Rodney Boyle of Queensland, Australia had been driving his 1984 Holden Gemini diesel for 22 years, during which he has amassed a staggering 1.4 million kilometers (869,000+ miles) on the odometer. In addition to being reliable -- the car saw very few major repairs in its lifetime of service -- the old Gemini averaged around 54 miles per gallon for him.
Boyle had no intention of retiring his old car anytime soon, but when he saw that Holden was releasing a diesel version of the Astra, he went to his local dealership and reserved one. Recently, he took delivery of the car, a white Astra CDTi, which he says is getting a respectable 44 mpg so far.
And what of the Gemini? It's being retired, but it won't leave Boyle's possession. After 22 years, there's a history and a bond there that the Aussie won't simply toss aside. Besides, a good reliable car is something you never want to willingly get rid of, even if it's 22 years old.
(Release after the jump)
Queenslander Waits 1.4 Million Kilometres For New Holden Diesel
The launch of Holden's new Astra turbo diesel cars lured a Queenslander out of the woodwork to upgrade his 22-year-old Holden Gemini diesel boasting a staggering 1.4 million kilometre life.
But Rodney Boyle, now the proud owner of a new Astra CDTi, can't part with his beloved 1984 TG Gemini, the last example of a Holden passenger diesel program - instead he's going to put it in his shed.
Living in Brisbane, Rodney commuted to his parent's farm in Proston, a 700km round trip, once to twice a week for several years, so the kilometres quickly started to add up.
Once the family's farm was sold, Rodney began his own company, First Choice Logistics, and business meant he often had to travel so he continued to put the Gemini through its paces. After 22 years Rodney says it's been the most reliable car he's ever known.
"I've never really had to spend a cent on it. The only repairs it has ever needed was a water pump, a new clutch, three radiators and a few timing belts. Not bad for a car that has driven over 1.4 million kilometres," he said.
But when Rodney learned Holden were launching the new Astra Diesel, he decided it was time to upgrade. He placed his order with Beecham Holden in Caboolture before cars had arrived in Queensland to ensure he secured the first Astra CDTi to reach the dealership.
"The Astra Diesel is fantastic and I must admit it sure has come on leaps and bounds since my Gemini, and with 110 kilowatts it doesn't half go!" he said.
Rodney says the appeal of the Gemini and Astra is not just based on how reliable they are - he has also been benefiting from outstanding fuel economy.
"The Gemini used to get about 56 miles to a gallon and now in the Astra I'm averaging about 5.3 litres per 100 kilometres on the route I take. You've got to be happy with that," he said.
As for his trusted 1984 TG Gemini, Rodney has decided it has earned a rest. He plans to de-register the car and retire it to his garage where it will stay.
"I couldn't get rid of it, there are far too many memories so we are going to keep it for its sentimental value," he said.
The new Astra CDTi boasts a 1.9 litre engine, delivers outstanding performance and fuel economy in both manual and automatic transmissions and Rodney already has plans for it to outlast his faithful Gemini.