The VJ Chrysler Six Packs

Australian Muscle Car - - Immortal Muscle -

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!

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