Front and left hand side view. The 1960s saw a boom in popularity of touring car racing in Australia. The Australian Touring Car Championship became contested over several races rather than a single event, and races like the Bathurst 1000 – on a six-kilometre track at Mount Panorama – featured prominently on the national calendar and were followed by millions of Australians.
Local racing teams entered the Championship with a variety of cars built locally and overseas, while the big local manufacturers themselves introduced limited-production-run models to meet the event’s regulations and compete in the Championship. Chrysler Australia introduced a muscle car version of its popular VH Valiant series in 1971, the E38 Charger. The Charger signalled the beginning of Chrysler’s participation in Australian production car racing. Based on the US Chrysler A-body platform, the E38 is an ‘up-spec’ version of the VH Valiant, with wider fenders and rear axle and greatly improved steering. The vehicle was very popular in Australia and New Zealand and won Australian Wheels Car of the Year in 1971.
Chrysler recruited Australian race driver Leo Geoghegan to drive the Charger in the 1971 Australian Touring Car Championship. Leo and his older brother Ian were two of the most successful local drivers at the time, and were both involved in testing Chrysler vehicles at the Mallala Circuit in South Australia. Leo was the principal driver of this Charger, which finished second at the 1971 Baturst 1000 and crashed at the Phillip Island race that same year. The car has since been rebuilt, but has never raced since.
Engine: Chrysler Hemi-6 Engine
Capacity: 4343 cc
Power: 280 hp
Weight: 1375 kg