A hidden treasure in Grenfell

The 1930 Dodge 8 is just one of the many impressive cars on display at the Chrysler Car Museum in Grenfell.

The 1930 Dodge 8 is just one of the many impressive cars on display at the Chrysler Car Museum in Grenfell.

During the year 1983 Jeff Connolly, owner of the Grenfell Chrysler Car Museum, and his wife were travelling through Central West NSW when they stopped at Grenfell for fuel.

There are 18 cars on show for motoring enthusiasts to view.

There are 18 cars on show for motoring enthusiasts to view.

Jeff remembers thinking to himself what a beautiful town Grenfell is and how one day he would like to  return to spend some time in the friendly, quaint country township.

It would be over twenty years before Jeff returned to Grenfell in 2006.

Jeff Connolly's original VH Valiant Charger R/T E49.

Jeff Connolly's original VH Valiant Charger R/T E49.

He purchased a building in Main Street with the intention of opening his own Chrysler Car Museum.

Having a life-long passion for Chrysler cars as well as an extensive collection, Jeff established and opened his Chrysler Museum and has never looked back.

In 2015 Jeff and his wife purchased a home and moved to Grenfell full time.

His spectacular Chrysler Museum, located at 46 Main Street, has become one of Grenfell’s hidden treasures, and is also one of only a handful of Chrysler Museums in Australia.

Jeff’s collection is well worth a look for motoring enthusiasts. 

The Museum houses an impressive collection of 18 Chryslers including Dodge, DeSoto and Plymouth spanning from the 1930’s to the present day with one of his prize vehicles being an immaculately restored Valiant Charger.

There is also an extensive collection of historic and rare Chrysler memorabilia displayed throughout the museum as well as items from auto brands such as ESSO, Mobil and Golden Fleece. 

The premises in Main Street has a relatively nondescript exterior but once you step inside you’ll discover a unique car-lovers delight with eighteen cars proudly displayed amongst the rustic memorabilia. 

It is truly a throwback to a bygone era when interior trim was produced in tartan and pastel hues were popular, when white wall tyres were all the rage.

Jeff began collecting the cars during the 1970’s and now has an impressive range of historic vehicles, one of his favourites being his VH Valiant Charger R/T E49 that is in immaculate original condition.

In it’s glory days it won Wheels magazine’s Car of the Year and was widely acclaimed by the media as ‘the most handsome car Chrysler ever produced’.

Another vehicle in Jeff’s museum that holds a special place in his heart is a black and blue 1930 Dodge 8 Coupe which sports the straight 8 engine.

In 1930, you could get either a straight 6 (Model DD) or a straight 8 (Model DC).

The Model DC Straight 8 was rated at 75 hp, 220.7 cid, Bore/Stroke: 2.88/4.25 inches and rode on a wheelbase of 114 inches. The car weighed in at 2981 pounds and cost $1125 US dollars. 

While these two vehicles are quite impressive, yet there is another vehicle that belongs to Jeff that doesn’t sit on the showroom floor.

It is a car very similar to Jeff’s first Chrysler, a 1962 S Series Valiant, bought when he was just 18 years old, he worked three jobs to pay for it and it still holds a special place in his heart today.

“It was white with red trim, it sat low and wide and went fast. It clocked over 100 miles per hour,” said Jeff.

The Chrysler Car Museum is situated at 46 Main Street, Grenfell and is open most days and during major events, including club tours, or by appointment.

Jeff will be on hand to answer any questions you may have regarding the vehicles and memorabilia displays in his museum, he is a virtual encyclopedia of information with an extensive knowledge of the history of Chrysler.

Please call Jeff on 0427 926 246 to arrange a visit, you wont be disappointed.