2018 Shannons Melbourne Autumn Classic Auction
Lot
77

1972 Chrysler VH E55 Charger 770SE Coupe

$115,000

Sold

Specifications

Engine 340ci V8
Gearbox Three-speed Automatic
Body Work Coupe
Colour Limelight (yellow)
Interior Black & White
Trim Vinyl
Wheels Cast Alloy
Brakes Disc/drum

Description

This lot is no longer available

An Aussie muscle car icon, the Charger was launched in August 1971 as a fastback version of the VH Valiant sedan and proved an instant hit.  Buyers couldn’t get enough of the sporty newcomer and initial Charger sales quickly accounted for roughly 50 percent of Valiant production. In keeping with the Valiant sedans, the VH Charger line-up consisted of the base model, XL and more upmarket 770, a luxury sports coupe aimed squarely at Holden’s Monaro LS. To rival Ford and Holden, Chrysler needed a V8 hero car and found the perfect motor in Mopar’s American parts bin, the high performance 340ci unit with its big valves and enlarged ports, heavy-duty con rods and forged steel crankshaft. The result was the SE (or E55 as it was codenamed), unveiled quietly in October 1972 with a distinct lack of fanfare.  Conservatively rated at 275 horsepower with 340 lb/ft of torque, the E55’s V8 was fed via a single Carter four-barrel downdraft carburettor and mated to an A727 Torqueflite automatic transmission. Inside, the Charger boasted the luxurious 770 interior with high-backed bucket seats trimmed in two-tone vinyl upholstery, full carpeting, distinctive engine-turned dash and centre console, ventless front door glass and ROH 7-inch alloys. Only three colours were available – Vintage Red, Lime Light and Sunfire Metallic. An E55 Charger – even in automatic guise – could do the standing quarter mile in an impressive 15.5 seconds with a top speed of 122 mph, as recorded by Wheels magazine in November 1972. Just 125 of these bespoke Chargers were made in VH guise with a list price of $4,850 – it was even more expensive than the legendary E49. Overshadowed by the R/Ts for many years, the surviving E55s have begun to appreciate rapidly in recent years, as collectors come to appreciate the power of the V8, the relatively conservative exterior and - above all - the rarity of this little-known Charger variant.