Thursday, July 10, 2014

SWB ute.

Lots of discussion about this powerful Valiant on the Unique Cars site including a guy from the US (notice I've stopped referring to "septic tanks" in the interests of international harmony, the things you have to do) who recognised the Charger R/T stripe as some Plymouth item. No-one seemed to notice the short tray. This could be one of the factory test mules. The Chrysler race team, when they were developing the Charger for Bathurst, did their testing in utes that were fitted with all of the goodies right down to the short wheelbase.

And talking about SWB utes (no, not the Mighty Boy) take a look at this beauty.


Anonymous said...

JL. That looks to be a standard VH ute body just the pic makes it look shorter.

Charger mule was a 1970 VF.

From Valiant Pacers website:

Body No: VFX-7-S-20/397
Build Date: 1 Feb, 1970
Original colours: Bondi Bleach White (WA Alpine White) / X1 Black trim
Current colours: Red / X1 Black trim
Original Drivetrain: D363 265 Hemi / 3 speed
Current Drivetrain: D363 265 Hemi / 4 speed
Authenticated: No
Owner details: Steve Nappy - Queensland
Email: snappy at hemi6pack dot com
Listed: 4 Jul, 2006

VFX7S20-397 is a boring white ute that was pulled from the production line in 1970. It was cut directly behind the cab bringing the wheelbase into line with the design of the impending Valiant Charger. It was then cut again behind the real axle and shortened a second time making the total vehicle length the same identical to the Charger. Most people know it as one of "the Mule utes" that were used to fool Ford and Holden during Charger development and track testing! 397 is for all purposes a factory Hemi6pack VFX Pacer ute. It is complianced as a special and is the only verified VF Pacer ute known to have left the factory! It was built with a full VG Pacer interior, had a variety of technical specifications in its time including initial testing of the 265 6 pack engine, and factory testing of the 340 4 speed settup.

On closure of the racing development program the ute was sold to Leo Geoghegan and became the tow car for his racing efforts. It was also a "loaner" to many foreign drivers who visited our shores. The car was sold from Geoghegans Sporty Cars and the new owner took it to the NSW central west region. It rarely left the area. Over the years "the ute" has been white, black (painted by the Geoghegans), vermillion fire, and lastly monza red. It has R/T buckets with red velour inserts, flared guards, huge "uni-mag" deep dish 5 slot mags, and tramp rods. Mechanically it has survived amazingly intact - which is a miracle as its entire life its had its arse flogged off! In the spirit from which it was created its been driven hard and come up with the goods - now its time to make it pretty again! Current Mechanical spec is as Leo left it - R/T E49 spec 265 (original factory development motor), close ration E49 box, Pacer interior, and all factory mods. It is scheduled for future restoration.

Website has pics and all.


Sean M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sean M said...

Very interesting indeed...