The effort one must take for me to stop, stare at a car, and simply be too slack-jawed to even ask questions is enormous. That’s not bragging at all, I promise…it’s just that between dealing with these machines as a hobby my whole life, combined with the work and research I’ve performed in my duties here at BangShift, something really has to be out of this world insane for me to simply go, “….wait, what?!”
Meet that car.
What you have in front of you is a 1978 Chrysler Charger the likes of which Chrysler Australia couldn’t and wouldn’t dare to dream of. As the whole of the Australian automotive industry reeled from the “Supercar Scare”, there was no way in hell that Chrysler Australia, who by this time was busy making friends with Mitsubishi Motors, was going to dump another hot Charger onto the market. No, leave this bit to a man named Clem Smith. Smith was a racer who loved Valiants and Chryslers, and he was the owner and, some would argue, the savior of Mallala Motorsports Park in South Australia. He lived a long and vibrant life until his peaceful passing at the age of 90 earlier this year, and apparently he had a taste for some severe speed.
Case in point is this Charger. At first glance it looks like what most Aussie Chargers appear to be: a solid coupe, though this one has some racy visual bits. But this thing is more than just a huge spoiler on the back and a purposeful stance…
Mr. Smith’s wild ride started with a 340ci Chrysler mill that was stroked out to 360, mounted in a front-mid position, hooked to a rear-mounted transaxle, like a modern-day Corvette. Imagine rowing the gears as that stroker Mopar sings it’s heart out just left of your face. We bet it’s a glorious noise. Then look at the suspension: independent at all four corners. Brakes are monster discs. Everything about this car promises to do one of two things: It’ll either excite every last nerve in your body, or will make you evacuate involuntarily the first time you make a sincere hot lap in the car.
Mr. Smith knew what the hell he was doing when he built this monster. The car was originally designed to race in a class of cars called Sport Sedans. According to the listing, “…these cars are essentially a free construction utilising bodywork from a closed, series production vehicle using a steel tube ‘’space frame’’ chassis. These aerodynamics, together with 6-litre V8 powerplants can generate as much as 700hp using 5 or 6-speed transaxle rear ends. With composite body panels, flared wheel arches over wide slick tyres, front spoilers and a large rear wing generating the all important downforce, these mid-engined cars have produced some of the fastest outright racing laps seen in Australia.”
You’d be forgiven for thinking Group B class for road racing, wouldn’t you? That’s why every last coin you’ve got would be worth losing over this beast.
(Courtesy: Bring A Trailer)