Auto R/T Charger I
I read with interest the story in AMC #89 about the automatic Charger R/T recovered from Wales in the UK. I wonder if there was another automatic R/T produced because I saw one at Doug Chivas’ Sydney workshop around 1979-80. I bought the only Alpine White E49 small tank R/T Charger from a used car dealer on Parramatta Road in 1975 with only 18,000 miles on the clock. A few years later on a trip to Canberra the throttle jammed causing the engine to rev to 7000 rpm and doing some damage to the valve gear and clutch. I got the car back to Wentworthville where I lived and stripped the engine down for a re-build. Doug Chivas helped with the machining and on a trip to his workshop one day I noticed a red or orange R/T Charger there with the bonnet up. I could not resist having a look and the first thing I noticed was the auto gearbox and the triple Webers. I asked Doug who would fit an automatic box to this model and he replied the car was owned by a Chrysler executive and the installation was done at the factory!
There it was, I saw it with my own eyes; Doug and I spoke some time about it and other related Charger matters – he wished he had kept his Charger. I wonder what happened to this car. It’s a pity Doug has departed this life otherwise he could have verified this story.
A few years ago you did a brief story about my Charger, I sold it in 1988 to a Chrysler enthusiast who also happened to own Leo G’s original earlier model ute which was used in the development of the Charger or so he told me. I lost track of my car after that. Dave Regal Gold Coast, QLD ED: Dave, our Chrysler experts tell us that just one automatic R/T is listed on the build sheets that detail Charger production. However, if a car was changed from manual to auto after initial assembly it would appear on the build sheets as a manual car, so that’s one possible explanation for the car you saw in Doug Chivas’s workshop. Hopefully your letter prompts contact from this car’s owner. Regarding the Alpine White small tank E49 you once owned, the build sheets show that this was one of three such cars produced at Tonsley Park.