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1983 Holden StatesmanReview

The Beast —

One day, when I was about 10 years old, Dad went out one night in our old Toyota Corona (a certified P. O. S.) and came back in the dark with a big, burbling V8. We kids didn’t have a clue what was going on – but dad had bought a limo! We couldn’t see much at night, but the next day – wow! What a car! It was so hot it was called ‘Devil’ (mum later burst our bubble by telling us De Ville didn’t mean satan). I was big, flash, and fast! It was probably the best car in our town (a small town!) and to us kids, the world. It became a matter of pride to defend mum’s car. As we grew up, we learnt to drive in it. Time and several hundred-thousand km’s took its toll on the old gal, and she was no longer the gleaming beauty she had been. The passing years had brought out newer models also, and suddenly our old car was a “classic”, not “flash”. Rust grew in under the welter of chrome trim, the paint faded, and smoke started coming out the exhaust. The steering became noisy, the front-end started to knock, and the transmission started to whine. Worse than all that, however, was that leaded fuel was being phased out and the Statesman didn’t like unleaded. Power, once a defining characteristic, began to disappear at an alarming rate – nearly as quickly as the fuel through the engine. Geelong to Melbourne return was costing nearly $50. Yet, with pieces hanging off her, other parts barely held on by perished rubber, and the engine consuming nearly as much water and oil as petrol, she continued on. If the rego hadn’t run out and other cars arrived on the seen, she’d still be going now. She still resides in my back yard, but only as a static monument to the immense strength of these old classics. I’m sure, if I put some fuel in her throat and hooked up a battery, she would start though…

Pros: Tough, reliable, dependable, comfy, distinguished.

Cons: They didn't make enough of them!

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