1979 Isuzu Gemini LT – Today’s Tempter

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

Isuzu Gemini tempter front side Isuzu Gemini tempter front side
Isuzu Gemini tempter rear side Isuzu Gemini tempter rear side
Isuzu Gemini tempter interior door Isuzu Gemini tempter interior door
Isuzu Gemini tempter engine Isuzu Gemini tempter engine
Isuzu Gemini tempter japanese Isuzu Gemini tempter japanese

Our Holden TE Gemini’s long-lost sibling

Holden’s globetrotting Gemini landed Down Under by way of Europe, via Japan.

First appearing in 1975 as the TX Gemini, the new compact Holden was a badge engineered Isuzu, in turn based heavily on GM’s Opel Kaddett.

The humble TE generation Gemini mirrored Japan’s 1979 facelift of their Isuzu counterpart.


With a new shovelnose front end and redesigned rear, the engine bay was also longer with more lateral space for a larger radiator; as Japan received a number of sporty variants with twin-cam engines, and a turbo-diesel variant.

This little Gem’ on sale today is actually not an Aussie-born Holden; but instead a Japanese private import – described by the seller as the only one in Australia.


The car is said to have been imported to Australia in the early 80s for an Italian lady owner, and the seller and current owner has just carried out a mild restoration on the vehicle.

It bears the optional 1.8lt Diesel, the same as was available in showrooms here, but departs from Australian specifications with its three-speed automatic gearbox (Australian-delivered diesels were only available with the five-speed manual).


The Japanese Gemini has been treated to new 2k paint and a "fresh interior", with no rust present in the boot or floors.  Mechanically, this one is described as running very well with both the engine and gearbox in good health.

Its seller also points out a few rare touches, including: factory Isuzu blue glass, original radio, new-old-stock Isuzu centre caps and optional rain visors.


Within the Gemini market, the Isuzu-born example comes in on the high side, but not beyond the scope of what we’ve seen outstanding ‘Gems’ trade for. It’s also just that little bit different; certainly one for the Gemini anoraks out there.

The Isuzu Gemini is based in Western Australia, and is listed for $8,500 (or nearest offer).

Check out the full listing here!


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