Old, superseded, antiquated yes but probably with 'low miles' by EMD/GM standards.
With proper maintenance, would these be better than some of the older T class lashups and B and S classes in heavier duties still around?
Perhaps ill-conceived in the beginning but were they lemons from the start?
As converted, the A class retained the original traction motors (upgraded) and the high speed gear ratio.
My understanding is that the V/line units still retain these motors and gearing which makes them less suitable for freight service.
The Pacific National A class were given rebuilt D78 motors with the same gear ratio as a G class.
Despite which they were allowed to deteriorate into a very poor state and were not offered to any competition.
The three "spare" As could possibly be fitted with trucks and motors from the PN units if they still exist (but of course the trucks are also usable on X and XR class.....)
But only the private BG operators would profit from any of this.
The big problem with the As from new was that they were fitted with rubber secondary springs in place of the flexicoils (which were breaking on the excellent track in Victoria at the time). This was bad because the rubber springs were designed for much heavier USA domestic locomotives and gave a very hard ride. This in turn caused the underframes to crack (or to be honest, accelerated the rate of cracking).
So this made them unpopular with crews and they needed expensive repairs just after being rebuilt.
That probably qualifies them as "Lemons" and contributed to the last 15 rebuilds being turned into additional N class.