11 May A Barn Find Nearly 50 Years In The Making!
We have so many special cars heading along to this event, but there is certainly one that is sticking out for us at the moment. If you want to know the definition of a barn find then this is it. This car isn’t just a car. It’s a story. Any petrolhead can really appreciate this tale of nearly 50 years. This will be the cars first public show appearance since 1976 when it was locked away.
The Chrysler Valiant Charger was styled by Bob Hubbach (later Dodge Viper) and conceived in secret in Australia. Launched in 1971, the Chargers now have a strong cult following across Australia and New Zealand.
As one of the ‘big three’ manufacturers in Australia (Ford, GM and Chrysler), the decision to race the Charger was made early on and Chrysler Australia’s competitions’ manager was sent to Bologna in Italy to develop a three dual-barrel side-draft Weber 45DCOE carburettor configuration for the six-cylinder 265cui (4300cc) ‘Hemi’ engine. Two variants were developed: a ‘street’ 6-Pack given option E37 and the high-performance competition engine option E38. The racing Chargers enjoyed great success across Australasia.
This car was purchased new by Kermit Tergesten, a Swede living in Perth, Western Australia at the time. Along with the 6-Pack Competition Engine, Track Pack, Interior Dress-Up package and 3.23:1 Sure-Grip rear axle, Kermit ordered Hot Mustard paintwork, bonnet blackouts and a Satin Black interior. The car was the tenth last R/T E38 produced.
After having the car on the track for some ‘hot’ laps at Wanneroo Park, Kermit accompanied the Charger by sea from Fremantle to Genoa. He then drove to Monte-Carlo to watch the 1973 Monaco Grand Prix and following the race weekend, headed home to Sweden. Kermit sold the car in 1976, however it remained in Sweden and was raced at Mantorp Park the following year. The car has become known as ‘The Swedish Charger’ and to date there is no record of any other 6-Pack Australian Charger making its way to Europe.
It was discovered in a barn in Stockholm in 2011, purchased by John, brought to the UK briefly and then shipped back to Australia for a full rotisserie restoration. Throughout the restoration, particular attention was given to original detailing and replicating the factory assembly line process. Traditional lead wiping techniques were used on the panel joins. The car returned to the UK early 2018.
We are hoping to reunite Kermit with the car at our event in September after 43 years apart. We make articles all the time for our multiple events but rarely do we get goosebumps over a vehicle.
The car will be in the main arena of our event for you to see and appreciate. Make sure you grab your tickets now and don’t miss out.