Keeping you up to date with all things Rare Spares.

Rare Spares

Rare Spares Blog

  • Join Us on Facebook!
  • Visit Us on YouTube!
  • Follow Us on Instagram!
  • Subcribe to Our RSS Feed

The Forgotten Ones

There are many Aussie cars that fill the spotlight. Iconic cars that are on t-shirts, in sheds and museums and close to the hearts of motoring enthusiasts. However on the flip side, there are Aussie cars that have been forgotten through age, lack of popularity, changing trends and the odd total flop. The Leyland P76 was designed by Michelotti in Italy and introduced to the Australian market in 1973, against Holden, Ford and Chrysler. Despite winning ‘Wheels Car of the Year’ in 1974, the car quickly died out in Australia with fewer than 18,000 produced. Many put the failure down to strange marketing, quality control issues and the loyalty Australian consumers had toward the existing Holden and Fords models on the market.  Even being names the 1976 'Wheels Car of the Year didn't save the Leyland P76.  Despite the Torana having a sacred name in Australian motoring, not every Torana was a success. The TA model was a short lived four cylinder variant based on the LJ platform. Australian’s at the time still wanted the larger six cylinder and V8 engines so it never took off or retained the longevity some of the more famous models have shown. Perhaps Holden’s most infamous sales flop was their attempt at a 1980’s sports coupe, known as the Piazza. Buoyed by the success of the Japanese giants selling sports cars in the 80’s Holden brought in the Piazza from Japan which was produced by Isuzu. Despite a powerful 2 litre turbocharged engine, the Australian motoring media were extremely critical of the Piazza which hurt sales prospects from the start. The criticism was in the most part warranted and the car had a horrible chassis and as a result, dangerous handling. The Star Wars style instrumentation and the technology employed was a step too far for a majority of the Australian market at that time.  The car was quickly phased out by Holden who had certainly missed the mark on the Piazza.   The Holden Piazza was not Holden's finest moment and never succeeded in Australia. The Ford Zephyr is quite a well-known model and examples are still being restored, however the Ford Consul is a much lesser known 4 cylinder variant that never really gained popularity as the Zephyr did classic, perhaps due to its smaller engine.  Another angle to consider is the forgotten style of cars. Panel Vans were a symbol of the Australian way of life through the 60’s and 70’s but by the late 80’s the market had changed and eventually panel vans phased out of existence. These models do however retain classic status and many are restored to their former glory. Another dropped style is the 1 tonner. Popular for tradesman and those in farming, the first generation of 1 tonner’s were built by Holden from 1971 to 1984. A second generation was released as part of the VY and VZ range before being phased out again. With the demise of Australian vehicle manufacturing our questions now turn to which vehicles will become future classics and which models will be all but forgotten? Only time will tell.  

Monaro Club of Victoria Loyalty Redemptions/Rare Spares Bayswater VIP Night

Rare Spares has awarded the Monaro Club of Victoria with a raft of club rewards for their continued loyalty to Rare Spares. Presented at the Bayswater VIP night on Wednesday 20th August to club President Daniel Flemming, the rewards included product vouchers, branded eskies, a tool kit and a marquee. The Bayswater VIP Night was an exclusive event for the Monaro Club of Victoria and the Victorian Torana Club at Bayswater Rare Spares. The Victorian Torana Club is another club that has previously received a number of rewards for being part of the loyalty program. The night was a great excuse for like minded enthusiasts to pull out their pride and joy from the shed and head out for a drive. Hot Pizza for dinner helped everyone warm up and those in attendance were able to receive special store discounts and the chance to win some of the lucky door prizes on offer. The night was a fantastic success and Vice President Steve Kane from the Monaro Club of Victoria enjoyed the opportunity. “It was great for the club to receive some benefits back from our loyal members and thanks to Rare Spares for presenting us the nice rewards” said Kane. “It was a fun night and also well worth attending to see the huge product range Rare Spares have in store.”   For your chance to earn rewards for your club click here. Some of the rewards the Monaro Club of Victoria received.     Some fantastic cars were on display at Rare spares Bayswater.

Shiny New Banner For 48-78 Holden Car Club Hunter Valley

Rare Spares recently presented a large club banner to the 48-78 Holden Car Club Hunter Valley for their continued loyalty. The 48-78 Holden Car Club Hunter Valley was formed in the early seventies and through passionate members has survived nicely, with the club now in its fourth decade of existence. As a member of the club you receive stickers for your car and a newsletter every month. You will be able to spend time with a great bunch of like minded people with an interest in early Holden’s. There is also a wealth of technical information and parts advice available shared between members.  Furthermore membership provides access to the RTA Historical registration scheme. The club has a social scene and have a club based outing at least once a month. The club meets once a month on the second Monday upstairs at the Hexham Bowling Club at 7pm. If you would like to know more, simply attend a meeting. New members are more than welcome. For more information on the 48 to 78 78 Holden Car Club Hunter Valley Inc head to Rare Spares offers great rewards to car clubs simply by being members of the Rare Spares Loyalty Club. Clubs receive exclusive invites to Project Partner nights, special access to promotions and access to Rare Spares sponsored events. Also benefiting clubs is the ability for members to earn rewards for their club simply by shopping at Rare Spares. Every dollar spent at Rare Spares by club members becomes one point earned by your club. This can then be traded in for items such as Banners, Esky’s and club flags. For more information click here.

Rare Spares Project Partner Night at Brisbane South

Rare Spares Brisbane South was thrilled to hold a fantastic Project Partner night recently. With V8 Supercar driver Jason Bright in attendance and a host of prizes on offer including tickets to the Ipswich 400, product vouchers and lucky door prizes, not to mention 20% off store wide, it was a huge night! Over 50 great cars turned up for the evening and there was a good crowd of local car club members and of course some Jason Bright fans in attendance. “The event was scheduled to run from 6pm -8pm however we didn’t close the doors until 9.30pm!” said store manager Bruce Waldie. To feed the masses, the great team from the East Coast Muscle Car Club Inc worked their culinary skills on the BBQ.   Jason Bright was certainly a crowd favourite with many lining up for autographs and photo with the V8 Supercar driver.  Many attendees walked away happy with prizes and also some great new parts for their cars thanks to the 20% discount on offer during the evening.   For your chance to be part of a Rare Spares Project Partner night all you have to do is become a member of the Rare Spares Loyalty Club and stay tuned for Rare Spares announcements on an upcoming Project Partner night near you.  JOIN HERE 

HD-HR Holden Club of NSW All Set With New Banner

Rare Spares Sydney recently presented the HD-HR Holden Club of NSW a new club banner for use at their social gatherings and public events, just for being part of the Rare Spares Loyalty Club. The HD-HR Holden Club of NSW started in 2001 with only 10 members, but more than a decade later, member numbers are now around 60.  This is due to the club’s aim of being a friendly environment for people to share their interest in the HD-HR Holden and spend time with their families and friends at the same time. “We are an active club, with members of all ages” said John Steward, Club Treasurer. The club is involved in automotive shows and social events, with the club making appearances at events such as MotorFest, the All Holden Day, MotorEx, as well as their own club cruises and the annual show and shine/swap meet. “We even have a coffee run every month” said Steward. 2015 will be the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the HD Holden and this will be celebrated at the 2015 HD-HR Nationals at Warwick. In 2016 our club will play host to the Nationals and we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the HR Holden as part of our event.  “We are happy to be associated with Rare Spares and the sign has really come up great.”   It pays to be part of the Rare Spares Loyalty Club and you can join easily HERE.    

Farewelling An Aussie Legend

Throughout 2014 the Australian motoring community and even the broader Australian community have dealt with a number of sombre announcements.  Earlier in the year, the announcements came through of Ford and Holden pulling out of Manufacturing in Australia. Another huge hit came on May 19th this year when news broke of the passing away of Sir Jack Brabham, an Australian motorsport legend.  Sir Jack was born in 1926 and grew up in Hurstville, New South Wales.  Through his school days, Jack was more interested in tinkering with mechanical things and learning to drive his father’s delivery vehicles than engage in the academic side of school. By 15 he was working at an engineering shop, before he joined the Royal Australian Air Force at age 18. Jack, like most young men enlisting in the Air Force in those days had a goal of becoming a pilot, however the Air Force recognised his mechanical aptitude and felt he would be better utilised as a flight mechanic. After the war, Jack opened his own engineering business and at this time, started to race on oval tracks and later road racing circuits. Eventually his racing skill was noticed and he was persuaded to move to Europe in 1955, making his Grand Prix debut at the age of 29 in the British Grand Prix, driving for the Cooper Car Company.                                 Brabham continued to use his great understanding of the mechanical side of the cars to develop the cars and by 1959 Brabham broke through with his first F1 Drivers championship driving the Cooper. This was followed up in 1960 with another Championship driving for Cooper. By 1962 Brabham had set up his own team and entered a more challenging period in his driving career as struggles with vehicle reliability and the pressures of driving and owning a team impacted race results. Brabham in the 1.5ltr 1965 Brabham BT11 Climax With the 1966 F1 rules requiring a 3 litre engine, Brabham worked with Australian company Repco to build his team new engines to suit the category. The reliable combination of the Repco engine and his own Brabham BT19 chassis took Brabham to his third world championship and is the only driver to have won a F1 World Championship in his own car. 1970 would be Brabham’s final season in F1, later selling the team to Bernie Ecclestone. Brabham the finished his time in Europe, returning to Australian with his family and spent time running a farm, a car dealership and even an aviation company. Brabham had left an indelible mark on the motorsport world and was later knighted in 1978 for services to Motorsport. Brabham’s legacy will continue and he is survived by his wife Lady Margaret and his three sons Geoff, Gary and David who are all successful racers in their own right and also their respective families.   

GT Forever

Earlier this year, Ford, Holden and Toyota all announced their withdrawal from Australian Manufacturing over the next 3-4 years. This was a deep cut to Australia’s proud heritage of producing world class vehicles and an industry we were proud of.  With this realisation, Ford announced it would also retire the ‘GT’ designation, signalling an end to a famous badge that portrays performance and an incredible motorsport heritage for Ford lovers. What are your first thoughts when you hear someone say “Falcon GT”. Racing pedigree, XY GHTO Phase 3, Allan Moffat and Bathurst are just some of the terms that come to mind and it is sad to hear that this iconic Australian title will soon be no more.  GT’s have been part of Ford Australia’s Heritage since 1967 when GT became the badge given to the performance variants of the Falcon range. Starting with the XR Falcon, the GT designation continued with the XT, the XW, XY, XA and XB model’s. The XW and XY model’s also saw the ‘HO’ designation added, which stood for 'Handling Options' and is synonymous with the XY GTHO Falcon’s that are so commonly mentioned when discussion turns to famous Ford’s. The GT badge was rested for 16 years before being revived for a 25th anniversary edition, used with the 1992 EB Falcon. In 1997 the 30th anniversary edition was offered for the EL Falcon. As of 2003 Ford Performance Vehicles inherited the badge and have used the GT designation throughout the BA, BF and FG model ranges. The last Ford Falcon to carry the GT badge will be the 2014 Ford Falcon GT-F, which pays homage to its famous forebears and will carry the famous 351 badge signifying the engine’s power output of 351kw’s. The GT-F will also be the most powerful Falcon ever produced at Broadmeadows.   The ‘F’ designation will represent ‘Final’ version of the GT. 500 vehicles will be sold total, with 500 allocated for Australia and the other 50 heading to New Zealand.   “This is a celebration of the best of the best,” said President and CEO of Ford Motor Company Australia Bob Graziano. All 500 of the GT-F’s have been ‘accounted for’ due to the interest of the Ford Faithful and will all be sold at recommended retail pricing according to one Ford dealer, as the interest in obtaining one of these vehicles is so high. Although sad that GT is no longer, we are sure the memories and the success around GT will live on forever with the Ford Faithful."

Aussie Concept Cars That Took On The World

With the demise of the traditional Australian motor shows and the sad reality that Holden and Ford will be ceasing manufacturing in Australia, it is an end of an era. Not only will car production cease, but sheer Aussie ingenuity and engineering know how will no longer be channelled into world beating, cutting edge Australian built concept cars. Cars which have over the years proudly showcased what Aussie car manufacturers can do given the opportunity and a clean sheet of canvas. Concept Cars have nearly been in existence as long as the car itself. Concept Cars work in three ways. They push the engineering envelope, showcase and market the manufacturer’s talent and also capture the public’s imagination. They are the ultimate projects for automotive engineers to be part of. As a celebration of what Australia has been able to achieve in terms of Concept Cars, we take a look at three of Holden’s most famous examples, which were recently displayed together for the first time at the Meguiar’s MotorEx motor show in Melbourne.   "This is the first time these three concept cars have been together in the one place at the one time” said Richard Ferlazzo, Design Director GM Holden.  The three cars in question are ‘Efijy’, ‘Hurricane’ and ‘Coupe 60’, which are all very different and all very special in their own right. Around the world, the 1960’s and 70’s were known as the golden era in concept car design and dozens of those incredible creations are still a sight to behold today. Searching on the web can quickly dissolve the hours with the stories and images surrounding these cars. Australia has always had its own home grown, world class engineering talent and this is reflected in Holden’s first and arguably most spectacular Concept Car, known simply as ‘Hurricane’. To say this car was a technological tour-de-force in its day was an understatement. Hurricane was primarily a test bed to explore these new technologies and was never intended for production. Many of its then futuristic features are now taken for granted in the automotive world. It was fitted with oil cooled four wheel disc brakes, inertia reel seat belts, digital gauges, a climate control system and an early GPS system known as Pathfinder. Equally impressive is the rear view camera that was connected to an early TV screen for occupants to see behind them. This technology only started to appear in the mainstream automotive world more than three decades later. The Hurricane is a wedge shaped machine with supercar lines and is a fibreglass body over a steel space frame. The car is extremely low with a total height of only 990mm.  The engine is a mid-mounted 4.2ltr V8 fitted with a four barrel carburettor and makes an estimated 260hp.  One of the most spectacular features of the car is the way occupants enter and exit the vehicle. A single piece hydraulically operated canopy moves up and forward and resembles something closer to a fighter jet or a futuristic car from a sci-fi movie. Also on display were two more modern Holden creations. ‘Efijy’ is the name that would come to mind first if someone asked you to name a Holden Concept car and it is not hard to see why. Efijy is a beautiful blend of 1950’s classic Hot Rod styling with a modern power plant and technology, which has resulted in international awards and acclaim the world over since its debut at the 2005 Sydney International Motor Show. It even won the coveted Hot Rod magazine’s 2006 Hot Rod of the Year and was also the North American Concept Car of the Year in 2007. Efijy was built in house at Holden with the assistance of many of Holden’s key suppliers and was designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the FJ Holden. The car is a pillar-less coupe, painted in a stunning House of Kolor Soprano purple. Efijy is powered by a supercharged 6.0-litre V8, producing in excess of 600hp. It rides on air suspension and features some very-trick, electronic instrumentation. The remaining concept car on display at the event was ‘Coupe 60’ which was built as a celebration of the 60th anniversary of Holden releasing the 48-215 (FX Holden). Based on the Australian VE Commodore, Coupe 60 is both a road and race hybrid concept. It is another two-door pillarless machine, with striking lines, including lengthened and re-sculptured doors and a raked windscreen.   Supporting the race car theme is carbon spoilers, front and rear diffusers, along with huge 21-inch centre-lock wheels outfitted with smooth racing slicks. Under the hood is an E85-friendly, 6.0 litre LS2 V8. It even has a side exit exhaust and monstrous Brembo brakes if you were in any doubt as to its credentials. Sadly we will not see any new Australian based concept cars from Holden or Ford in the future, however Australian engineering and ingenuity is alive and well and Australian’s should be proud of what has been accomplished over the years by both Holden and Ford on the concept car front.  

The FE-HR Owners Club ACT INC. Cooler With Eskies

The FE-HR Owners Club ACT INC. have once again redeemed their Rare Spares Loyalty Club points and been rewarded with two Eskies, sure to come in handy in the summer months and for future club activities.   The FE-HR Holden Owners Club ACT was originally created to cater for Holden enthusiasts that prefer the 1956-67 models. Membership is now open to anyone that has an interest in Holden’s. The club hosts monthly club member activities and participates in local and interstate runs and displays with many of the Holden Car Clubs of Australia. Pist ‘n’ Broke is the name of the club’s regular magazine offered to members and over 250 issues have been produced since the club formed in 1987.   Rewards are what you get by being a part of the Rare Spares Loyalty Club! Registered car clubs receive exclusive discounts and points which can be redeemed for great rewards like marquees, flags and other promotional items, as well as product information specific to the vehicle being represented.   If you are a member of a car club or you would like your car club to be a part of the Rare Spares Loyalty Club, please visit    

Rare Spares Bayswater Car Club Project Partner Night

Rare Spares recently held a fun Car Club Project Partner night at Rare Spares Bayswater on Wednesday May 21st. The Exclusive V.I.P night was setup for the EH Holden Car Club of Victoria, the Early Holden Car Club of Victoria and the HD- HR Holden Club of Victoria.  A great turn out by these clubs ensured an enjoyable night for all. Rare Spares Bayswater was offering 20% off store wide during the evening and provided pizza and soft drink for the clubs.  Not only this but two $100 Rare Spares vouchers were given away to 2 lucky attendees. Associate Director Joe Xuereb spoke to the crowd about Rare Spares and the aftermarket parts world and Rare Spares staff were on hand to answer questions club members had during the evening. Rare Spares regularly runs special events for loyal customers and car clubs alike, so to find out more, sign up to the Rare Owners Club and if you are in a car club, register today here.