The wife had owned a VZ 3.6 wagon for a number of years. It was a trusty, reliable car that was cheap to run, easy to maintain and had a huge cargo capacity. Very handy.
But, she loved going off-road too. She needed a roomy car for her work, which the VZ ably filled, but wanted to go camping with her mates. In short, she lusted for an Adventra.
I remember when they first came out, back when Hannenburgers' Holden was pumping out all sorts of Commodore variants. I had an SS Crewman manual at the time, and never really considered an Adventra. So here I was in 2016, looking at an 2006 LX6 (top of the range) car with 160,000km on the clock and a smiling French owner for just $6300. Lets just say the wife was very keen and pretty much insisted that I at least take a look at it. It was a two-owner car, and much to my surprise was in immaculate condition. Originally from country WA, the French family had bought it from its original owner in order to tour the state, and were now heading home and were keen to off-load it for much cheaper than I would have thought it was worth. The only fault I could find was a leaky radiator, which they had fixed before the cash exchanged hands. Wifey was happy, and the VZ wagon went to a new family for not much less than she bought it for a few years earlier.
As an LX, it was a Calais-spec car that retailed for about $55k new. This included full leather interior, cruise control, 10-speaker, 6-stacker stereo, volts and oil pressure gauge, climate control, and seat back DVD players to name a few. A nicely appointed interior with very comfy seating for five. It also featured 17-inch alloy wheels with a full sized spare, sunroof, and also had a full sized bullbar, spotties and UHF CB as fitted by the previous owner. Not bad for $6k.
As a Holden fan I was aware of the issues with the 3.6-litre V6 - but like any engine, if its not well maintained it will surely fail. The engine had a good service history and the car drove well. Given that we got it for such a good price (they go for upwards of $10k these days), I didn't mind spending a few bucks on new tyres, struts (the rear suspension is self-levelling and required OE spec Munroe struts) and bushes. Other than that it was just regular servicing. I must say that the self-levelling suspension worked brilliantly (given how much stuff she lugged around. So... much... stuff...)
Over the next few years, the Addy lugged the wife's gear to work and back every day, travelled all over WA and took her camping out bush with her mates, with the car surprisingly handling off road conditions that one would not normally taking a Commodore onto. It would use around 12 litres per 100 kilometres around town and would drop into the low 10s on the open road. It loved the revs and could overtake easily if one used a touch of planning. She loved it, it was a part of the family and we planned to keep it for some years.
Unfortunately, in December last year she got clipped by a drink driver on her way home from her Saturday night ambo work. Luckily she wasn't hurt, but the Addy was a write off. Yes the missus had a tear in the eye. Insurance paid out $10k for the market value insured car that we bought for $6k. With no decent ones on the market at the time, we bought a Suby and it thus far has proven to be a trouble free car - as was the Addy.
MORE: Everything Car Culture
MORE: Everything Holden