The VJ Chrysler Six Packs
Crunching the numbers on this baby reveals some surprises. at the factory? Iain replied, “I’m not so familiar with the details of what happened, but I doubt the production line ever produced a genuine VJ E49. However, in those days special order vehicles were relatively common and it is possible that by this system a vehicle could be created by a TSA (Temporary Substitution Order) and what came off the line was then reworked either by Experimental (later Vehicle Development) or by the SA Region Workshop to produce a particular spec vehicle.
“For the Lonsdale engine plant to produce a genuine E49 motor after the production line version was stopped would have been difficult,” Robilliard continued, “but they would have had surplus parts galore from which to put some together, and there were enough mad men around to see the job done with the mere hint of an authorising TSA! And there were plenty of other parts to build vehicles. My pet project, the K10 series Police Chargers, had a lot of surplus E38/E37/E49/E48 chassis parts, but that’s another story. Now, whether a ‘factory’ vehicle is defined as something that rolled off the production
For the facelift VJ series, Chrysler dropped their performance models, canning both the four-door Pacer and Charger R/T. There was only one Six Pack engine option available, the ‘street’ 248bhp engine coupled to a fourspeed manual transmission. To use up the remaining stock of Six Pack engines, the E48 option was made available throughout the VJ range though most were installed in Chargers. They all came with a heavy duty 3.27 limited slip diff, which required a bit of panel work underneath to make it fit. Most VJ Chryslers with the E48 Six Pack option also came with the A54 sports package. This included a Valiant Regal-type dashboard with machine turned aluminium finish around the instrument cluster, a three-spoke sports steering wheel, sports rims and a subtle body stripe kit. The 7-inch ROH alloys were a popular option. A small yellow badge on the front guards is the only external indication that it’s a Six Pack.
As a footnote while writing this story, an eagle-eyed Chrysler enthusiast pointed out that the Six Pack engine specs in the VJ Chrysler brochures are identical to the competition 280bhp E38 engine. A check through the factory workshop and parts manuals confirmed that the 248bhp ‘street’ E37 and E48 engines are one and the same, but the E48 power output was given as 248bhp and 270bhp in two different manuals!
Paul Norris at Elko’s in Melbourne recalls seeing a completely stock VJ E48 that consistently ran 14 second flat quarter miles. That’s quicker than a stock VH Charger E49! Other enthusiasts commented that many VJ E48s went much harder than the ‘street’ specs would suggest. Our experts and former Chrysler employees have concluded that the brochure E38 engine spec is probably a simple error made by marketing. However, as Chrysler was using up parts from a discontinued line, what was actually installed in the cars varied depending on available stock at the time. So there is a very good chance that more VJ E48s engines left the factory built to competition E38/E49 specs – without the owners ever knowing about it!