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Valiant Charger called one of Australia’s “10 Most Important Cars”

by Bill Cawthon on

Writing in The Age, Tony Davis picks the ten cars most significant in Australian motoring history. Among these is the Valiant Charger, a muscle car built at Chrysler’s Tonsley Park plant from 1971 to 1978. The Charger was very popular and won Wheels magazine’s “Car of the Year” award in 1971. After production ended, a Valiant Charger had a cameo appearance in the 1982 movie “Mad Max 2.”

“Chrysler Australia would have faded years earlier if not for the shot in the arm that the Charger brought,” writes Davis. “Building a radical coupe on a shortened wheelbase was a leap of faith for a company with such a small market share. Yet it worked, soon becoming the best-selling model in the company’s range.”

“A salute to Australia’s 10 most important cars” is accompanied by a poll allowing readers to vote for their favorite (or favourite).

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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