According to Sports Car World, October 1972 road test of the new Valiant Charger R/T E-49 ... "The stopwatches don't lie - but it's pretty hard to believe. A 0-100 mph time of 14.1 seconds! That's really flying - and the engine's no thumping V8 nor quad cam V12. It's Chrysler Australia's 4.3-litre in-line six, in a stormer called the Charger R/T E49.
Chrysler managed to scrape through the supercar furor that killed the Phase Four HO and Torana V8. It had the first batch of its Bathurst contenders built before the storm broke, and in the hullabaloo over the GMH and Ford cars somehow the Charger was overlooked. So few people, us included, were prepared for the phenomenal performance of the E49. It seems incredible that mild (mainly cam grind) changes to last year's E38 engine and the addition of the new four-speed gearbox can have done so much for straight line performance without sacrificing tractability.
The three-speed E38 was a brilliant enough performer, running the standing quarter in 15 seconds with a best of 14.8 and to 100 mph in 16.5 seconds. The E49, is in a realm of its own, utterly untroubled to lay 14.4 second quarters and record 14.1 times to 100 mph.
Has there ever been a six that went like this? God knows, we thought the Phase Three HO was quick, and its time to 100 mph was 15.2 seconds."
And so began the legend.
According to Wheels Magazine, "The E49 was the fastest accelerating Australian muscle car of all, capable of turning the standing quarter mile in 14.1 seconds and clocking 0-60 mph in just 6.1 seconds - no mean feat for a six.
That's right. Faster than a Phase 3 GTHO Falcon. And interestingly no other 6 cylinder car has come close to the mighty E49 Charger in Performance until Ford's XR6 Turbo hit the showroom floors some 36 year later in 2008!!
Only 149 E49 Valiant Charger R/Ts were built by Chrysler in Tonsley Park, South Australia. And of those, only 21 were optioned with the most desirable option of them all - the A84 Track Pack option which included a massive 35 gallon fuel tank, 16:1 steering box, 14x7 alloys and heavy duty discs and hubs.
Known colloquially as the E49 Big Tank, these Chargers are the HOLY GRAIL among Chrysler aficionados and Aussie muscle car collectors alike.
For sale is one of these super rare Big Tank E49 Chargers. In signature Hemi Orange, this UNRESTORED SURVIVOR is one rare bird. This car is believed to be one of only 3 Big Tank E49s still left unrestored. Running the all matching numbers 302 bhp 4.3L straight six fed by those wonderful triple Weber carburetors, shifting cogs through the factory Borg Warner 4 speed gearbox and riding on the original W35 alloy rims this E49 still gets your pulse racing.
This is a car that road testers in the day compared to a Ferrari or Lamborghini Miura. And the sound from the twin exhaust is just intoxicating. Sports Car World said " the motoring is just magnificent. The car is a racing machine and it acts that way, responding to throttle, brakes and steering quite superbly. Road-holding, stability and safety are brilliant."
This Hemi Orange E49 is a three owner car starting life in Victoria before heading to Queensland where it has lived since in the hands of two long term owners including one, a serious Chrysler collector.
In totally original condition, with all the patina that goes with a 48 year old car including some rust in the usual areas. But importantly, everything is there from the all original driveline to the original paint and panel, original slightly tired stickers and the original W35 rims. The engine bay is a delight and your eyes go straight to those beautiful individually numbered Webers that have been reconditioned and purr like an angry kitten. The black interior is all original and in excellent condition and open the boot and you are greeted with that huge 35 gallon fuel tank hogging nearly all the luggage space.
Sit behind the wheel and you are magically transported to the starting grid at Bathurst in 1972 where the R/T E49s were up against Phase III GTHO Fords and LJ GTR XU-1Toranas. There is no doubt that the Charger handled better than a GTHO and it had a bigger engine than a Torana XU-1 but the best Doug Chivas and Damon Beck could do was third that year behind John French in a Phase III and Peter Brock in an XU-1. It was the best the Chargers ever did at the Mount Panorama event.
According to racing legend John Bowe, "There’s a simple purity to cars from this era and the Charger was always a good handling car because it is pretty wide and has a relatively short wheelbase so it reacts quite nicely to direction changes. That big six is smooth and torquey and the induction noise from the Webers is fantastic."
For Aussie muscle car enthusiasts and collectors the R/T E49 Charger is up there with the GTHO Falcons and the A9X and XU-1 Torys in collectability terms. This really is the ultimate Aussie Mopar.
The big dilemma for it's next owner is whether to leave it as a true SURVIVOR in it's original unrestored condition, or to restore the car to concours show condition. Either way, you'll be proud to own a significant example of a true Aussie Muscle Car. A car that was designed, manufactured and raced right here in Australia. A true legendary home grown muscle car.
The car comes with a full verification report from Chrysler expert George Rallis, confirmation of matching VIN and engine numbers from Chrysler and a Hemi/Weber Six Pack engine tuning manual.
For your inspection at our Kingsgrove, Sydney showroom. And if you are unable to travel due to Covid restrictions, AMCS will gladly arrange a video inspection/road test of the car using WhatsApp, and of course there is no issue with door to door freight delivery anywhere in Australia or New Zealand.(Ref. 5553)
RF Berg 4438
A84 - Track Pack incl. 35 gallon fuel tank, 16:1 steering box, W35 Alloy wheels H/Duty disc and Hubs
A95 - Interior dress up package, reclining buckets, carpets, 3 spoke wheel
D20 - 4 speed floor shift manual
D56 - Rear axle 3.50:1 ratio with sure grip
E49 - Six Pack engine (302 bhp)
G11 - Glass tinted side and rear