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GREAT EXPECTATIONS – 1969 Dodge Charger

JASON_1C

I have been good mates with Jason Pages of Albany, for over 20 years now. I have DJed for him and his brother Malcolm, in their nightclubs down south for the same period of time, and after a drink or two one night, we all discovered we had a common interest in cars. Whenever we caught up or spoke on the phone the conversation would ultimately lead to car related dramas or alike. It was always good for a laugh and the pair were always building or buying cool shit.

JASON_17A

On my recent visit to Albany, Jason has always thrown me the keys to the collection of his cars. The proviso was simple, if I wanted to drive ‘em, I have to clean ‘em, fill ‘em up, and then park them back where I got them from.  It was all too easy. I remember, all in one day, the town of Albany got to see me cruising in a mid ‘60s Riviera, an even older Buick, and a two-tone pick-up truck. I was having a ball!

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There is one car I haven’t driven and it is his 1969 Charger. Not because he won’t let me, but rather, it hasn’t really been finished until now. The sad part, it has all been one big drama right from the start. It is only now, that Jason is finally putting some kays on the old girl.

Jason’s brother’s car, a tough-looking Mustang Eleanor Fastback was a car I photographed awhile back now, and the story about that build centred around Malcolm being embroiled in an elaborate Ponzi scheme. Well, you wouldn’t read about it, well, you actually are now, Jason was mixed up with the same arsehole and had some similar dramas to Malcolm.

JASON_4 CROP

“I commissioned the build on the car in a workshop located in Chisholm, Minnesota. I had done business with the operator from there previously without incident, but with this build it went pear-shaped from the start. From what I can gather, after he started my Charger project he found another customer who wanted to build a ‘69 Charger drag car. He was able to convince this American-based customer to run with my colour scheme and interior design, obviously not knowing that the car was also sold to me. Both I and the other party continued to receive photos as the build progressed on ‘our car’. When circumstances caught up with the shop’s owner, there was one charger with a blown 392ci Hemi that was painted in HOK Brandy Candy Wine. The shit hit the fan! Of course, we both claimed the car and I had to engage a lawyer I hadn’t even met to fight my case. The short story is that I got the body and he got the engine. That was the best I could do. An old employee of his sourced me a 440ci motor and dropped that in before the car was headed my way,” explained Jason.

JASON_6

As luck would have it, that motor was up to mud, so Jason had to source another big block Chrysler motor for his machine. This one goes a little better thanks to a steel crank that wears JE flat top pistons and Eagle rods, massaged heads and decent cam. A Holley 750cfm carby rides atop an Edelbrock manifold with spark coming from an MSD ignition and the gases exit via a twin 2 ½-inch exhaust.

JASON_16

Locked in behind the big block Mopar donk is a rebuilt, Torqueflite 727 ‘box with a small converter. The standard 3.23 rear end remains. Wilwood brakes pull the rig up faster than ever and the suspension got a thorough working over so the Charger can go through the twisty stuff better and sit nice, and low over the glamorous Boze friction wheels.

JASON_7

Inside the car is a little bit different from your usual Charger. “I wanted it to be unique in there and I have always liked metal, hence why I went with the engine turned finish on the dash and the door trims,” said Jason. A B&M shifter, billet wheel, Autometer gauges and a complete re-trim in leather and suede make the cabin look up to par for sure. In the boot lies some heavy duty car audio gear – ‘Copperhead Rd’ has never sounded so good I reckon!

JASON_10

With the Charger finally done and dusted, Jason is thinking about turning his sights onto his next project – an old school Chevy pick-up. Here’s hoping that build goes a damn sigh smoother than this one!

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