Mopar Charger Aussie Pro Stocker! There haven’t been that many attempts to make for a fast Chrysler product in Australian sedan drag racing over the past 50 years. Ford and Chevy (Holden) products seeming to dominate the field.
One of the few serious attempts was that of the Sydney-based Bob Reischl and Bill Gilmore team in the late 1970s.
We met Reischl as the driver of the Joe Fitzpatrick-owned 1964 Plymouth Ramcharger in out last installment, through 1973-76. Behind the scenes, however, Reischl and old mate Bill Gilmore, who had tinkered around with a number of joint racing ventures since the late 60s, began work on a project of their own, an R/T Charger built to Pro Stock specs.
Project Charger Drag Car
That category was designed to retain a heads-up even start, when handicaps were introduced in 1974, but the regs were a bit of a moving feast for a number of years so staying on the standard was sometimes a bit tough.
The originally planned 426 Chrysler Hemi power fell through as they neared completion of the car so through contacts at Chrysler were able to obtain a 340 Mopar small block with a steel crank, which fitted neatly into the Australian Pro Stock rules.
It took a lot of hand work to get it to racing specs because there wasn’t a lot in the way of parts readily available, but the biggest problem lay with the choice of transmission. Instead of a constant mesh Lenco gearbox (which were very expensive), which all the heavy hitters were using, they went with a Chrysler manual box with HD gears but it was a constant source of troubles.
When the national record for the class was 10.58 seconds the Mopar Charger went a best of 10.87.
The team ran the car for 12 months but had decided the only way out was a Lenco and stopped racing it while they got the cash together when they received a phone call from Queenslander Ken Melvin offering to buy it.
There was a Top Fuel dragster for sale just up the road and it all seemed too easy, so the Charger went north and Reischl and Gilmore when dragster racing.