Aussie style Sweptsides!

Have you ever seen one of these? I'll bet you haven't! They are called Chrysler Wayfarer. Magazines in this country have failed to show anything about them. I'd like to have one of these! Here is some info:

"These are very much in the same style as your Sweptside machine except the cab and bed are unit body construction (although still on a full chassis). These were made here in Adelaide by Chrysler Australia using various bits from the parts bin, Plymouth P25 Chassis, locally pressed front sheet metal, P25 Doors, Desoto styled fins (Plymouth on the earlier model), and either a flathead six 'Kew' motor or Poly 313 imported from Canada. They made about three hundred of the early model, and 700 of the AP3 model that I have between 1958 and 1963. They were a popular farm ute in their day, but few survive today............. Also for your reference there were only two models made, the AP2 which was produced from 1958 to 1960, and the AP3 which ran from 1960 to 1963. The AP2 has the Plymouth style fins, and a heavily chromed Plymouth styled front. AP2's came with either the flathead six 'Kew' motor, or with the 313 Poly and Powerflite two speed pushbutton auto. The AP3 was identifiable by it's quad stacked front headlights and Desoto styled fins and tail lights. Popular opinion seems to indicate that very few if any AP3 V8's were produced, AP3 sedans ran the same 313 Poly but with the 3 speed Torqueflite auto once again with pushbutton control. Apparently the last batch of V8 Royal sedans built in '62 ran 318 Poly's as fitted to the locally assembled Dodge Pheonix. The vast majority of AP3 Wayfarers however had the 6 cyl Kew motor with 3 speed column shift manual. In my last email I suggested these cars were on a P25 Plymouth chassis.....this is only partially true, safer to say that they were based on a P25 Chassis, local mods were made, not the least of which was to change the crossmembers and engine mounts to accomodate the Poly head V8 and auto. Also the wheelbase was stretched to 115" ala '55 Plymouth. Wayfarers ran on 15" rims. Hopfully we can spark some interest in these old beasts." Thank you Mike!.

Mike Fudge from Adelaide in South Australia, and his 1960 Chrysler Wayfarer utility project. "Mine is being slowly restored, the body is basically sound having spent most of it's life out in the desert - only rust being in the cabin was however full of red dust, dead rats and large spiders! Plans for the car include complete body restoration in the original 'Heather blue', 383/727 with pushbutton control, 8 3/4" rear, disc brake front end etc."

Update on Mike Fudge's Wayfarer: "Just thought I'd update you on the Wayfarer, currently it is sat in a hot rod shop in Adelaide on a rotisserie, most of the metal finish is done and it will be primed within a few days. You can really see clearly how they used door skins to make up the extra rear quarter length at the Keswick factory. "


Here's a couple Utes that belong to Lee Exline. The one on the left is a '56 Desoto, and the one on the right is a '56 Plymouth. These are the regular style Utes before the Wayfarer came along in 1958. Photos couresty of Lee Exline.

Recently received this email from Rene' le Clercq, Sydney. Australia. "I have not established year as yet but suspect around 1950/51. Built Chrysler plant South Australia and sold from Sydney dealer. Typical "working" truck, note only one wiper blade with no provision for passenger. Very basic, no heater, pressed cardboard door and roof interior lining (colour coded natually). Gearchange is column,

to start, key on and press foot firmly on floor mounted solenoid activation lever. The body is not that bad with a bit of tin worm in floor and inner trailing edges of guards. The timber in the tray is shot along with the upholstery (mice enjoyed the leather and padding). I know where another of these beasts lurk, a fairly complete ex Army unit and have a line on a couple of others." Interesting! Thanks for sharing Rene!

Peter Clarke sent me these pics of his 56 Dodge Ute which was assembled in Australia. Note the differences from the American piece windshield, (this bodystyle in the US had a two piece windshield), 56 style grill but pre 54 hood and fenders. Nice looking truck Peter! Thanks!