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Australian muscle under the hammer


Chrysler’s R/T E38 Charger coupe might not have won Bathurst in 1971 as its maker intended, but well cared-for examples are currently hot on the heels of their Holden Monaro and Ford Falcon rivals in the collectable car stakes in Australia.

Twelve months ago, no Charger had sold at auction for even close to six figures. Since then, several have soared up to and beyond that mark, with the current ‘record’ of $Au140,000 set at this year’s Shannon’s Melbourne Motor Show Auction.

However, that figure could become history on Monday, September 3, when an original and unrestored Hot Mustard 1971 Charger VH R/T E38 coupe (above right) goes under the hammer at Shannon’s Melbourne Spring Auction, with Shannon’s quoting a guiding range of $Au140,000-$165,000.

Part of one of Australia’s foremost muscle car collections, this Charger (pictured) was built 36 years ago on August 24, 1971, and was fitted with all the wanted options: the E38 280bhp (209kW) engine, A95 interior dress-up pack, D53 (3.23:1) back axle with limited-slip differential and A84 Big Tank Pack.

Originally sold in Perth, the Charger went to Townsville, Queensland, in 1975, where it remained in the hands of the same family for a further 18 years, during which it was for many years a ‘daily driver’.

When it changed hands in 2003 at 88,991 miles, it required some mechanical work on its suspension, brakes and a tune-up of its triple twin-choke Weber carburettors.

However, the Charger was otherwise left alone, with the new owner preferring to keep it in substantially original, unrestored condition. It has now covered 91,745 miles.

As an alternative to the Charger, Shannon’s is also auctioning a four-speed manual 1970 Falcon XW GT sedan with a guiding price range of $Au130,000-$155,000 (top right).

As part of a full restoration in the 1990s, the Falcon was repainted in its original Silver Fox metallic, and a professionally built race engine using a period 351 Windsor was fitted in January 2000, when the car’s odometer read 95,376 miles.

In recent years, the vehicle has been part of one of a major Australian muscle car collection and its sale represents a rare opportunity to acquire an XW GT, which like all Falcon GT models, is rapidly gaining value.

For Holden enthusiasts, Shannon’s is also auctioning five Monaro coupes spanning three generations of the iconic two-door Holden built from 1968-1974.

Outstanding examples include a Bright Blue Metallic 1968 Holden HK Monaro GTS 307 V8 Coupe (pictured above, $Au65,000-$75,000) and 1970 Daytona Bronze Holden HT Monaro GTS 186S Coupe that has covered a fully documented 35,000 miles from new ($Au50,000-$60,000).

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