Just curious, what do Australian dopers ride around in? Do you have a muscle car culture?
Yeah, a little. Although it’s generally split between Holden and Ford sedans and utes; we’re mad about utes in this country.
Here’s an example of a Holden Ute:
Personally, I have a very boring Holden family sedan although I do dream about trading it in for an Audi. I’m a big fan of European cars, not so much the local Holden and Ford muscle cars as they seem to have a bit of a bogan connotation IMO.
That’s not a ute. That’s a poncy chopped up sedan for urban pretenders.
Australia definitely has a musclecar culture, and as mecaenas says, the main rivals over the years have been Ford and Holden (the Australian arm of General Motors).
Probably one of the definitive, and most sought-after of Aussie musclecars is the Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III.
Or the ‘Mad Max’ cars - my dad’s HQ LS was his pride and joy.
Were the Holden Monaros very popular? I understand that they were rebadged as a Pontiac GTO from 2004 to 2006. There was a bit of a lack of rear wheel drive muscle cars in America, and Bob Lutz thought that importing Holdens would be a cost effective solution. You could get a 6.0 liter engine.
What I thought was really great was the vast array of Toyota Land Cruisers (I was in Australia in 2002). I want a 4WD Land Cruiser bus! Hell, I’ll settle for a Land Cruiser pickup.
The 6 liter engine wasn’t from Holden though - it was the same one used in the Chev Corvette.
Do I have to hand in my man card?
There used to be a printers near where i worked, and two new utes were always parked outside. One was black, the other was bright green, both the same model.
For the five years that I saw them parked out there, they never had a single scratch on them, the trays were always covered with the big metal cover (not a tarp), and they were always washed and pristine.
What a joke. Utes that are not used as utilities are absurd. Here’s what I remember Utes looking like when I was growing up.
When the rest of the family lobbed in 74, my father picked us up at Tulla in a bright orange Torana. Lairy, big six, three-on-the-tree. He was wearing a beige, short-sleeved safari suit.
Little did I know, I’d never be so cool again.
What the holy hell are you talking about?
Lairy … stands out from the crowd, extrovert.
Big six … large capacity six cylinder
Three-on-the-tree … three speed manual transmission with column change
Isn’t the Toyota Sequoia sold here in the US pretty much the same vehicle?
When i lived in Australia, the Land Cruiser was pretty much the most popular choice among those who wanted a big 4WD wagon, but that was mainly because it didn’t have much competition in that size range. Here in the US, i guess it competes with massive SUVs like the Chevy Suburban and the Ford Expedition, which aren’t sold in Australia (or at least, they weren’t when i lived there).
My sister-in-law got married in the mid-90s, and I was asked to drive the bridal party to the church. The wedding car was the grooms bosses Holden Commodore HSV - a V8 grunt car. I was so scared I was going to sneeze, and launch the thing into orbit. It was seriously overpowered. I was really happy to hand the keys over when I had finished my duties.
You are correct, but I’m talking about the old school 70’s era LandCruisers, not the the LandCruisers driven by soccer moms in Orange County. I realize that those cars are actually completely off road worthy, it’s just that they’re too nice and plushy, and I’ve never actually seen a Sequoia or recent vintage LandCruiser off road.
I should mention that the Toyota Land Cruiser and the Nissan Patrol are the Fourbies (Four-Wheel Drive vehicles) driven here by people who actually have a need to be off-road (Farmers, Park Rangers, SES members, Hunters, Fishermen, Rural Fire Service, etc). They’re incredibly tough and reliable vehicles.
And you can get Landcruiser Utes, FWIW- They make surprisingly effective gun platforms for hunting.
I’ve always liked the styling of Australian utes. Aussies seem to have gotten away with creating what we would call a ‘light truck’ without any of the ridiculous macho lumpiness that plagues the styling of light trucks here in North America.
I went to an agricultural boarding school when i was growing up, and lots of my friends came from farms in central-western NSW, places like Dubbo, Narromine, Wagga, Grenfell, etc.
I used to go to their places on our summer holidays, and the staple of farm and paddock transportation was nearly always a jacked-up 4WD Toyota Hilux. We went 'roo shooting at night (spotlighting) on the back of those a bunch of times.