Our feature car by the numbers
really was, but he did shock the odd jockey at the traffic lights! He reluctantly sold the Charger to buy an engineering business. It had cost him around $5000 new and he sold it for $3500.
There remain gaps in the Charger’s history from when Don sold it to its relatively recent restoration. It is believed it went to Tasmania and later found its way into the hands of Colin Waddington, a pistachio farmer in Bannerton, Victoria, where it was used regularly, until the engine became tired. Typical of a farmer, Colin parked the Charger up under a lean-to where it sat for more than a decade.
Around 2004, car collector Ross Vasse was in Mildura buying a Brambles Red XW Falcon GT-HO Phase II. On his way home, he stopped off at Pioneer Ford (formerly Mortimer Ford) in Robinvale, Victoria to have a chat with Colin Rogers, the dealer principal who was also a classic car enthusiast. When Ross asked if Colin knew of any old cars in the area, he replied, “Old man Waddington has one of those Six Pack Chargers sitting in his shed…”
With piqued interest, Ross chased down a contact number for Colin Waddington and introduced himself as being referred to by Colin Rogers. When asked about the Charger over the phone, Waddington confirmed it was indeed fitted with a six-pack Hemi and was a VJ model with the round headlights. “Can you please check the engine code on the ID plate?” asked Ross not wanting to waste time with an unnecessary detour, “Call me back in five minutes,” replied Colin.
On calling back, Ross was expecting to hear the E48 engine code, “It says E49,” said Colin. Somewhat stumped because it was a VJ Charger with round headlights, Ross asked, “Are you sure it says E49, can you check again and I’ll call you back?”
Another five minutes passed, and Ross called Colin back. “Yep, it says E49,” said Colin who was asking around $5000 for this rare VJ E49. Upon seeing the Charger, Ross instantly purchased it, despite the fact that it needed some work. Colin mentioned at the time that he was told by the previous owner it was a special order and had the 320hp engine.
Leaving a deposit and returning the next day with good friend and mechanic, Michael Tsoumaris, the rare E49 was then taken to Melbourne where it was given a spruce up. The matching numbers engine was rebuilt to original specification, and both of the Six Pack fender badges were removed to make way for a set of E49 stripes. Upon researching the Charger, Ross learnt that only four VJ E49s were made. Eventually it was placed on the market, where many experts came to view the car simply out of curiosity. Body number VJ7D29 1281 VJ VJ series Chrysler 7 265 Manual transmission D Deluxe price class – Charger XL 29 Charger 1281 VJ Charger XL build number 1281 SOA 394 Special order accepted number 394 Engine number D364D 00004 D Australian built Hemi Six 3 265 – cubic inch 6 Competition Six Pack (E38,E49) 4 Four –speed manual transmission D 1973 00004 Engine serial number Option codes E49* D20 A54 A74 A97 B51 D74 G25** T15 W35 Z15*** YJ L1 Build date * ** *** 265 Six Pack competition engine 302bhp Four speed manual transmission Sports pack Protection pack Convenience pack Power brake booster 3.72 heavy duty limit slip diff Front door vent windows ER70 H14 radial tyres ROH cast alloy wheels Delete three-spoke steering wheel Sunfire yellow Parchment trim 28 November 1973 The factory build list has E48 as the engine option. The car was restored with full glass side windows. The three-spoke steering wheel was in fact not deleted.