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Weekly Motor Fix: the forgotten Charger brought back to life

16 May 2016


At a massive event like Repco Beach Hop 16, the sheer volume of cars — of just about every conceivable make, model, and build style — tends to make you filter out the more common examples; Mustangs, Camaros, Tri-5 Chevs … 

That may be why this first-gen Charger stood out to us so much, although it might also have been the striking two-tone paint job. The ’66 Charger is owned by Paul Collins, who is still far from finished with it. 

The Charger’s last owner had held onto it for 15 years, but had pretty much given up on finishing the car, going so far as to let his dog live inside it — you can imagine the state it would have been in when Paul got his hands on it.

As such, the interior is not exactly in what you’d call concours condition, but Paul’s brought it up to what is definitely a habitable environment, and the factory electroluminescent gauge cluster — arguably the best-looking production gauges ever — is present and accounted for. If you’re really paying attention, you’ll notice the manual shifter and trio of pedals. 

The A833 four-speed is bolted to a 383ci Chrysler big block, which provides more than enough grunt to get the big car moving, and it doesn’t sound half bad either. 

It doesn’t drive too badly either, with Paul having lowered the car — admittedly more for aesthetics than anything — by winding the front torsion bars down, and installing two-inch lowering blocks in the rear. 

But what we found the most impressive was the fact that Paul only took the Charger for its first drive on Good Friday, only four days before Beach Hop began. Obviously, he made it down with no problems, and, as it turned out, happened to do so in one of the more unique cars down there. We’re looking forward to seeing what else he’s done to it by next year!