Boy Bertha was a great car. I owned my AU for about two years, and in that time I did around 50,000km. For the most part it was pretty happy motoring. I serviced it about twice since owning it and had one big repair bill, where I lost the left upper ball joint and also needed a radiator, and its first service overdue by about 20,000km. Cost me about $1000.
Performance – I used to love racing little Jap cars off the lights. I’d win 50/50, which gave my ego the boost it needed driving an AU Falcon. Fuel economy still felt like an afterthought if it was driven anywhere but the highway. I’d get 400–450km around town tank full to dry, but 600–700km on the highway.
Cabin – I still miss driving the moving couch. Huge wide seats really gave a home for the heavyset guy I was (who am I kidding, I still am). I could drive it all day and night and feel like I just took a nap. Boot space was also never an issue. I helped heaps of friends move, but broke the centre seatbelt as it was in the way when the seats were down.
Tech – I swapped the radio out for a newer one. It really felt like it completed the package for an otherwise good car. Bluetooth calls/music and a reverse camera really helped. Built-in cruise was a godsend. My friends called it the moving couch. Mine also had the electronic brakes for towing, but all I could do with it was press the button to flash my brake lights.
Price – I paid $2800 off a dealer. Nothing too high, but it wasn’t cheap for the model either. No love lost.
Ride – I used to run XR6 wheels from a BA Falcon (as pictured) so it sat a little higher, but wheels were a much needed two inches wider (and one-inch taller). But in hindsight, you’d be backwards in a heart beat if your foot resembled anything close to a metal object. Regardless of that extra inch you’ve always begged for.
I had a few little bugs with mine: badly designed plastic glove fittings that fell apart in the brake lights; two dodgy stoplight switches; gear selector clunk;
left mirror would also slowly turn out, every day; and a coil pack went and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to get to in my life.