The last four E49s

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Maniac - Gary Bridger

LLast

is­sue’s VJ Charger E49 story out­lined that four such ma­chines es­caped from Chrysler’s Ton­s­ley Park fac­tory in the sec­ond half of 1973. This snip­pet of in­for­ma­tion had Mopar-lov­ing AMC read­ers re­quest­ing more info on the quar­tet. Thank­fully, Chrysler num­bers guru An­drew Clark has come to the res­cue. An­drew ad­vises that out of the four fac­tory-built VJ Charger E49s, there are, in fact, two with a later build date than is­sue #95’s cover car. An­drew searched through his Charger data­base and has con­firmed that ‘our’ Sun­fire Yel­low ma­chine (VJ7D29-1281), owned by WA’s Shane An­der­son, was ac­tu­ally the third last E49-en­gined car built.

As to the oth­ers, the fourth last (VJ7D29-0828) was built in Au­gust 1973 for Kiwi rac­ing leg­end Leo Leonard’s first at­tempt at Bathurst that year, driv­ing with Ernie Sprague. Be­cause the VJ model was not ho­molo­gated for rac­ing, Leonard was forced to put a VH front clip on this Sun­fire Yel­low car. It started 17th on the 58-car grid, but re­tired with a blown headgas­ket af­ter 62 of the 163 laps. It later re­turned to New Zealand where it was briefly raced and won the 1973 Coronet Peak Hill Climb. It now be­longs to an en­thu­si­ast in Mel­bourne and is pic­tured in the in­set image.

The sec­ond last E49-en­gined Charger (VJ7M29-2452) was a Vin­tage Red base model Charger that no­body has seen or heard of.

An­drew’s data­base con­firms the ac­tual last Charger E49 built (VJ7D29-1444), was a Su­per Blue VJ Charger XL. Built in De­cem­ber 1973, this car sur­vives, where­abouts un­known.

So, in sum­mary, out of the four VJ E49s, three are still around to­day. That’s a pretty good sur­vival rate. Thanks to An­drew for the cor­rec­tion and up­dated in­for­ma­tion.

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