Chryslers On The Murray 2023

Chryslers On The Murray returned to Albury-Wodonga in March, celebrating the 30th running of Australia's largest Mopar show

Photographers: Luke Hunter

Since its humble beginnings back in 1992, Chryslers on the Murray has grown into the largest Chrysler show in the southern hemisphere. Featuring all things Chrysler and AMC, the event attracts the Mopar faithful from all over the country, as well as international visitors from as far away as the USA and Canada.

This year’s event marked the 30th anniversary of the shindig (delayed a couple of years due to COVID) and attracted a record 953 entrants to the NSW/Victorian border towns of Albury and Wodonga. The vibe around the twin towns was awesome, with cruising aplenty and motels jammed with Chrysler fanatics.

The event kicked off with a bang with a track day at the Motorsports Training Australia facility at Barnawartha. Once vehicle scrutineering was done, the circuit was opened up for some cruising, followed by a go-to-whoa and then timed sprints around the 1.6km track. The sprints are always hotly contested, with this year’s winner being Mick Noller in his Dodge Viper, which ran the only lap under one minute with a time of 58.95 seconds. Simon Trewella’s turbo Barra-powered VE Valiant ute took second place with a 1:01.7 lap time. The go-to-whoa was won by Shane Withers in a CJ Chrysler by Chrysler.

Once things were done and dusted out at the track, the throng headed into town to Gateway Lakes, a picturesque spot adjacent to the Murray River, for entrant check-ins and the unveiling of some of the best freshly restored, ultra-rare or newly built modified cars debuting at the event.

Saturday was the first of the two days of the show ’n’ shine at Gateway Lakes. Once parked up, entrants were able to walk the rows of cars before heading over to check out the swap meet and traders.

At midday, we cruised out to the Tabletop Hotel (formerly the Ettamogah Pub) for lunch and the photoshoot for AP5, AP6 and VC models that were the spotlight vehicles for this year’s event. Sunday was the hottest day of the year for Albury, reaching nearly 40°C, but that didn’t deter spectators from flocking through the gates as the show ’n’ shine and swap meet continued, with trophy presentations at 2pm wrapping up the event.

While COTM is the biggest Chrysler show in the country, it is actually put on by the smallest Mopar club in the land, the Albury-Wodonga Chrysler Club. Due to its size, the club relies on 50 local CFA members who volunteer their time to keep things running smoothly. Their efforts were repaid with almost $15,000 raised from spectator entry fees being donated to the local CFA brigades.

Planning for COTM 31 is underway and will be held on 15-17 March 2024, with VE, VF and VG Valiants the spotlight models. Officials will cap entrant numbers at 1000 for next year, so pre-entry is a must. Keep your eyes on for more.


1. Sandra Laudan cruised over from Creswick in her 1965 Valiant AP6 Wayfarer ute and took out second place in the Best AP6 Valiant class. “I’m the second owner. It has never had rust, but it has had a closed-door respray and the seat retrimmed at some stage,” Sandra said. “It is a rare automatic transmission model; the utes are nearly all manuals”

2. Eric Kostiuk’s CJ Chrysler By Chrysler is a tough Tassie car powered by an 8/71-blown, 414ci small- block, tamed with Holley Sniper EFI. “It is my first go with EFI,” Eric said. “I did the basic tune, then had it dynoed, and it made around 600rwhp”

3. Joel Kostiuk’s 1973 VJ Valiant Ranger was also over from Tassie and sounded amazing! The 410ci small-block is topped by a Mopar M1 tunnel ram, twin 750cfm AED carbs and velocity stacks for just the right look. “We’ve been to the event before, but this is our first time with our cars,” said Joel. “The cruising has been great and the track day was excellent”

4. Mick Noller’s 2008 Dodge Viper was the only car to run a lap of the Barnawartha track in under one minute, and it also took home the trophy for Best Late Model come show time

5. Simon Trewella’s Barra-powered, budget-built VE Valiant utility took out second place in the lap sprint with a 1:01.7 time

6. Dave Greene’s tough Dodge Dart has undergone another transformation, this time in full Mooneyes regalia with the approval of Moon bossman Shige Suganuma

7. Faye Watts’s 360-powered wagon is a 1977 CL with a VH front, the product of a four-year rebuild. It took home Best Station Wagon and was the second highest-scoring car at the show! Faye’s husband Glenn gave the car a full nut-and-bolt rebuild, and 2019 Red CentreNATS Grand Champion Brent Murray took care of the immaculate black paintjob

8. Craig Marsland’s VH Charger is a genuine E38 that was upgraded to E49 specs by its previous owner, Doug Jack. It was raced in Group C before copping a V8 swap for other classes. Doug retired the car from racing in 1985 and then sold it off. Craig found it in the 1990s as a rolling shell and did a full restoration back to E49 Group C race specs

9. Doug Jack was a long way from his hometown of Bindoon in WA with his V8 VH Charger circuit racer. “It’s a period-styled race car and runs in the Regularity class,” Doug said. “It’s got a NASCAR block with quad Webers and an ICE ignition system. It makes 443rwhp and runs a 727 auto, so it’s pretty easy to drive”

10. One of the coolest cars at COTM this year was Albury local Simon Moir’s 1953 Hudson Hornet. “The car was originally purchased in New York, and later it ended up in an Iowa car museum,” he said. “It was imported five years ago and runs its original ‘Twin H’ engine with a four-speed auto. It’s an amazing car to drive – so smooth”

11. Ray Elia’s VH Valiant sedan, CRNKY1, was unveiled on the Friday at COTM and runs a 10/71-blown big-block stroked to 543ci. “It was originally a 770 model with white paint and a black vinyl roof,” Ray explained. “My dad bought it new, and it’s been in the family ever since. I even drove it when I was on my L- and P-plates.” Ray said the Val will be kept in the family and eventually passed on to his daughter Olivia (pictured)

12. The Chrysler of the Show award went to Ken Muston’s fully restored 1934 Chrysler CB convertible. “There are only eight left in the world, and this is the only right-hand-drive one ever built,” Ken said. “My brother found it in pieces back in 1980; eventually I took over and have spent the past 10 years on it”

13. Jason Behringer’s 1971 Hemi ’Cuda convertible was one of the Friday-evening unveilings, and it didn’t disappoint when the covers were pulled off. The ultra-rare Plymouth is a work of art and was a crowd favourite, taking out Best Roadster/Convertible

14. Here’s Mick Cox’s Gen III Hemi-powered AP5 wagon (SM, Apr ’20) strutting its stuff around the Motorsports Training Australia circuit