New Zealand Classic Car - - Nationwide News -

A1972 Chrysler Charger R/T E49 that has twice graced the cover of this very mag­a­zine is in the fi­nal phases of a lengthy restora­tion in South Auck­land.

The Charger be­longs to Hey Charger co-au­thor Gary Bridger, who has owned the car since 1988. It is be­lieved that, of the 149 E49s built, there are around 100 sur­viv­ing, and this is one of four fin­ished in Mer­cury Sil­ver with the A66 black bon­net op­tion.

Gary had the car re­built in the late 1990s, but, a few years down the track, some tell­tale rust bub­bles started to ap­pear in the rear guards and in front of the wind­screen. The heart­break­ing de­ci­sion was made to strip it back down and start again. Les­son one: if you are go­ing to do a job, do it prop­erly to start with! The panel shop found rust form­ing around old re­pair work in the guards and in the plenum area be­hind the fire­wall. With all the rust-re­pair work done, the car moved into the paint shop last year, and the fussy painter was very happy with the panel work that had been car­ried out. A stripe-mask­ing kit was used to paint the Charger R/T stripes on ex­actly as orig­i­nal.

The en­gine, gear­box, and the fa­mous triple We­ber car­bur­re­tors have all been re­built.

A brand-new wiring loom was made for the car in Aus­tralia. For­tu­nately, many Charger parts are get­ting eas­ier to ob­tain as a re­sult of a thriv­ing replica parts in­dus­try. Items such as replica three-spoke steer­ing wheels, door han­dles, rubber kits, de­cal sets, and in­te­rior trim kits have all been re­pro­duced and are now avail­able at rea­son­able prices. It is hoped to have the Charger back on the road this year, and Gary is cer­tainly look­ing for­ward to once again hear­ing the glo­ri­ous sound of its triple We­ber Hemi- 6 en­gine.

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