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Dennis Nicolle - Chrysler & Mitsubishi Australia Designer | SHANNONS DESIGN TO DRIVEWAY | Ep 3

By Shannons - Published on 30 October 2022

“Hey Charger! – This the one episode that every Chrysler fan must watch.” 
If we asked the question, what does the VJ Valiant and a TM Magna have in common?......Well, the answer is Dennis Nicolle, a true hero of Australian car design, with a rolled-up sleeves approach. 
Dennis is one of the very few Australian designers that can say they designed the traditional, American-led larger Chrysler road cars, and then as Australian consumers embraced a more sophisticated design essence, he turned his design flair to a Japanese manufacturing style. 
“I’m not that important,” said Dennis when we asked him to join the series. Yet, this is a man who before designing and sketching cars, worked in the Chrysler Keswick pattern shop in Adelaide, well before the days of Tonsley Park. 
His first design task was to help style the early VJ Valiant Charger as Dennis’ career would see him travel to the US to train with legendary Chrysler Designer, Bob Hubbach. Upon returning to Australia, Nicolle then helped pen the likes of Valiant, Regals and more Chargers again before he caught the wave of Australia’s surf culture, creating the winning styling of the Drifter Panel van and Drifter utility. 

When Chrysler moved out and Mitsubishi arrived at Tonsley Park, Dennis thought his career in car design and styling had come to an end. How wrong he was!
Instead, a new generation of Japanese-led car design would see Dennis style generations of Mitsubishi Magna and Verada variants, including models for the all-important US export market. 
What a truly inspirational story of a car designer who has literally seen and done it all and a story that will make you want to buy a Charger or a Drifter panel van.

“Shannons are proud to commission this landmark series to celebrate the rich design heritage of the cars we all know and love. While Shannons plays a key role as Australia’s leading insurer for motoring enthusiasts, we also believe it is very important to preserve our automotive history for future generations” said Mark Behr, Executive Manager, Marketing for Shannons.
Hey Charger!