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Australian Muscle Car Magazine

We tracked down ‘Mr Hey Charger’

October 27th, 2011 by Luke | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized
Things you will learn by reading the November/December 2011 edition of Australian Muscle Car, which celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Chrysler Charger:

Who came up with the ‘Hey Charger’ catchphrase. This was part of Australia’s most famous automotive advertising campaign. We’ve tracked down the actual ad guru who had the light bulb moment, to learn what inspired ‘Hey Charger’ and what he thinks about it today. We give him a two-fingered salute – in the nicest possible way. And no, he doesn’t have a pony-tail.

What the Charger could have looked like. AMC #58 contains previously unpublished photos which show rejected designs, which look suspiciously like the Falcon hardtops of the same era. There’s a very good reason for this, as you will discover when AMC reveals how the Charger was conceived.

How the Charger was tested, using a ‘cut and shut’ Valiant ute. Leo Geoghegan recalls his many tests at South Australia’s Mallala circuit pounding around in an old stump ute.

Which racing Charger from Bathurst 1971 is still on track. Appropriately, it’s car #38. It’s had a colourful life since, which AMC documents.

Beyond the Charger, AMC provides 18 pages of coverage of the Muscle Car Masters, including details on the GMP&A Torana A9X and HDT Commodore which broke cover at this year’s Eastern Creek retro event.

There are also some stunning shots of the old Brickies illegal drag racing strip at Homebush Bay, just a stone’s throw from today’s V8 Supercar street race around Sydney Olympic Park. Some of the stories, from the 1960s and ‘70s, are incredible.

Drag racing fans will enjoy the Maurice Fabietti profile. Fabietti drives a new-shape Monaro with backing from Holden’s parts division. Fabietti’s squad represents the Holden’s biggest motorsport sponsorship outside V8 Supercars.

Speaking of things Holden, we’ve also tracked down Mark Skaife’s first racecar. The good news is that it’s safe and well – and used for racing to this day.

AMC’s news section is packed with stories from the Blue Oval camp, including one on the future of the XR8.

Check out the November/December edition of AMC to learn more. Available from all good newsagencies.

Motor racing reality check

October 18th, 2011 by Luke | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

Dan Wheldon’s fatal accident in the IndyCar Series finale in Las Vegas has left the wider motorsport community in shock.

As V8 Supercar driver James Courtney, who Wheldon was set to join at the Gold Coast 600, explained, it was a reality check for race drivers everywhere.

Several thoughts keep popping back into my head in the aftermath of the Indy 500 winner’s passing. Firstly, that Wheldon’s two young boys won’t ever get to know their Dad.

If that’s not sad enough, neither of the Englishman’s lads is old enough now to remember their Dad in the future.

Secondly, car racing is just that – car racing. In happier times, not too many of the participants or crews look to be having fun, despite it being a form of entertainment. I’m probably guilty of it myself.

Head to a V8 Supercar round and you would think most people there had dropped their lolly bags. Guys, it’s only car racing; a sporting pursuit that, despite being many people’s passion, means little in the grand scheme of things.

The end of the Bathurst 1000 reminded me of why I love the sport. Two great drivers, Garth Tander and Craig Lowndes, going at it hammer and tongs after seven hours in a magical setting. Great stuff.

Earlier on race day, a driver in the Touring Car Masters escaped a wreck that could have left him seriously injured. Or worse. Especially if his 1968 Mustang had not been converted to right-hand drive somewhere along the line. Thankfully.

Next stop Surfers Paradise. A black cloud will hang over it given the tragedy in Las Vegas, yet it’s also possible the reality check will have everyone in the right frame of mind. We love it, but it’s only car racing.

Wheldon’s death was not just a reality check for drivers, but for the whole racing community.

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