Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Holden Camira was a medium-sized family car produced by Holden, the Australian subsidiary of General Motors. It was Holden's version of GM's 'J-Car' family of cars, which also included the Opel Ascona and the Chevrolet Cavalier.
The first Camira, the JB, was introduced in 1982 to replace the Torana, with a major trans-Tasman marketing campaign. A wagon version was introduced the following year, and its bodywork was exported to Vauxhall in the UK for the Cavalier estate. Some Camiras were also exported to right hand drive markets in Southeast Asia, such as Indonesia and Singapore. The Camira was Wheels magazine's Car of the Year for 1982. While superior to most other cars of the day in terms of handling and ride, the 1.6L 'Camtech' engine was somewhat underpowered and the Camira suffered from a litany of quality control issues which included smoking engines in early models, substandard paint and overheating problems in air-conditioned cars. This tarnished the name of the Camira from the start.
The second version, the JD, released in 1984, featured a more aerodynamic front end without a conventional grille. In New Zealand, however, the second generation Camira, known as the JJ Camira, was a rebadged version of another 'J-Car', the Isuzu Aska from Japan. This was because the JB Camira had fared badly in New Zealand, although the wagon version from Australia was retained and assembled locally.
The last model, the JE, was introduced in 1987, featuring a high performance version of the sedan, memorably only available in red. With the JE model, Holden finally sorted most of the Camira's problems, and matched a strong 2.0L engine with the Camira chassis. The engine also saw service in the Nissan Pulsar and was produced for years after Camira production ceased for export markets. However limited numbers were sold due to the weight of bad press received by earlier models.
With the 1989 model year, Holden replaced the Camira with the Apollo, a rebadged Toyota Camry. This was a result of the Button Plan introduced by the Australian government which encouraged a reduction in the number of Australian car-makers and models.
Holden Commodore Four
Holden Apollo (Australia)
Opel Vectra A (New Zealand)
- Camira Lover's Website: Camira
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