In 1972, the 440 big-block...
In 1972, the 440 big-block was detuned down to a weak 280 hp, but was still considered too powerful for most insurance companies.
Purchased new on December 30, 1971, this particular '72 Hemi Orange Rallye stayed most of its life in Southern California between San Bernardino and Alhambra. Ken Lipka specially ordered the B-Body with the largest engine available at the time for $5,500. Besides swapping the original manifolds for headers and performance exhaust, Ken left his original '72 Charger near perfect for twenty years before selling it in March 1990. When the second owner came to collect the Rallye, he found the only thing needed was a recharging of the A/C system and a new floor mat. The Rallye was prepped and exported to Wales by John Rowland in 1995. Needless to say, an early '70s big-block Charger in the British Isles is a rarity. The Charger was left alone during the next few years before Gary and Heather Bradshaw of New Costessey, Norwich, England, took possession of the Rallye. Since then, the Bradshaws have enjoyed taking their beautiful example of America's last performance Charger around their neighborhood and to events with their auto collector's club. Priding themselves on preserving the originality of the Charger Rallye, the Bradshaws have returned the factory exhaust back into place.
Amazingly, the 35-year-old Charger has kept every scrap of documentation: service history, garage paperwork, and dealership records. With only 115,000 miles on the odometer, this car is in a pristine state of preservation.
'72 Dodge Charger RallyeGary & Heather Bradshaw
New Costessey, Norwich, England
Engine: It was the last hurrah for Chrysler's big-block-powered B-Bodies. The stout 440ci, 280-horse big-block was externally no different from the RBs of the previous year, but the internal components tell a different story. Rebuilt to stock factory specs, the 440 offered less compression than before and a significantly tamer camshaft. (It's sad to think that today's foreign V-6s yield more ponies than the last year of the RB 440.)
Transmission: Like the 440, the transmission was pretty much unchanged from the factory. The 727 TorqueFlite automatic with its T-handle shifter is all but stock, and during the resto, was returned to factory specs.
Rearend: Chrysler 8-3/4 filled with a Sure Grip and 3.55 gears.
Horsepower & Performance: Gary and Heather don't race their Charger, but they do cruise it around. The 280 horses under the hood still outpower the fair majority of British and other European cars on the road.
Sure GripSuspension: Nothing has been molested since it rolled off the assembly line in 1972. The Rallye did offer some pretty impressive equipment though. Incumbent with the factory Rallye-option suspension package were heavy-duty brakes, springs, and shocks-all meticulously restored.
Brakes: Standard Chrysler power disc brakes up front, with 10-inch drum brakes on the back.
Wheels: Factory 15-inch Rallye rims at all four corners.
Rubber: BFGoodrich is the weapon of choice here, with 235x15 in front and 275x15 out back.
Body: Never hit, never damaged, not even a speck of rust anywhere, original owner Ken Lipka kept this Rallye Charger preserved nicely. By the time Gary and Heather took possession, all that was needed was a fresh coat of wax and a driver-side floor mat-pretty amazing.
Paint: Factory Hemi orange. Even underpowered, the color still packs a punch.
Interior: the driver-side floor mat was pretty worn and the A/C needed a recharge. Once that was taken care of, the Charger was as good as the day it came off the car carrier at the dealer's lot in 1972. All the paperwork was included in the sale, and the odometer read a meager 115,000 miles-not bad for a 34-year-old car.