Blown Gen III Hemi-powered CH Chrysler By Chrysler

Scott Lawrence catapulted his 1972 CH Valiant into the current century with a blown, Gen 3 Hemi powerplant

Photographers: Troy Barker

Suburban Australia in the 70s and 80s was awash with locally manufactured daily drivers. So it makes sense that as the young ’uns of that era went on to score their paper licences, they would acquire the cars they’d grown up around. Adelaide’s Scott Lawrence was one of them.

First published in the March 2023 issue of Street Machine

“I have loved muscle cars since I was a kid, but I swayed towards Chryslers,” Scott says. “I was 20 years old when I bought my first Chrysler – a V8-powered CL Sports Pack panel van.”

Over time, Scott bought and sold a few more tidy chrome-bumper rides before eventually nabbing himself this 1972 Chrysler By Chrysler in the early 2000s. “I’d wanted one for a while and would check the Trading Post each week,” he says. “When this came up, I thought, ‘Holy shit, it’s a Chrysler By Chrysler!’ I recognised the phone area code and figured it must be the CH I’d seen parked nearby. I bought it that night for $2500.”

For a then-30-year-old car, the CH wasn’t in bad nick, sporting the original interior and vinyl roof and showing only a slight bit of rust beneath the mediocre paint. However, the hefty beast was barely motivated by a tired 360ci backed by a three-speed manual. It blew a head gasket only a few months later.

“I gave it a mild rebuild and added a shortened nine-inch. It was a cruiser, although I gave it a shot of nitrous and took it to the Tailem Bend eighth-mile,” Scott laughs. “It didn’t run great times, but it was good fun.”

After seven years of cruising, Scott reckoned the sizeable sedan required a spruce-up, so he planned a basic rebuild and new paint. What eventuated, however, was a hefty project absorbing an entire decade.

Kicking off the extra additions were tubs, followed by a McDonald Brothers four-link for increased stabilisation. Then came chassis connectors for strength and engineering considerations. You can see where this is going.

Next came a massive upgrade in motivation by way of a Gen 3 Hemi conversion. The donor was a rear-ended 2016 Chrysler 300C SRT that Scott nabbed for $12,000. “It was a perfectly running car; it was just crushed in the back and a little on the front,” he explains.

Scott ripped the SRT apart, salvaging useful items and flogging off the excess. Those on-sold parts netted enough dough for forged internals, perfect for the forced induction Scott had planned.

Gtek Automotive stripped the 6.4-litre Hemi before adding the beefed-up rotating assembly and a new cam, with a shift in compression to 10.5:1 for the fresh Kenne Bell four-litre supercharger. The blown mill should be good for a whopping 900-1000hp.

When it came to the transmission, Scott decided against using the eight-speed 300C ’box: “The SRT trans is massive, and it would’ve taken 30-40 hours to get it set up, so I kept the 727, which bolted straight up to the Gen 3 Hemi – it was easy.”

This all sounds fantastic on paper, but wrangling the boxy, electronics-heavy modern mill into a 1972 engine bay was a whole new ball game. “I spent a lot of time planning the layout before dummy-fitting the engine and trans,” Scott says. “It was hard to make it all fit and keep it neat at the same time.”

While a respray may’ve been the catalyst for the project, Scott didn’t initially have a particular colour in mind. “I had trouble deciding the colour,” he admits. “I ended up picking Electro Blue, which is an original Mitsubishi colour. It has shades of purple metallic and gives off different tones in changing light conditions,” he says. As for the vinyl roof, remarkably, that’s still factory fitment.

With the paint sorted, the CH finally rolled back into Scott’s shed for final assembly and interior fit-out. “I liked the original split bench, but I also wanted a console for my floor shifter,” he says. “When I saw the SRT seats, I knew I could make them work, and I also used the back seat to match.” Quality Motor Trimming & Upholstery Services draped the lot in black Nappa leather.

The following few months saw the luxo-barge prepped for its Adelaide Auto Expo debut in November 2022. Here, Scott was stoked to accept the Best Engineered Street Machine award – a true testament to the work accomplished.

Scott now plans to get the car engineered for the road, and he’s keen for a spot of racing, too. “I’ll definitely drag race – I won’t go too hard, just have a bit of fun,” he says. “I might head out for some roll racing as well.”

Just to add to his burgeoning responsibilities, Scott is also heavily influencing the next generation – he’s bought his teenage sons a Scorpion each! Soon to be prowling Adelaide’s streets in their respective hotted-up Chryslers, Scott and his lads will be doing their part to bring the joys of the hot-car life to today’s suburban kids.


Paint:Centari Paints Electro Blue
Brand:Hemi Gen 3 6.4L
Blower:Kenne Bell 4.0L
Induction:Kenne Bell Mammoth 168mm throttlebody, Bosch 1000cc injectors
ECU:Link Thunder
Heads:Standard Gen 3 Hemi
Cam:COMP Cams Stage 3
Pistons:Modern Muscle Xtreme forged
Conrods:Modern Muscle Xtreme
Fuel pump:Aeromotive brushless
Oil pump:Stock, Milodon sump
Cooling:Custom radiator, twin Spal thermo fans
Exhaust:Custom stainless four-into-ones, custom 3in polished stainless system
Ignition:Standard SRT
Trans:TCI 727, reverse-shift, full-manual
Converter:Dominator 3200rpm
Diff:Strange, 4.11:1, Truetrac, 35-spline axles
Front:KYB shocks, standard torsion suspension
Rear:McDonald Bros four-link, QA1 shocks and springs
Brakes:Wilwood four-spot discs (f & r)
Master cylinder:Wilwood
Rims:Center Line Rev; 15×6 (f), 15×12 (r)
Rubber:Minerva 205/70R15 (f), Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/R 29×15.00R15 (r)

Everyone who worked and helped me on the build; SA Chassis Service in Lonsdale; Gtek Automotive; Dynotronics; Old Skool Fab; Parts SA; Ken’s Detailing; Horsepower Engineering Australia; Trim By Mooch; Graham at Graham West Workshops; my sons Jason and Luke