Holden Piazza, the Italian Gemini


Hitting our number 7 spot for Australia’s worst cars is the Holden Piazza. Launched in Australia in 1986 at just under $35,000 the Piazza hardly took sports car market by storm probably because of its huge price tag at the time and the fact that motoring journalists at the time gave it pretty bad reviews. The Piazza was made in Japan by Holden’s Japanese cousin Isuzu, based on a 1979 showcar designed by Italian design firm Giugiaro it certainly looked the part, but unfortunately underneath was the chassis of a 1970’s Gemini stuffed with a 2 litre turbo. This dated design made the car handle terribly and anyone who wanted to drop that much cash on a sporty hatch back at that time probably opted for much better handling Celica at a similar price. Holden tried dropping the price and later varieties had reworked suspension that brought the handling up a wee bit, but not enough to acquire many more sales. The Piazza was one of Holden’s biggest flops of the time and was killed off by 1988. Pictured above is the original press photo of the Isuzu version, the Holden version was identical except for the huge Japanese mirrors on the guards, a huge TURBO decal on the top back edge of the guard, slightly different wheels and Holden badges. 

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