Problem is, the Gemini was well known and loved in Aus for its RWD chassis, handling and modification ability. Ever since the first FWD gemini was released in Aus, the name went downhill.
I'm shaking my head. I've always found the Australian people to be more honest and upstanding than anyone else. But the Australian motoring press would have instigated a rebellion and secession from the planet if they had been around in 1770 and we would be remembering Australian independence before US independence...
The JT150/190 (the FWD Gemini that ruined the Gemini name in Australia) chassis has serious limitations. The solid beam rear axle means no adjustment to the rear alignment, and it handles like an a-typical front wheel drive car.
The JT151/191 as is Elky's import model, has a much more sophisticated independent rear suspension that handles more like a RWD car.
But, with hard work, the JT150/190 can be a very potent race car that causes serious ulcers for owners and drivers of much more expensive cars.
What I have often referred to as "the crap box FWD" is a JT190 hatchback, converted over to JT191F engine, engine wiring harness, and ECU (Elky's engine in a Geo Spectrum). It is a stock rebuild with aftermarket parts, as in "when you do not care enough to send the very best". It is supposed to be 130 HP, but this is the spare engine, not built even for the best stock output.
The car will match the lap time on an autocross course of a 2002 BMW M3.
The competition in my racing class is a Lotus Elise Supercharged. Last year, he was second place in points. That's a $55,000 car, against a $500 car.
July 26, I had the Lotus Elise Supercharged dead to rights, but my ignition system conked out (bad solder connection/plug crimp connection in the transplanted harness).
Next Sunday, we will see who wins.
By the August 30 race, my redesigned front suspension should be done and things should be seriously tilted in my favor.
I'll be the first to admit that I am a lousy driver, but I am apparently a very good designer. And I am out slicing and dicing with what is considered to be the best handling track day car on the market at this time, in a crap box economy car. He has 12.5% more engine displacement, 88 more HP, 20 years of development, and the finest English suspension designers in the business. And I am continually slapping him in the face with a $500 crap box.
There is a lot of potential in the JT150/190, that the Australian press never saw, and a lot more in the JT151/191 that they never had a chance to see.