RE­STRICTED TO OPEN-MINDED READ­ERS ONLY.

Strong thought-pro­vok­ing con­tent, myths de­bunked, facts only, no nu­dity. Writ­ten by Gavin Farmer.

Australian Muscle Car - - R-Rated -

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

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