BEHIND THE GARAGE DOOR Charging ahead
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.