1973 Chrysler VJ Charger E48 Coupe
Result: PASSED IN
The Charger was a landmark car in Australian motoring history, born of the muscle car era, blooded on local race tracks by the likes of Leo Geoghegan and, with the numbers of surviving cars dwindling each year, more collectible than ever today. The VJ Valiant range introduced in March 1973 saw the Charger facelifted, with a revised grille (complete with distinctive vertical bars), circular headlamps, a new tail lamp design and a rationalised model range consisting of three models, the base version, XL and 770. With the so-called ‘Supercar Scare’ of 1972 and fuel crisis in the Middle East looming, the high-performance R/T package was no longer an option, replaced by the Sports Pack. New trim patterns and sundry minor changes were made to enhance the interior. However, the muscle era wasn’t entirely over, and Chrysler continued to offer the E48 Six Pack engine in with a healthy 248 bhp across the range. For Charger buyers ticking the E48 option, a Borg-Warner heavy-duty limited-slip diff was standard, along with a floor-mounted four-speed manual transmission. Most were equipped with the A54 Sports Pack, with the machine-turned facia, sports steering wheel, sports steel wheel rims and a more subdued set of stripes. Alloy wheels remained optional. According to Gavin Farmer and Gary Bridger’s authoritative book Hey Charger, just 122 VJ Chargers were optioned as E48s, plus a further 16 XLs and the same number of 770s, and those few that survive are now highly prized collectors’ items.