“I’m stoked at the result from Chryslers on the Murray,” said Wasyl. “Taking home a top five spot [in its category] in a car that’s literally five minutes old was a great outcome. It had only done about 20km before the show, but over the weekend did far more than that. It’s absolutely beautiful to drive; I love it.
“It was never meant to be a show car, and it’s going to get a lot of street miles put on it taking my boys around; for me it’s all about the family and enjoying it with my sons.”
Imported from the States three years ago, the Charger is a numbers-matching 440 RT, but was in need of some loving care. “As soon as it arrived it was stripped down and given a bare-metal rotisserie restoration; it was only completed the morning of the show. The paint and panelwork was all done by Andy’s Restoration in Sydney. Andy does a lot of work for me and I’m wrapped with how this one has come out,” Wasyl said.
While the ’68 Charger may be one of the world’s most iconic body styles, those huge coke-bottle quarter panels have always screamed out for more rubber under the rear.
“The rear end is mini-tubbed; I had the original wheel tubs widened all the way to the rails,” Wasyl explained. “The diff is a 35-spline nine-inch with a Strange centre, and the rear wheels are 15x12s. I had another pair of the same wheels, in the same width, with less dish to them, but the boys convinced me to shorten the diff more and put an even deeper-dish rim on the back. It fills out the rear end a lot more and has a much better look to it. Suspension-wise we went for a full Hotchkis system from the USA, front and back.”
Under the reverse-cowl bonnet lurks one of Mopar’s finest. The 440 Wedge has been given a totally modern upgrade, but it wasn’t all plain sailing: “To begin with I had a few issues finding a decent mechanic to do the work how I wanted it done,” Wasyl said. “I finally ended up with Matty Webster from Webster’s Dyno & Performance in Wodonga and he’s been great. He built what I wanted, how I wanted.
“The motor is the original 440, stroked out to 502ci with an F2 ProCharger and a custom-made PWR intercooler. I went over to SEMA and talked to the blokes from ProCharger and worked out the best set-up for what I wanted; it had to be streetable. It runs high compression, which suits the ProCharger set-up more than it would turbos, and runs on ethanol with a water/methanol system as well.
“I went EFI for reliability,” Wasyl continued. “The computer is a FuelTech race management system, currently programmed to run on the ethanol. The power comes on smoothly, but we’re talking 1000hp, so it’s got plenty of go. There is also a separate program set up in it for race fuel, for whenever I want to take it to Calder Park and have a bit of fun down the strip.”
Backing the Wedge is a 727 Torqueflite transmission. “The gearbox is heavily modified; it’s good for 1800hp,” Wasyl said. “We’re going to put a transbrake on it too. Currently it’s got a 5000rpm stall converter, but after cruising around at COTM I’ve decided it’s too tall and we’re changing to a 2400 stall – something that can make use of the low-down torque.
“Thanks to Matt Webster – he is the one that really put the car together and got it all going – and Andy and the team from Andy’s Restorations.”