We bet you won't be able to pick every variant of the GM T-car...

We bet you won't be able to pick every variant of the GM T-car...

In the 1970s vehicle manufacturers cottoned onto the idea of large-scale platform-sharing to minimise development and tooling costs. Companies like General Motors had a mind-boggling number of brands (GM alone had more than 15 car brands in the '70s) under their one corporate umbrella, so it really didn't make sense to the people in charge of dollars and cents to have every brand spending the time and money to develop their own cars. 

Enter the T-car platform. 

Aussies, Indonesians, Japanese and Kiwis know this model as the Gemini, sold by both Isuzu and Holden since the mid-1970s. But did you know GM offered 39 different T-car variants in 8 different body styles, in 16 separate markets around the world?


On top of the Gemini and Piazza offerings we got in Aus, there was a dizzying number of offerings for the rest of the world. Indonesia got our Holden Gemini in 4-door sedan guise, while NZ got the Holden, Isuzu and Vauxhall variants in coupe, hatch, sedan, panel van and wagon (Vauxhall), 4-door sedan (Isuzu), and 4-door sedan and wagon (Holden).

Argentina got the GMC Chevette and Opel K-180 as 4-door sedans, while Brazil scored 3 different Chevy models: the Chevette came in 2-and 4-door sedans and 3-door hatch, the Marajo in a wagon, and the Chevy 500 as a ute. Malaysia also had Opel Geminis.


Canada scored the Chevy Chevette and Pontiac Acadian, while the USA got the Pontiac T1000, Buick Opel-Isuzu, Isuzu Impulse (nee: Piazza), Chevy Chevette, and Opel Kadett. The Chevette was also sold in Colombia and Germany had the Opel Kadett.


T-cars were available in Ecuador as the Aymesa Condor (2-door sedan, 3-door hatch, and ute), and the Chevy San Remo (4-door sedan), and Japan scored theirs under the Isuzu brand. The Japanese market had the choice of the Bellett Gemini, Gemini, and Piazza.


South Koreans could buy T-cars as the Saehan Bird (4-door sedan), Saehan Max (ute), Daewoo Maepsy (4-door sedan), and Daewoo Max (ute), while Venezuelans could get their fix in the Chevy Chevette or Chevy San Remo (wagon). In Uruguay the T-car was sold as the Grumett 250m, Chevette, and Sport.


In Pomgolia (the UK) the Bedford Chevanne was a panel van variant of the popular Vauxhall Chevette which featured a distinctive “droop-snoot” aero-inspired nose.

 While criticised by the motoring press back in the day for their driving dynamics the T-car successfuly launched GM's entrance to the "small-car" market all over the world. After decades of concentrating on large, fuel-guzzling sedans and trucks the Gemini and its siblings meant car buyers of the 1970s could "buy domestic" for their small, fuel efficient car without "having to buy Japanese" as was so unpopular back in those days. 

We just can't help wondering what Marty's TX Gemini hatch might look like with the Vauxhall droop snoot front and a twin-cam from an Isuzu model... 



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