The Chrysler Valiant Charger could easily be considered the Australian equivalent of the AMC Javelin (sold in Australia and NZ as the Rambler Javelin). Both had a small, albeit irrepressible fan base in their respective markets, and their respective manufacturers were bought out by foreign corporations within 10 years of the last of each vehicle being made.
Both cars were successful in Touring Car Racing. The Charger R/T E38 and E49 were especially high regarded with Leo Leonard behind the wheel. With his Chargers, he beat all comers at the Benson & Hedges 500, regarded by some as NZ’s Bathurst.
The Javelin, like the Charger, was highly regarded in Touring Car Racing, specifically SCCA Trans-Am Racing. With drivers such as the great Mark Donohue and other Penske Racing drivers, the Javelin was undefeatable.
All of this means that the Charger handles well, like the Javelin.
A rather obvious similarity between the two is a spartan, minimalist interior design. Both only allow the heater controls to be accessed by the driver. Both came with sports steering wheels and bucket seats as standard.
The two cars also had memorable tv ads, both starting with the word “Hey!” As in “Hey Charger!” and “Hey Javelin!” How about “Hey Copycat!”?
The final similarity is that the two cars are based on mundane platforms usually associated with family cars that came out around the same time. But the big difference is that the VH Series Valiant/Charger (1971) came out three years after the Javelin (1968), so the question of who was copying whom is pretty easy to answer. Or was it sheer coincidence?
Under the hood of this Charger is a 2bbl LA 318 V8 producing 230 HP. This is not the most desirable engine, which was the E49 Hemi Six Pack.
When it comes to Australian cars on CC, only one other Australian car has been featured on CC after being found on American soil, a 1976 Ford Falcon XC Ute.
All in all, both cars were stylish, fast, good-handling muscle cars with a wide variety of engines.