One word comes to mind when looking at Brodie De Aguiar’s Gemini – impact! The car looks incredible in motion or standing still. The humble Gemini has never looked better, from the retina searing colour to the exquisite wheel choice, and of course, that aggressive stance. The car stands out at any event. His recent trip from Perth to the Summernats proved just that: “Everyone loved it! There wasn’t a negative comment about the car all weekend. Being a four-cylinder and pink, I expected some ribbing but it was the exact opposite – I either got a thumbs up or a smile from most people. When I parked it up, people took photos of it non-stop. It was a fantastic experience for me,” said Brodie.
Before 25-year-old Brodie had this Gemini coupe he had built himself a pretty tidy sedan: “My grey TE Gemini was my first real crack at building a car. I did the panel and paint with the help of my brother-in-law George and that came out pretty good. I built a carby-fed, turbo setup on the car which was half-decent and then there was the fully retrimmed interior featuring a big audio set up. I did most of the work at home in my spare time and it was a great introduction into the car scene. I learnt a lot from a young age with that build.”
As cool as the sedan was, Brodie came to a crossroad – either continue tinkering with the TE or look at another option. “I was always thinking of going wild with my Gemini sedan but then the coupe popped up, and being an early model two-door, it was a lot more desirable than the later model sedan, so really, it was a no brainer for me to start there instead,” says Brodie.
The 1975 TX Coupe was purchased as a rolling shell that was already painted that impressive ‘Tech-Nine Pink’. It came with a few boxes of bits and pieces and a motor that didn’t run. Over the last five years, the car has gone through a multitude of changes and upgrades. As I photographed the car, Brodie was busy telling me that he thinks the car will never really be finished: “Heading to Summernats gave me a goal to reach and I did the best I could to have the car completed to that standard, but everywhere I look there is room for improvement. I don’t think that is bad thing though, it is actually quite motivating. I won’t ever sell the car so I can’t regret any time or money I put into it.”
One of the largest changes over the years has been in the driveline department. Brodie might like the way his car looks but he was also interested in how it went too. “The car makes 356hp at the rears on 18psi with E85 fuel. Craig Dyson tuned the car and was pretty impressed with that number. For a little 1.6 litre it goes alright,” he laughed. Galloway Engines in Pinjarra had a lot to do with the motor, especially the machine work. The Isuzu G161 block was O-ringed and fitted with ARP head studs which locate the ported head with oversized valves.
On the driver’s side of the painted rocker cover is the gorgeous Taarks intake plenum that features an 85mm Plazmaman throttle body. On the other side is the high-mount, Precision 5858 ball bearing turbo bolted to the custom built steam pipe turbo manifold and stainless dump and screamer pipe from Nelg’s Ali Mods. A three-inch stainless exhaust sends the spent gases packing. Regulating boost levels is a 46mm Precision wastegate and looking after the tuning side of things is a Microtech LT-10s ECU.
Mated up to the feisty four-cylinder is a 5-speed ’box from a 2.6 Rodeo with a lightened flywheel and a Cyrene ceramic-button clutch. Phil at Final Drive Engineering waved his wand over the Borg-Warner rear-end that features 31-spline axles and a 3.9 centre. The braking system has been enhanced by Commodore callipers with slotted DBA T2 rotors front and rear.
Considerable time has been invested in getting the car down into the weeds. “Last year I decided to get serious with how I wanted the car to sit. Peter Lucas at BNT Fabrication did the wheel tubs for me and installed the Competition Engineering Magnum series 4-link set up too. I did what I could by helping with the cutting and grinding but I think I was more of a hindrance to Pete,” laughed Brodie. It doesn’t take a genius to know that the car is airbagged too.
All of the suspension work was based around one very important accessory — the wheels — and what a gorgeous set of rims they are: “I truly believe that your choice of wheels makes a car. They set the theme for the whole package so when it came to finally choose my dream wheels I took my time. I needed something original and classy so I started mulling over options I saw on European cars.” Brodie struck gold with the WatercooledIND LP1s. You would be hard-pressed to see another set on a Gemini or even in Australia for that matter. You would be right in thinking that they aren’t cheap either, but the quality speaks for itself — the wheels are seriously top-notch in design and execution. The fronts measure 18 x 8.5 inches with a +30 offset and a 1.5-inch lip with the rears coming in at 18 x 10 inches with a -22 offset and a hefty 4.5-inch lip. The front camber is pretty savage, that’s for sure, and the rear dish, well, that is plentiful. The wheels themselves are enough to make the Gemini unforgettable.
When Brodie bought the car, some of the interior was already done. The EK Civic bucket seats were fitted and trimmed and the hood lining was already installed. Brodie and his mates set about finishing off the rest themselves. The door trims were treated to the same material as the seats as was the custom console. The dash has been created from fibreglass and then painted body colour, along with the “50 buck special” wheel. Autometer gauges, a Hurst pistol grip shifter and the polished cage are also neat additions. “I haven’t really made up my mind what to do with the back of the car yet. I painted all the tin work black and left it. I don’t know whether to leave it or trim it all. If I do trim it, I will most probably clean up the boot too,” explained Brodie.
“Over the next year or so, I will just tidy up a few things here and there and make sure everything is happy under the hood. I wouldn’t mind re-tuning the car a little and then running some numbers down the quarter to see what she can do. In all honesty though, I would be happy to just drive the thing and see others enjoying my hard work.”