1 Apr 1987
Too little too late, Holden finally realised a big 2.0-litre engine is what its fading Camira needed against fast-improving rivals from Toyota, Ford, Mazda and Nissan.
The 1987 JE model is considered the best, mostly because of its 1998cc 85kW/176Nm motor included in all models.
There were steering, suspension and refinement modifications, as well as trim changes and a small grille between the swoopy headlights, while the rare SLi 2000 was another attempt at a sportier Camira.
Most of the bugs had been ironed out by now as well, but buyers queued for the impressive second-generation Toyota Camry.
The larger Magna had also rendered the Camira as too compact, and buyers didn’t trust this Holden’s reliability anyway.
The company finally gave up manufacturing medium sized cars as part of its ill-fated tie-up with Toyota, but the Camry-cloned JK Apollo that replaced the JE Camira sold abysmally.
Ironically it wasn’t until the arrival of the Camira’s European successor, the 1997 JR Vectra, that Holden finally found success in this segment again.
29,129 JE Camiras were produced when production ceased.
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