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Book review: Hey Charger

29 December, 2016


By Gavin Farmer and Gary Bridger
ISBN 978-0-9805229-3-8
Available direct from co-author Gary Bridger
Price $90 plus post and packing.
Contact Gary — email [email protected] or phone 021 718 841

When the first edition of Hey Charger was released, in 2004, it received universal acclaim from those involved in developing the car, as well as devoted enthusiasts and the media. Hey Charger featured in the editorial of the April 2004 issue of New Zealand Classic Car, and was also awarded book of the month. Mark Webster wrote, “With its meticulous research, cogent interviews, detailed appendices and references, rare models, many colour plates and a wealth of detail, no Chrysler Charger or NZ racing fan should miss this one — it’s the last word”. Australian Classic Car magazine wrote, “A landmark publication about an important Australian vehicle, and definitely our book of the month”. Today, many Chrysler enthusiasts simply refer to Hey Charger as ‘the bible’, because of its historical and technical accuracy. 

Now Gary and Gavin Farmer have again joined forces to produce a completely revised and updated second edition of Hey Charger, in a hardcover full-colour format. This time, Hey Charger has been published in Australia by Gavin Farmer’s publishing company, Ilinga Books. The text has been thoroughly updated, and many new colour and black-and-white photos have been added. All the technical specs have been rigorously proofed by Charger gurus in Australia and New Zealand, and amended accordingly. The error count in the original edition was found to be very low, and only minor corrections were needed. 

Significant changes to the first edition include the complete rewrite of the chapter on the 340 V8 Chargers, as a result of newly discovered evidence on this often-controversial subject. There are also family-approved tributes to Australian motor-racing legend Leo Geoghegan and New Zealand’s Sir John Todd, who both passed away in 2015.

To quote the US’s Mopar Collectors Guide magazine, November 2004, “If you like Australian Chargers, get this book. If you don’t, your life will be filled with misery and woe until you do!”

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.

Think of it as a four-door Cooper

New Zealand Mini Owners Club coordinator Josh Kelly of Dunedin loves his Minis. It’s a family affair. Julie and Mike, Josh’s mum and dad, are just as keen, and they can usually all be found taking part in the club’s annual ‘Goodbye, Pork Pie’ charity run from the North of the country to the South.
But lately Josh’s young head has been turned by some other revolutionary BMC cars. He has picked up a couple of Austin and Morris 1100 and 1300s, which he started to restore — that was until an opportunity arose to buy a rare example stored in a shed.