Meet Phillip R, the owner of this 1972 VH R/T E49 Valiant Charger which features for the month of April in our Club Plus Calendar for 2017. Phillip has shared with us some more detail on his car!
The car was built on Friday, 16 June 1972 and first sold on August 2, 1972. The car is Hot mustard with the following options, A87 Track Pack; A95 Interior dress up package – reclining bucket seats, carpets and 3 spoke steering wheel; D20 4 speed manual floor shift; D56 3.50:1 rear axle with sure grip LSD; E49 Six Pack engine (302 BHP) G60 Add quarter vent windows delete pop out rear windows.
The car has undergone a 3 and half year bare metal restoration. Every nut, bolt and component has been removed and either refurbished or replaced with period correct parts. The engine has been totally rebuilt with custom remanufactured .60 thou over 6 pack pistons. The engine was rebuilt to original specifications with minor reliability and performance up grades, including roller rockers, Windaged tray, upgraded E49 profile cam, and electronic ignition that has been installed under the dash so the visual appearance of the engine bay is period correct.
When did you buy it?
I bought the car on 20 July 2012. I saw the car on car sales and it had been listed for some time. It was advertised as; “interior good, body needs some rust work and a repaint or can be driven as is.” The car was about 90% complete and had various latter model replacement parts fitted. These parts were swapped out for period correct components during the restoration. I bought the car sight unseen from interstate but had a mechanical inspection carried out in NSW before I did the deal. The car was driven to my home in Brisbane by the previous owner from just near Taree, NSW. For a sight unseen car it was OK – the car was original but needed a lot of work.
What do you know about its life?
The gentleman I bought the charger from (an ex police officer) had owned the car for 28 years. I tracked down the person he bought it from (Grant) and I was able to establish that he had bought the car in Sydney in 1983 for the princely sum of $400. It was in pretty bad shape and the Webbers and manifold were seating in the boot as the then owner had replaced them with a Holley as petrol was too expensive! During its time with Grant it was used as a daily driver for a few years and then restored for the first time. On this occasion it was repainted Vitamin C. ( I was told that the paint job on it before that had been done with a paint brush).
Once the car was completed and without the knowledge of the owner it was stolen from his front yard and taken for a joy ride. Whilst watching TV on that night he answered a knock on the door with 2 Police officers stating they had located his Charger. He advised yeah it’s on the front lawn he was then told it had been found a few miles away in a ditch. This prompted the second restoration and on this occasion it was painted red. I have been told by various people in the Chrysler community that Grant at the time was one of the foremost experts on restoring R/T chargers – he has owned a few over the years.
Shortly after its red repaint it was sold to the gentleman I bought the car from. So you could say its had an interesting past.
How does it go?
Given the car has had a full restoration it drives better than a new car of the day (it has modern day replacement suspension components, shocks and tyres) but not as good as a modern day Muscle car. But then I wanted to experience the feel of a real 70’s muscle car and it’s great to drive. I don’t think however I could push it down Conrod at close to 130 MPH. Those drivers were something special.
Anything you would like to add
This restoration has been a labour of love. At the ripe old age of 12 my dad bought a brand new Vitamin C E49. I loved that car but unfortunately it was stolen from us 6 months after my dad bought it. I have always wanted to get another one but I never thought it would happen. I just wanted to get my dad’s car back. I knew the odds of doing this were very slim. Luckily for me I found the next best thing and so started the restoration. The car is better than a new car that would have driven off the show room floor in 1972.
I took the car to its first outing in February 2015. It was the all Aussie day at Lakeside Park in QLD and I was so chuffed to win the best restored award. Since that time the car has one a further 15 Awards and performs very well at car shows. I love hearing people comment on how good the car looks. It makes all the blood sweat and tears worth while and I can tell you there was a lot of that over the 3 an half LONG years. If you wanted to know about all the trials and tribulations I could write a book.
What is your favourite Supercheap Auto product to use on your vehicle?
The Bowden’s Own range of car care products.
Where is your favourite place to drive the vehicle?
I like taking it on drives to car shows early on Sunday mornings. Thankfully most of the shows are a good hours drive away so I get to have a nice cruise, with the occasional squirt for fun.
What do you like best about your vehicle?
I love its sound, its looks and the way it drives. It is such an Iconic Aussie Muscle car and the colour is outrageous.
What would you like to do next on your vehicle?
I just want to enjoy it. All the hard work is done.
Are you a member of any car clubs?
Yes I am the Queensland Mustang club – funny when you think about it but I have had a Mustang for a number of years and it’s a good club.