A 1972 Valiant Charger E49 ‘Big Tank’ has been listed for sale at close to $400,000.
The $395,000 asking price isn’t a match for the record sums paid for Holden and Ford muscle cars, but it is one of the highest for a Valiant from the same era.
Although not in immaculate condition, it is one of only a handful original examples remaining, say representatives for Australian Muscle Car Sales.
Valiant built 149 of the Charger E49 in 1972 to qualify for that year’s Bathurst motor race. Of those, only 21 were equipped with a 160-litre long-range tank (to reduce the number of fuel stops).
Of those 21 cars, the seller claims, only three are in original condition.
Photos show this particular 1972 Valiant Charger E49 is in very tidy condition, but with 95,819 miles on the odometer, it has signs of age, including areas of thinning paint, and an underbody that has seen better days.
Regardless, however, the seller says the car will fetch big money because of its originality.
“Of the 21 Big Tanks that were built, only 14 are left,” says seller Mike Selby. “Most of this are orebodies; we are told only three remain in original condition.”
Mr Selby says the car has already attracted interest from two buyers even though it has only been listed for sale for a week.
“One is arranging finance and the other buyer is also sorting out their arrangements,” said Mr Selby. “We’re confident it will go for close to or more than the asking price.”
Under other recent muscle car classics, this example is not a barn find. It has had only three owners, all of whom have been Valiant collectors. The seller is based in Brisbane but the car is on consignment and on display at Australian Muscle Car Sales in Sydney.
The Valiant Charger E49 was regarded as one of the fastest cars to never win Bathurst. It finished third in the 1972 Bathurst enduro behind the Torana XU1 driven by Peter Brock and the Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III driven by John French.
According to Sports Car World, in October 1972: “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.”
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 (cylinder engine). That's right. Faster than a Phase III GTHO Falcon. And interestingly no other six-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.”
MORE: Old car, big money