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 Chrysler Charger E55s

Chrysler, Valiant Chargers E55 340 V8 Photos Page

So you don't have an E49 Charger,
this baby is the next best thing
a 340 V8 (Engine Option E55) six pack
- Some say even better!

Pictures of my E55

The above shots were taken January 2006, prior to Summernats 19, I have added some decals that are in the style of the period, I think the bumble bee guard stripe lifts the overall car pretty significantly, and there is no mistaking this is a 340 V8 Charger. The overall response was very positive with lots of people at the Show & Shine making their way over to the car.

It should be noted that I'm not trying have the car look like an R/T, hence no other striping will be applied. I believe this would have been pretty close to what Chrysler may have done in 1972 had the supercar scare not taken hold. When you compare the pin striping below to the current photos, I think you may agree this is a positive step forward.

If you are interested in getting a copy of the decals let me know.

What's Under The Dash?

Chalked under the dash of all Chargers is the type of Charger being built, there are two chalk marks the other is located above the Glove Box. This was written in by the workers at the factory, so the line workers new what to fit to the car. The picture above is what is behind my dash. It says 6H9 E55 so now you know.


DYNO test 6 January 2006

Here is a scan of my Dyno test for the E55, picture taken at Summernats 19, 2006 Canberra, Australia. The test was done during the horsepower heros part of the event, while pretty obvious the E55 wasn't going to be competitive, it made for a cheap Dyno test and photo opportunity at $40.00. Of interest the car was running rich so it would development a few more horsepower, the Air Cond was still attached and the run was taken in secone gear topping at 130KPH, as the auto kept jumping back to second if left in drive. The other person in the photo is a photographer from Street Machine Magazine.

I'd be interested in hearing about anyother E55 Dyno results.

Leo Geoghegan (1970's Australian Morpar Racing Driver) at the wheel of my 340 V8 at Wakefield Park! (Photo taken March 2005)

This is what a Charger was built for!

This is one of only 44 built in vintage red, note the white vinyl trim, the SE badges on the below shots are missing from these pics as they were not replaced until after the shoot. This car has all matching numbers and is completely genuine.

Me at the wheel !

My car was built on Monday, 28th August 1972 and is either the 2nd or 3rd SE E55 built. There where two E55's built on that day so it's one or the other. The other E55 built was Limelight in colour, the first SE E55 was also Limelight in colour and was built on the 18th August 1972!

This means when production started in August 1972 only 3 cars were built two Limelight and the other Vintage Red - my E55.

A hard righthand turn!

My investigations show me to be either the 4th or 5th owner of this vehicle. It was originally sold new by Australian Motors SA Pty Ltd in 1973. This company is still in business however it never responded to my email enquiries.

I purchased this vehicle in Bathurst, the then owner had bought the car some 6 months previously from a person in Victoria, who in turn purchased it from the original owner I think? However was not able to contact this owner. So I can only trace the history back some 16 years or so.

Let me also say right now the 340 V8 is a awesome engine developing 206KW or 275BHP.
If you pull out your 340 engine and replace it with a lessor motor you will devalue your car.

The car now runs a twin exhurst system with Pacemaker extractors (headers) fitted.

I recently went for a drive in a Skyine GTR Twin turbo! These are very fast cars could easily beat a "standard" Charger in the standing 400 metres. That said the E55 continues very nicely past 160kph and would (maybe?) eventually over run one.

Numbers of this vehicle are

  • Vin No: VH6-H-29/CH28-01169 - Chrysler VH Valiant (Torqueflite A904LA Fireball) 5.2 Litre 3 High Price Range Monday, 28 August 1972 2 Door Coupe (Charger) NOTE the E55 Option overides the 5.2 litre engine option.
  • Engine No: A331C00074 - Chrysler 340 ci High Performance 4BBL for V8 Automatic
  • Paint: BERG 4624

Note: the W35 wheels these where standard on the E55. When I originally purchased the E55 the W35 wheels were missing and it had white Cheviot wheels fitted instead!

Option codes are E55 340 V8 and G60 which means 1/4 windows instead of pop out rear windows.

My second Charger was a vintage red 265 VH 770 with white vinyl trim and a vinyl sun roof, so I'm a bit confused as to side trimming in white only being on the E55's.
(That Charger had an accident with a tree and was written off - and no I wasn't driving it at the time!)

340 4 Barrel badge on front guard

The "SE" badge which were lifted from the US Charger.
The E55's only came in 3 speed auto form which was fully imported from the USA running a torqueflite 727 transmission. Note the underdash air conditionion this was fitted after market but is a completely genuine 1973 unit. No Chrysler Valiant ever had intergrated in the dash Air Conditioning!

The dash was finished in machine turned metal or fish scale complete with the R/T 3 spoke wheel.

The seats were specially made for this model being black with white inserts, they have now been repaired and re-upholstered.
Note: The seating capacity for Chargers states 5 however it would be a tight squeeze for 3 adults in the back.

The E55 requires a lot more work with a full restoration being needed to bring it back to show room condition. Initial costings are around the $AUD10,000.00 dollar mark which is basically a back to bare metal respray plus another $AUD1000.00 on the motor being a performance cam and bigger Carby.

So far my total spend on repairs is well over $AUD10,000.00 and that's brakes, steering, cooling and upholestry and that does not include the cost of the purchase!

If you are considering buying a Charger or any older car for that matter you really need to consider the full costs involved. Parts are not available off the shelf at the local auto store. They can be purchased however the costs are high.

Always consult your local car club there will be people willing to help you and provide advice. NEVER buy a genuine "E" car without a car club member inspection first!

What's New?

Well I heard that SLO318 has passed away, sad news indeed. So I will dedicate the following pictures to SLO318.

The story - I received a call on Tuesday 24 Feburary 2008 to see if I would like to use my car in a Lynx Shower Gel Web commercial on a Friday! So of course I said what is the car expected to do? - with visions of Mad Max 2 and a total wreck in my mind.

I found out that it there was some action sequences externally and internally and vinyl stickers were applied to the doors.

We even got a casting call and script, most of the shots were done on Friday 29 February 2008 in Sydney the set was an apartment above Luna Park, with additional car sequences in Canberra.

The cast and crew were great and Spike the safety co-ordinator was awesome, talking about his summernats mate in Canberra.

My son and I were well looked after with food and drinks all day, abiet a very long day and the GPS in my phone is on drugs! (A word of caution don't trust the Blackberry 8800 GPS!) By the time we arrived at the second location the director could obviously see we were frazzeled after getting lost and being stuck in Sydney peak hour traffic. With a kind word from David we set about the action scenes.

I drove through Kings Cross with the stickers on (they are very manly for a classic muscle car) - As Saturday was GAY Mardi Gras I think most people would have assumed it was part of that display. Driving through Sydney people were doing double and triple takes of the car with people driving by even saying hello! Needless to say the Charger was a Huge Hit.

The car ran pretty well and used approx 200 litres of fuel! Not something you would want to do everyday.

The pictures taken were either onset or at home. On the website you will see action shots of the car driving along, that was all me - it was a bit of fun being actually directed.

The director was David Jagoda who was very professional throughout the day.

The final outcome of the day is linked below;

  • The Trailer for the Lynx webcommercial "here"; and
  • The Full webcommercial "here"

More E55 Photos

Note: The lack of 1/4 windows, only one red VH without G60 option was made. This car could be VH6H29-01086, A331C00031, RP - VINTAGE RED, X2 - BLACK, E55 H51 R73, W801, records show this car sold on 16TH OCT 1972.

Another vintage red without 1/4 windows see comments above!
Note: The Chrysler V8 hood ornament. These pictures taken were at various car shows from 1991. Pictures courtesy Daniel AKA "The Coyote"

A VJ E55, in Sandstone. This car originally sold on 25th August 1973 the owner was Peter who recently sold the car to Nick to purchase a big block Chrysler. Thanks for the pic.

Build Information identifies this car as:

  • Vin: VJ6H29/DH06-0794
  • Engine: A331D00119
  • Colour: YH (Sandstone) BERG 4612
  • Trim: C1 Dark Saddle
  • Options: E55, C16, A74, A97, H51, S77, T15, W35
  • Build Date: 25TH AUG 1973

Here's a newer picture of the E55, the new owner Nick has done a bare metal restoration and respray in 2 pak.

Cobbies finished Charger.

Another web surfer contacted me to say he has a VH E55 SE in Sunfire Metalic, it's been retro fitted with a 833 4 speed gearbox and is currently awaiting restoration originally registered in NSW in 1973 with plates SE340. The car is now located in S.A. The proud owner is Cobb:)

Cobb provided the following data on the car VH6H-29/CI-12-1226 BUILD DATE (CI-12= 1972/9 MONTH) originally . Engine Number 00066 body no 1226

Build info identifies this car as:

  • Vin: VH6H29-01226
  • Engine: A331C00066
  • Trim: X2 - BLACK
  • Options - E55 G60 N620
  • Build Date: 17TH JAN 1973

George has provided this photo and some information on a VJ E55 he owned in 1985/86, he was the second owner, the first was a Chrysler engineer, he added velour trim and the CK/CL orange sports stripe, it still had the thermoquad , but had a wei and inlet manold and rocker covers (they were apparently toying with using it on the rest on the VJ's)

Build info identifies this car as:

  • Vin: VJ6H29-00870
  • Engine: A331D00132
  • Options - E55 C16 T15 W35 Z15
  • Trim: L1 - PARCHMENT
  • Build Date: 20TH NOV 1973

Doug has provided this lovely picture of his VJ E55. More information available shortly. You can email Doug for more information right here.

Build info identifies this car as:

  • Vin: VJ6H29/DL13-13259
  • Engine: A331D00180
  • Colour: VINTAGE RED - RP - BERG4624
  • Otions: E55, C16, A74, T15, W35, C63
  • Build Date: Thursday, December 13, 1973

Frank provided me this photo of his new purchase, good one Frank.

Build info identifies this car as:

  • Vin: VJ6H29/00653
  • Engine: A331D00109
  • Otions: E55,C16,A74,C10,G15,H51,R24,T15,W35
  • Build Date: 08 AUGUST 1973

John has provided me this photo of his new purchase, good one John.

Build info identifies this car as:

  • Vin: VJ6H29-01326
  • Engine: A331D00177
  • Trim: X1 - BLACK
  • Otions: E55 C16 A74 R77 T15 W35 Q315
  • Build Date: DEC 1973

Steve has provided me a photo of his Sunfire Metalic VJ E55, his rego number is the appropriate CHR 055 - you can contact Steve via his email here.
  • Vin: VJ6H29-01055
  • Engine: A331D00151
  • Trim: X1 - BLACK
  • Options: E55 C16 A74 G15 R77 T15 W35 Z15 V120
  • Sold Date: 16TH NOV 1973

Steves Comments About His Car

I bought it from a seller who was living in Wagga Wagga NSW. It was bought sight unseen! Although I felt comfortable with the seller who was very honest and reliable and also spoke to a few other people who had seen the car. It was trucked over with VIP car freighters (a TNT company) and the cost was $1150. (about the same price as it would in fuel to drive it over.) VIP were just great I might add; highly recommended.

The car had been owned by a Sydney radio DJ and had been used as a prize in a competition. It had an expensive alarm system installed which i have since removed (too much clutter!) and a $3000 CD stacker stereo system with subwoofer etc. I am also removing this for originality and have the original PB radio to re install.

The overall condition of the car was better than i had anticipated, however closer inspection revealed that while it was very original, it had had a few resprays, indicating a LHS scrape. However there was virtually no rust and the floor pan after a thorough degreasing came up like the day it left the factory.

The engine was in the boot and it was being powered by a sick 318. The 340 had thrown a rod and luckily it had gone straight down and only taken out the sump and windage tray. I handed the engine build job over to my trusty "Chrysler V8 only" mechanic who did a superb job of rebuilding it. One bore needed a sleeve, but the block remains a virgin bore and the steel crank is the best he had ever seen.

I had another windage tray and we put ARP main and head stud kit into it, but used some new cast pistons. The cam was a Crane Commando unit, just a mild cam but still giving more desireable specs than the original.

This engine had the J heads with the normal size J valves (not 2.02) but it had the AVS and the correct inlet manifold for this carby. There is some debate whether this engine should have had a Thermoquad, but I'm not complaining- who knows what Chrysler Australia did; I don't think they followed any hard and fast rules with these E55's and thi scan be seen by the engine numbers not being in sequence. The AVS was fully rebuilt and is an exceptional carby- it is incredibly responsive and has been faultless so far. The choke works perfectly too.

The 727 had lost reverse so instead of rebuilding it ( I didn't have the cash) i swapped in new 727 that i had acquired with an American car i had bought and which i knew the full history of. It had heavy duty cltches and it is a great unit. The torque converter was reconditioned to a "More stall"- anyone considering this, I advise them not to hesitate; it increases the responsiveness especially if the cam is mild over factory. My car still idles at 900 RPM in Drive, but power and torque are right there from the very start.

Everything else mechanically has been replaced or rebuilt except for the diff and the rear suspension bushes which are being saved up for now! This includes all steering, brakes (an NOS master cylinder), and front end, new torsion bars, radiator etc. The diff is being upgraded to a 3.23 LSD, keeping the original housing and 25spline axles in the carand the 4 pinion 2.92 centre for the next owner if he or she desires.

The engine bay has already been done; sandblasted and painted in 2 pack but the rest of the car is getting a full body respray in 2 pack as well, but in the meantime, I'm just enjoying driving it around, as it has only just got to the stage you see here.

Geoffs Vintage Red E55.

Build info identifies this car as:

  • Vin: VJ6H29-00933
  • Engine: A331D01123
  • Trim: L1 - PARCHMENT
  • Colour: RP - VINTAGE RED
  • Otions: E55 C16 A74 R77 T15 W35 N621
  • Build Date: 11 Sept 73

A few comments from Geoff

Here is a bit of history...(sorry if it's a bit long but you know how some of us car owners tend to rave on a bit...) It is a vintage red VJ built 11/09/73. I bought it off a mate of mine in 1985 (52,000k's) selling my CL Drifter Charger 318 ELB 4spd for it. (Jesus didn't I notice how well ELB worked with regard to petrol usage-shouldn't have sold that one!) My mate, who owned it for a year, bought it off a dealer (49,000k's) on Parramatta Road, Burwood, NSW (1984).

When I first bought the car I contacted the 1st private owner and spoke to him about the car. He resided at Beverly Hills (NSW) and had bought it from Newmans (Chrysler Dealer) at Kogarah (NSW). They had used the car for a short time (I can't remember now how long) as a company car or a car for one of the owners - I never have contacted them to find out more but I just might now I think of it.

The bloke at Beverly Hills bought the car from them he used it as a company car from his fork lift truck business. When I got the car it had a Mark IV aircond unit in it and some dickhead had drilled the drain hole through the transmission tunnel into the casing.

They had realised their mistake but only epoxy'd the hole and left the filings in the transmission. This was discovered when I had it serviced, so the transmission was pulled apart, the case tig welded and rebuilt. What is testement to the Torqueflite trans you couldn't tell when driving it and even when pulled apart there was minimal damage.

A little while after this I put in a large E48 B/W diff (or what here is sometimes called a Dana diff). The car was good like this but due to absolute stupidity on my part I took the diff out and put the original back in, selling the E48 diff. (Just wait a minute while I give myself upper-cut!).

I sold the car in 1989 (Another upper-cut!) and bought it back from the same bloke in 1991.

In 1995 I pulled the motor down and confirmed the internals of the motor. It is a steel crank, large valve engine with an AVS. The motor is now 30 thou' over, unleaded suitable and rebuild pretty much standard. One thing I did notice about the motor was some reddy-orange paint under the some of the blue. I took a photo or two of that as well as the stack of photo's to record the state of the motor and to get the thing back together right - of course! But this suggested to me that Chrysler Aust just put them in cars as they came across them.

The car has been unregisted since 1993 and as mentioned I have rebuild the motor plus I have ripped out the Mark IV and put in a factory unit from same year sedan. The body needs attention and it will get it soon but it should be back on the road next month (hopefully). I have put a factory radio back in, had the AVS rebuilt properly (MLP Carbs - good job!).

About the only thing that isn't standard is the SS exhaust and wider wheels (I do have W35 mags but they're on my AP5 at the moment). Anyway, thought you might enjoy hearing about another E55 that has survived.

Robs E55 Star Bronze Metallic.

Build info identifies this car as:

  • Vin: VJ6H29-01099
  • Engine: A331D00169
  • Trim: C1 - DARK SADDLE
  • Otions: E55 C16 A74 R77 T15 W35, A97, S77, Z15, C67
  • Build Date: 21 December 1973

Robs Comments about his car

This E55 was purchased at Collins Chrysler, 222 Exhibition Street Melbourne, (V101)

There were only 17 Bronze metallic E55's made of which only 2 had the C67 option of the cloth inserts. This vehicle is the only Bronze metallic E55 comprising the above options, therefore the car is a one off.

The car underwent a rotisserie restoration approximately 3 years ago when it was purchased by the former owner. The car has only travelled 11,000 kilometres since full restoration.

Chris Wards Vintage Red E55 at home in New Zealand.

Build info identifies this car as:

  • Vin: VJ6H29-1096
  • Engine: A331D00167
  • Trim: L1 - PARCHMENT
  • Colour: RP - Vintage Red
  • Otions: E55, C16, T15, W35, Z15
  • Build Date: 24 December 1973

Terry's VH SE E55.

Terry says this about his car "I had my 340 overhauled by a recommended company in Perth and after it put a push rod through the rocker."

"I was told they had used Chevy valves and because they were to long the cut the them down (removing the case hardening)."

"I used to also blow smoke and they found the piston rings gap all lined up and it had glazed the bores."

Terry's Dyno Read Out.

The attached Dyno readout was taken before it was rebuilt again and before and after we changed the manifold from a torker 340 single plane to a Weiand action plus intake manifold. The motor was rebuild at 25,000km by AB in Osborne park and goes very well.

Build info:

  • Vin: VH6H29/CI 29-1281
  • Engine: A331C00085 (Original engine no longer fitted)
  • Trim: X2
  • Colour: YJ BERG 4568 (Originally Sunfire metalic)
  • Otions: E55 S77 G60
  • Build Date: 31 Jan 1973

Jerry provided this photo of his VJ XL SOA car.

Build info identifies this car as:

  • Vin: VJ6D29/DE02-0475. SOA 892
  • Engine: A331D00060
  • Trim: L1 - PARCHMENT
  • Otions: E55, C16, A54, C10, G15, G25, R77, T15, W35
  • Build Date: 2 July 1973

Jerry's comments, Interestingly the car left the factory fitted with a 16:1 steering box and heavy duty rear springs. It also has maximum cooling parts fitted. The only modifications I have made are fitting Pacemakers and a Model 88 diff (out of an E48). Overall the car is in good original condition, but it will shortly be taken it off the road for a "freshen up".

Ricks mighty E55 now lives in Canada, this is his story;

I came across this VJ E55 in 1991 when my wife and I were working in Sydney on a 1 year work visa. Being a mopar guy with too much time on my hands I could not beleive the style and shape of the Chargers - I begged my wife to let me buy one. After running an ad in the local paper looking for a V8 Charger and scoping some out a couple (Mick and Tarran) called to say that they had an E55 Charger for sale.

After looking at the Charger ( I did not know how low the production #'s were on this model) in the many pieces it was in I could not pass up the deal that Mick gave me. The purchase was made and I spent the next 4 months finding the needed spares and putting the E55 together and making it road worthy.

It was put on a ship in Botany Bay and shipped to Los Angeles (Via Kobe Japan and one hurricane) where we picked it up on a Friday Afternoon. Traveling on the freeways during rush hour in a RHD vehicle is not recommended. All in all we made it to our home in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada in one piece 4 weeks later (did some sightseeing etc).

The car has been to many shows and always is a headturner here. It is a numbers match car, Serial #VJ6H29-DC20-0159

I do beleive it is E55 #031, The crankshaft is Forged steel, the compression ratio was 10.25-1.
Also still has the original 'J' heads.

When I was in Aus at the time I was told that after engine #35 that the remaining E55 were cast cranks and 8.5-1 Comp, the Car was originally Sherwood Green.

I do have more info but I am not to proficient at typing. Car was originally purchased from Purnell motors in Paramatta.

If you or one of your connections have more info on this car please let me know. Cheers Rick

Build info:

  • Vin: VJ6H29-DC20-0159
  • Engine: A331D00031
  • Trim: C1 - DARK SADDLE
  • Otions: E55, C16, T15, W35, N634
  • Build Date: 29TH MAY 1973

Stewart is the proud owner of an E38 and E55, his story below;

I was an apprentice motor mechanic on my way to work when I saw the E38 for sale in Byrne Ford's Car Yard at Chermside in 1981. I went back in the afternoon with my mechanic who was an ex-Chrysler Dealership employee and I fell in love with the car. I put a deposit on it right away.

Got in contact with the previous owner who regretted his decision to trade it in on an XE ESP Ghia Falcon already. He was extremely fussy with the Charger and made sure he kept everything original on it. I also bought from him spare parts, decals and original stripe kit etc as well as correspondence he had over the years with Chrysler Australia. He obtained the original set of pattern extractors from Tubemakers who made them for Chrysler. He had them powdercoated and they retain little plates tagged on that say...."Pattern Set R/T Charger" Pretty cool I reckon.

I looked after the car and drove it for about 5 years before putting it away. I had the engine down three times mainly fixing poor engineering defects from a past rebuild. It has been bored .020" over with genuine six pack pistons fitted. I am the third owner, second owner said the car had been raced by the first owner but couldn't remember his name. It does have all the mandatory CAMS mods of the period like wired engine and gearbox drainplugs as well as a tailshaft loop.

The E38 has been upgraded to a 4 speed as the original 3 speed grenaded on the first owner. A modification I am happy to live with as it makes the car far more pleasent to drive. It also has 15" ROH mags on it in the photograph, but I have the original factory mags tucked away.

Build info E38:

  • E38 is VH7S29BH160040
  • Engine: D363B00055

Build info E55:

  • Vin: VH6H29-01431
  • Engine: A331C00106
  • Trim: X2 - BLACK
  • Colour: YK - LIME LIGHT
  • Otions: E55, G18, H51
  • Build Date: 4th April 1973

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