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340CI CHRYSLER VJ VALIANT CHARGER: READER'S CAR OF THE WEEK

By Carly Dale | Photos: Coventry Studios, 07 Jan 2016 Features

340CI CHRYSLER VJ VALIANT CHARGER: READER'S CAR OF THE WEEK

Corinne Miller’s VJ Charger packs a 340-cube Mopar donk, and a baby seat in the back!

ANY car enthusiast worth their salt will spot a sharp, two-door muscle car from way off. And if it looks grandpa-spec, that just piques the interest all the more. So when we spied Corinne Miller’s crisp, venetian-sportng VJ Charger XL, we naturally had to find out more.

VJ Valiant Charger 11 NwCool Charger Corinne, what’s it running?

It’s got a 340 with a 904 Torqueflite trans and a nine-inch.

VJ Valiant Charger 10 NwVery tough! Have you owned it for a while?

Yeah, it’s my first car. My partner Jarrod introduced me to the car scene before I even had a licence. I learnt from him that if you only like one make and model you’ll miss out on driving some really awesome cars. So I’m not partial to a particular model; we own Fords, Holdens and Valiants. I ended up choosing this from two other cars – an XY and a Statesman. This had the least amount of rust. I drove it for most of my Ps, and then it got keyed. That turned into a full bare-metal respray, which in turn became a full retrim and restoration of everything else.

VJ Valiant Charger 2 NwThe usual snowball effect, then?

Yeah, it was in bits for about eight years. During that time I trimmed it, as I’m an auto trimmer by trade. That’s also when we swapped out the 265ci it was running for the 340. I wanted a fun car that was also close to original. I kept the same colour code and column shift, so it looks like a ‘grandpa’ car.

VJ Valiant Charger 8 NwAnything unusual with the build?

Here’s the really weird thing – the ashes of the previous owner are in the car. I bought the Charger from his mum and she asked if I could keep a small bag of his ashes in there. I agreed, as it meant a lot to her. We then lost them during the build. At that point he’d been in the car for 10 years, so I contacted his family and we now have more of his ashes hanging from the rearview mirror. We believe he’s meant to stay there; it’s a superstitious thing.

VJ Valiant Charger 7 NwWhat do you get up to in it?

Since we’ve finished it, I’ve driven it to work a fair bit and we’ve taken it to a few shows. I have left it on full rego so as not to be restricted with the number of days I can drive it. And now that we’ve found a baby seat that fits in the back – and doesn’t hit the low rear roof line – my two-year-old can cruise too. He calls it ‘Mummy’s racing car’.

VJ Valiant Charger 13 NwWho did you want to thank?

Brad at Valiant Spares for doing the motor and driveline; our mate Andrew Bickley for painting it; Val, my boss at Design Auto Interiors, who helped me with a lot of little things and let the Charger overstay at work; and my partner Jarrod for all of his work.