Tycho's Illustrated History Of Chinese Cars: A Red Flagged Audi With A Chrysler Engine

Tycho de Feyter
by Tycho de Feyter
tycho s illustrated history of chinese cars a red flagged audi with a chrysler

Hongqi CA750f.

It’s one of those Tuesday afternoons here in Beijing. The air is barely breathable, and somewhere, a hammer drill is duking it out with a concrete ceiling. Time for another installment of Tycho’s Illustrated History Of Chinese Cars. Today we have a very interesting Chinese car. It’s a 1983 Dodge 600 sedan, dressed-up as a Hongqi CA750F. How did it get into China?

The Dodge 600

In 1987, U.S. production of the Dodge 600 came to an end. Not able to find a third world subsidiary that would take the hand-me-down toolings, Chrysler sold the production line for the 2.2 liter Kl4 engine to First Auto Works, or FAW. FAW is the owner of the Hongqi brand, a.k.a. Red Flag. FAW and Chrysler also talked about a much bigger deal where Chrysler would sell the complete Dodge 600 production line to China. FAW expressed interest in using the line, and the engine, for a new generation of Hongqi luxury sedans.

Hongqi CA750f

To see whether things would work out, FAW made two Hongqi-branded prototypes in 1987, based on two imported Dodge 600′s. FAW changed the grill and front lights, added the famous red flag-ornament on the hood, and called it the Hongqi CA750F.

Hongqi CA760.

FAW also made one more prototype based on a stretched Dodge 600, that car was called the Hongqi CA760. FAW liked the results very much, but in the end the deal never happened, thanks to Volkswagen…

FAW Audi 100, note FAW ‘winged 1′ emblem on the upper-right side of the grill.

FAW started producing small batches of the Audi 100 from 1988 under a deal with Audi, this eventually became the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture that was founded in 1991. Audi and Volkswagen didn’t want another car company around. FAW had to choose. It was simple: Chrysler just wanted to sell, Volkswagen-Audi wanted to invest. FAW kicked Chrysler out. That was the end for the Dodge-based Hongqi CA750F and CA760.

FAW however still had the 2.2 Chrysler engine. They used it to power various Hongqi-branded cars that were based on… the Audi 100 from the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture.

FAW indeed made another deal with Volkswagen so they could use the Audi 100 platform for that new Hongqi luxury sedan they still wanted to make. Since FAW already had the Chrysler 2.2 they didn’t need any Audi engine. So here in China, Chrysler and Audi technology found each other in a Hongqi, back in the 1980′s.

1988 FAW Hongqi CA7220. Audi body, Chrysler engine.

For even stranger Audi-Chrysler bastards children, see my earlier post on the Hongqi CA1021.

Dutchman Tycho de Feyter runs Carnewschina.com, a blog about cars in China, from Beijing, China. He also collects die-cast models of Chinese cars.

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3 of 10 comments
  • B.C. B.C. on Feb 28, 2012

    This is like finding a country that likes pizza-flavored ice cream.

    • Athos Nobile Athos Nobile on Feb 28, 2012

      You can find black bean flavored (among many others) ice cream in one city in Venezuela.

  • Acuraandy Acuraandy on Feb 28, 2012

    That's crazy. They still make mid-80's G body GMs too? There's a Chinese car i'd buy...lol

  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI coupe....it's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark V.....it was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"
  • ToolGuy When Farley says “like the Millennium Falcon” he means "fully updatable" and "constantly improving" -- it's right there in the Car and Driver article (and makes perfect sense).
  • Master Baiter New slogan in the age of Ford EVs:FoundOnRoadDischarged
  • Albert Also owned a 1959 Continental Mark IV coupe for 20 years and loved every minute!