1 Sep 1974
In the 1970s the Chrysler Corporation became increasingly dependent on Mitsubishi Motors, the Japanese car-maker it had a stake in to supply it with small cars to combat – ironically enough – the ensuing Japanese small car onslaught.
The Lancer was one such car, a simple rear-drive sedan powered by a spritely 50kW 1.4L four-cylinder engine.
It gained an enviable reputation for winning rallies abroad. But Federal Government quotas thwarted its highly anticipated arrival here in mid-’74.
Positioned below the Japanese-derived Galant 1.6L models, Australia ended up with just two Lancer variants – the short-lived base two-door EL and well-equipped four-door GL sedan.
And soon the all-new Holden Gemini, Ford Escort II, Datsun 120Y and Toyota Corolla III were stealing away sales.