Close this search box.

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!”

Taipan – surpassing interest

“It’s merely a passing interest,” insists Selby — despite owning three variants of the classic VW Beetle, including an unusual VW van that was sold as a body kit for a Subaru. In his defence he points to a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a car that he converted to right-hand drive. However, on the VW side of the ledger, since he opened Allison Autos in Whanganui 27 years ago, Selby has built 15 VW-powered Formula First cars, followed by a beach buggy, restored a derelict Karmann Ghia, and hot-rodded a common or garden Beetle into something that has to be seen to be believed. As speed is not something generally associated with classic VWs, though, Selby is still waiting for this particular modification to catch on amongst the hot rod faithful.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.