By: Gavin Farmer
When you say the word "Chrysler" many people think only of Valiant—it's kind of like a word association thing. But Chrysler Australia was much more than a manufacturer of Valiants. From the late 50s there was the brief flirtation with Simca and then several years later a similar flirtation with the Rootes Group. Neither adventure was really a success.
Chrysler was well known and respected for its wide range of Fargo and Dodge trucks that were very popular through the 50s and 60s in particular only to fade from the scene by the late 70s and be replaced by trucks bearing the Mitsubishi badge.
The company was also heavily involved in the manufacture and sales of AirTemp air conditioning units as well as industrial engines based on the old side-valve six and then the slant six. These were used in all kinds of boats, forklifts and agricultural machinery. Chrysler Australia Limited was a diverse business that in its heyday employed over 5000 Australians and was a very profitable company.
The book "Great ideas in motion" is the most definitive history of Chrysler in Australia between the years 1946 to 1981 by noted Australian author Gavin Farmer. This is a must have for any Australian Chrysler enthusiast.
About the Author
Gavin Farmer has become one of Australia's leading motoring historians having written several books and many articles that have been published internationally. His work has appeared in such prestigious publications as Automobile Quarterly, Collectible Automobile, Sports Car International and Simmer in America, The Automobile and Thoroughbred and Classic Cars in England and Autokatalog in Germany.
His book titles include the best-selling Hey Charger: The Sensational Chrysler Valiant Chargers, Leyland P76: Anything but Average, Porsche Boxsrer: A History, Aerodynamic Tatra Automobiles, lickford: The Joy of Driving, and Subaru WRX Imprezive. After a career in teaching Gavin decided to move into the automobile industry where worked in the manufacturing, retail and wholesale sides of the business. With the arrival of two sons he moved into educational publishing as State Manager for a multimedia publisher; success led to international travel and he has travelled extensivelly ever since.
From there he was appointed State Manager for a company that marketed computerised dispensary systems to pharmacies; he was so successful that the majority of chemist shops in South Australia were using his system.
All the while Gavin was increasing his knowledge of the world's automobile industry and the new technologies that were being introduced. A colleague once referred to him as a "barefoot engineer!"
A man who is passionate about motor cars and the learning of its history, Gavin lives with his wife on a small property in the Adelaide hills where he enjoys the occasional drive in his Subaru ff-1 and has begun restoring his 1949 Jowett Javelin Deluxe saloon.