1985 Holden RB Gemini SL/E – Today’s Budget Tempter

By: James Robinson, Unique Cars magazine

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1985 Holden RB Gemini SL/E 1985 Holden RB Gemini SL/E
1985 Holden RB Gemini SL/E 1985 Holden RB Gemini SL/E
1985 Holden RB Gemini SL/E 1985 Holden RB Gemini SL/E
1985 Holden RB Gemini SL/E 1985 Holden RB Gemini SL/E
1985 Holden RB Gemini SL/E 1985 Holden RB Gemini SL/E
1985 Holden RB Gemini SL/E 1985 Holden RB Gemini SL/E

This little Gem’ legitimately looks like it’s got DeLorean powers

Sell your car here for free!

The RB series Gemini was released in May of 1985 and was based on the General Motors ‘R’ platform. It was the first front-wheel drive Gemini Holden had ever made and was also the first Gemini that wasn’t built at Holden’s Acacia Ridge factory in Queensland. 

The new RB Gemini, which replaced the outgoing TG series, was assembled at Holden’s Elizabeth plant in South Australia.

The RB wasn’t exactly what you would call a sales success – in fact it bombed so badly, with only 16,263 units being produced, that Holden decided to pull the pin of the Gemini once and for all. The RB ceased production in 1986 and was swiftly replaced by the Holden Astra, which was essentially a re-badged Nissan Pulsar.  

RB Geminis could only be had in a four-door sedan body and were offered in two levels of trim spec: the SL/X and the SL/E. There was a lower level SL spec that was also produced, however these were exclusively made for fleet services and were never offered to the general public.

Weirdly, while at a glance the styling of the RB isn’t exactly what you’d call… inspiring, it was in fact designed by none other than Giorgetto Giugiaro, the man responsible for some of the best looking cars of the last six decades.

So, while it may not have been a stunning beauty, the RB Gemini did at least have some things going for it: it was incredibly frugal and was extremely reliable. These positives were proven thanks to a harebrained idea by Holden execs that they called ‘Endurathon’.

Endurathon was a gruelling test that would see an early production RB Gemini driven for 80 days straight to clock up a total 200,000 kilometres. Holden said the challenge represented 13 years of motoring in 80 days.

The test was conducted at Holden’s Lang Lang test facility in 1985 at took place between February 17 and May 7. According to Holden the RB performed faultlessly and, to celebrate reaching the 200,000-kilometre mark, motoring legend Peter Brock drove the Gemini over the finish line. What an excellent story.

This particular RB Gemini appears to be absolutely immaculate, with a miniscule 33,553 kilometres on the clock from new.

The seller says it’s in excellent condition, and, judging by the photos, you’d have to agree.

The seller is asking a mere $2,800 for this little 4-clyinder, manual, time machine, which seems like a bit of a bargain.

Those of you that are fond of the RB Gem’ can view the full listing here.

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