlining and carpet (regular vans had vinyl flooring as standard. Gypsys are now a highly collectible Gemini model, with original examples estimated to be worth over A$10,000 to avid collectors.
Engine options originally stayed the same. In early 1981 the option of a 1.8-litre Isuzu diesel model was introduced, fitted with an M76 five-speed gearbox. All diesel Geminis were only available as an SL/X five-speed manual. Rhone Green was a colour made available exclusively for the diesel but other colours in the range could be ordered also. Production of the diesel commenced in March 1981.
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