Our fea­ture car by the num­bers

Australian Muscle Car - - Immortal Muscle -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.