Kenny and Brian were able to get a set of decals and repaint the car as a Charger R/T, and the car is very much like it was when Chargers reigned as street champs Down Under. But most importantly, once they were able to get the car in July 1997, it didn't sit in a garage. In fact, we found it by accident while driving back from a photo shoot at Talledega last fall, sitting in front of their shop near Douglasville, Georgia, and still warm from a trip into town. No, the Boys have no problem driving the Six Pack Hemi like it was intended to be driven, as seen in the pictures. One deviation from stock was the addition of an 8 3/4 axle, which allows things like the picture above.
How rare is the E49 package? No one seems to know what the production figures were any longer, but Brian's sources believe only 165 left the plant before the factory pulled the plug on its performance programs. Regardless, the cars were thrashed hard like most of the performance cars in this country, and attrition was probably quite high. This was the first such example brought to America, and less than a handful are here. The lucky ones that remain in the land of their birth are as treasured as the Hemi cars found here in the States, and with good reason. So, was the Six Pack Hemi Charger R/T the best Australian performance car ever? We would have to say a resounding "yes!"
Driving ImpressionsThe Six Pack Hemi may seem like a tame beast to those of us here in the States, weaned on big V8s. That lack of respect quickly changed as we strapped into the lefthand passenger seat for a quick roll down to the "petrol depot" off of I-20 in Douglasville. The lope of the high-compression engine and its hot cam was evident as soon as the engine was started, and the tight gearing in the transmission and rear (a calculated ratio of 6.92) had the engine whining even at 15 mph. A glance out the window to make sure the coast was clear, and the accelerator pedal was against the firewall. The 265 Hemi was breathing freely as it drew air/fuel power through the three Webers until 7,000 rpm, and the rear tires broke loose and the car went sideways for a moment as the next lefthanded gear shift was made. Quickly reeled in, the roaring engine had the car almost immediately near the top of Second, and another power shift was enough to blur the vision out the windows, send the speedo above the legal highway limit, and cause an involuntary grab for anything solid. No question there are a lot of 5.0 posers at stop lights in central Georgia who have learned to quickly respect the car that was driven from the wrong side of the cockpit. Six Pack Hemi indeed.