THE streets of Albury-Wodonga burst into life over the weekend of 13- 15 March with a Mopar classics and Hemi muscle invasion that reset the record books for the 28th running of Chryslers on the Murray.
Hosted by the Albury Wodonga Chrysler Club, the three-day shindig had track events, street cruising and a massive show ’n’ shine that drew 931 entrants from all over the country for what was the largest ever gathering of Chryslers in the southern hemisphere.
Ari Perdikoyiannis’s immaculate 604ci KB Hemi-powered 1973 CH Chrysler by Chrysler Hardtop took out top honours with ‘Chrysler of the Show’. “This was the first show I’d entered and I’m stoked with the result,” Ari told SM. “I bought it 20 years ago for $1500 and had it sitting in the shed ever since. I’ve had other Chryslers that have come and gone but I held onto this one with the plan of building it up one day. It’s fully engineered and legally street registered.” Jeff from Metal Magic Street & Strip Fabrications built the car, doing all the fabrication work, the tubs, and the four-link rear end. Lou from GM Crash Repairs did all the body and paint, before Ari and his brother pieced everything together. Tim Banning from For Hemis Only Inc. in Canada built the engine – a 604ci full-alloy KB Hemi with For Hemis Only brand CNC-machined Stage 5 heads.
Chryslers on the Murray 2020 played host to the largest gathering of AMC/ Rambler vehicles in Australia, with over 70 rolling up!
Michael Brown from Sydney had his Pro Street 1972 Rambler Hornet on display among the AMC/Rambler line-up. Powered by a 454ci LSX topped with a 14/71 blower pushing 22lb of boost, the combo is making 1580hp at the tyres. Backing the LSX is a two-speed Turbo 400 by Al’s Race Glides. Painted in PPG Candy Wine Flamboyance, the Hornet was a standout and when it came to the judging was voted one of the top five American cars for the weekend.
COTM 2020 kicked into action with Friday’s track day at the DECA Logic Centre circuit at Barnawartha. Glenn Walker from Currency Creek in South Australia had a ball putting his twin-turbo 440ci wedge-powered 1972 Charger 770 through its paces out on the track. Glenn’s home-built Charger is an old-school true street car that sees plenty of road use, and he drove it over from SA to COTM. “I’ve owned it for just over 20 years,” Glenn said. “It’s a cruiser and built for a bit of fun; I’ve upset a few of the HSV boys out on the streets back home”. The 440ci wedge is fed 10lb of boost through a pair of 35/82 Chinese turbos and runs FiTech throttlebody injection and an MSD ignition system. “I built the motor and turbo set-up 12 years ago,” said Glenn. “Back then it had a pair of smaller turbos on it”. The motor is backed by a 727 Torqueflite transmission with a 3000rpm stall and the rear end is a 31-spline Strange Pro nine-inch with 3.5 gears.
The spotlight was on US Muscle cars at COTM 2020, with a cruise to the Gerogery Hotel on Saturday for a photoshoot. Cruising in style, Mark Frater’s 69½ A12 Super Bee was one of the coolest cars to hit the road for the run to Gerogery.
This 1964 New Yorker Wagon was put on display by local engine builder Charles Le Mesurier from Motoreco in Wodonga, who has just finished reconditioning the engine for the wagon’s owner Ben Triglone. “It’s a 413ci wedge motor but it’s now 436ci,” Charles explained. “The motor has a Lunati camshaft and forged pistons and has only done about 130 kays since we recently finished completely rebuilding it.”
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Rob Groeschel built his 1968 Plymouth Satellite up as a Road Runner tribute. Under the bonnet, the big-block Hemi has been built to look stock, but it’s far from it. “The motor is about two weeks old and is based on a World Industries block,” said Rob. “It’s stroked out to 540 cubes and runs Edelbrock alloy heads.” The Hemi is backed by a 727 Torqueflite with a stage two shift kit and a TCE 3200-stall converter. “I’ve owned the Plymouth since 2004 and it was painted back in 2007 with all the bodywork and paint done by SA Chassis Service Pty Ltd,” Rob said. “The colour is a custom mix based on Mopar Go Green with a gold pearl mixed through it.”
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The 1973 Plymouth Barracuda is owned by Sean McKay and runs a tunnel-rammed 440ci wedge punched out to 542ci with Edelbrock Performer alloy heads. The trans is a 727 Torqueflite and the rear end is a four-linked Dana 60 sure-grip with 4.88 gears running 35-spline Strange axles. Sean imported the Barracuda from the States basically as-is 18 months ago. “It’s going to get some mods done to the rear end and will be registered and put on the road,” he said.
Sol and Maureen Millen made the long trek down from Dysart, Queensland to put their newly finished stroked small-block Chrysler-powered 1974 VJ Hardtop on display. “We bought the car in 2016 and have rebuilt it from scratch,” Sue said. “We sent it out to have the bodywork, paint and interior done and Sol built the motor. It’s only been back on the road for a couple of weeks. We’ve flown down to this event a couple of times in previous years and figured we’d bring the car down once we got it finished. We took three days to trailer it down from home, taking it easy and stopping off along the way – we made a bit of a holiday out of the trip.”
With 913 entrants, the show ’n’ shine was a Chrysler lovers’ dream come true, with row upon row of cars lining the Gateway Lakes arena. With 2021 being the 50th anniversary of the Aussie Valiant Charger, next year is set to be even bigger, with over 1000 cars expected to enter. It’ll be a show not to be missed if you’re a Valiant fan!
For the full list of trophy winners go to the COTM website.