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Strong thought-provoking content, myths debunked, facts only, no nudity. Written by Gavin Farmer.
Sometimes the decisions of management can baffle logical thinking; it happens all the time in industry and is a common theme in government. Such was the case at Chrysler Australia Limited. Having successfully launched the Chrysler Valiant Charger onto the local market in August 1971, that’s where rational thinking began and ended when it came to this pivotal model. And remember, the Charger program was never meant to have happened in the first place!
Yes, they successfully ventured into racing with their E38 and E49 Charger R/T models, but that came to an end when William Balthrop arrived as the new managing director replacing Paul Moore, who, in turn, had replaced the muchrespected David Brown. Balthrop’s style of management killed off any employee enthusiasm within the company’s workforce when he insisted on his executives working on Saturday and he withdrew from factory-sponsored racing.
Balthrop spent his promotional dollars on golf tournaments instead!
From August 1971 when the Charger was released and the arrival of the facelifted VJ in April 1973, the Australian styling guys, along with American Bob Hubbach, concepted three alternatives on the Charger platform that could have been innovators in the local market place.
The first was a sketch by Hubbach drawn some time towards the latter part of 1972 that showed the front and rear of a Charger hatch that showed certain similarities to the 1952 Aston Martin DB 2/4. This sporting Aston had a sidehinged rear-door that opened out to give access to a rear load space that included a fold-down rear seat. Hubbach’s concept followed that same path. In his sketch the rear door was hinged on the left which might have been fine for the US market but would have to have been reversed for the local market.
According to Hubbach the sketch was done
Hatching Charger plans