2008 Brisbane International Motor Show Auction
1972 Chrysler VH Charger E49 R/T 'Bathurst' Coupe
Result: PASSED IN
|Engine||In-line 6-cylinder, 265-cid|
This lot is no longer available
Chrysler Australia joined the burgeoning local muscle car market in August 1971 when it launched the good looking Charger coupe and, like its main rivals, quickly saw the benefit of adapting the road car for track use. Chrysler's first attempt at a Bathurst homologation special for 1971 was codenamed the E38, comprising a full house VH Charger R/T Six Pack with triple Webers on a 280 bhp high output version of the 265-cid Hemi six, Track Pack (featuring cast alloy wheels, bigger brakes, quick-ratio steering and the option of a larger 35-gallon fuel tank) plus a limited-slip diff. Despite a promising start, with Doug Chivas winning on debut at Oran Park in September 1971, the E38 Chargers' achilles heel was its three-speed gearbox and it wasn't until the following season that a four-speed version was homologated. Known as the E49, the ultimate Charger weapon had an upgraded engine - now with over 300 bhp - and looked to be a serious threat to the Falcons and Toranas for Bathurst in 1972. The E49 certainly had all the looks of a genuine muscle car - the R/T package added unique body detailing and colours, including a blacked-out grille, vertical stripes behind the front wheel arches and black flashes that ran down the side of the vehicle before wrapping around the tail spoiler. The R/T also boasted quartz halogen headlights, full instrumentation and an aluminium steering wheel and came in a range of colours with catchy names like Vitamin C, Hemi Orange, Hot Mustard and Mercury Silver (just 29 E49s were finished in this popular colour). The E49 was the fastest accelerating Australian muscle car of all, capable of turning the standing quarter mile in 14.4 seconds and clocking 0-60 mph in just 6.1 seconds - no mean feat for a six. In total, just 145 E49 Chargers were built and they remain the most collectible Aussie Mopars of all.