The #1968 #Dodge-Charger
fully charged / #Dodge-Charger-II
The one thing that stands out more than anything else on this car has to be the colour – it is glorious. Where many might have gone for a “safe” colour, this particular choice might have seemed a bit risky. But it works brilliantly, and enhances the beautiful lines in a way that might not have been possible had the choice been different. The way the sunlight dances on the surface is something to be seen. And then there’s the car itself. It has been expertly restored with great attention to detail. Ian Viljoen, the owner of Side Ways Customs, collaborated with Kevin Magee in this project and the results are astounding. Ian did the build, with Kevin, a retired air pilot, chiefly handling the financial aspect of it.
When it comes to experience in building cars, Ian has loads. He has built around 80 cars since he first started on a car his dad bought him many years ago when he was still in school. His dad had tired of him constantly taking his lawnmower apart and bought him a 1971 Lancia – with the engine and a toolbox on the back seat – and that is where it all started. He hasn’t looked back since. Some of his prominent customers are Rian Kankowski, Michael Rhodes, Sol Kerzner’s son Brandon (for whom he built a GT500) and one who was not yet infamous at the time, Oscar Pistorius. The latter bought a Mustang from Ian but it’s quite possible that a getaway vehicle was the last thing on his mind.
The Charger wasn’t in the greatest condition when it was bought, and the rear quarter panel and floor pan needed to be replaced. The body was entirely stripped and sandblasted, and epoxy primed before receiving its PPG coats of candy apple Kawasaki green. Kevin wanted the car to retain its matching numbers credentials and opted to retain the original engine which was fully rebuilt. It received new pistons, bearings, cam, lifters, valves and engine mountings.
Fuel is fed via a #Holley
750 carburettor and a brand-new Edelbrock Torker intake was installed, as well as a new water pump. The green extends to the spotless engine bay and engine and the colour reflects off the polished aluminium Edelbrock air filter and the rocker covers, in a mesmerising green haze. The #Chrysler-727
Torqueflite 3-speed autodrive was fully rebuilt, as was the 9-inch #Chrysler
diff, with new bearings and seals. To keep all this power in check, the car also received a #Brembo
4-pot front calliper upgrade with a rear hydrobooster and new Master front suspension which was fully rebuilt with new bushing, ball joints and wheel bearings. The wheels are imported 9.5-inch wide XXR wheels shod with low-profile Pacer 275/35/20s in front and 10.5-inch XXR wheels with Pacer 315/35/20s in the rear. The front and rear bumpers have been tucked, rolled and colour-coded. All the door and hood gaps have also been tightened.
It was less expensive to import the moulded carpet and roof lining than to have it made locally. The seats were reupholstered in black leather by Mac’s Car Interior Specialists, and the door panels were redone. New rubber seals replaced the originals and new exterior and interior door handles were installed as well as new window cranks. Ian is unable to find a replacement for the centre console, and is afraid that if it’s sent off to be redone, that he runs the risk of it not being completed to his satisfaction. I like the fact that the original console is still there – a reminder of the history and age of this car. All the glass is still original but age has caused slight delamination of the windscreen. By the time this goes to print it would’ve been replaced with a new unit.
The wiring loom was restored, a process that took a painstaking two and half weeks. A new fuel cap provides access to the 80 litre tank. The stainless steel exhausts exit either side, between the doors and rear wheel arches. While their placement might appear discreet, the sound they emit is anything but. I still can’t decide if I would see or hear this car first if it approached me on a highway. All I do know is that anyone living close to where this car is kept will think that World War Three had just broken out every time it starts.
Because it looks loud, it wouldn’t seem right if it didn’t sound loud too. This build took many man-hours to bring to fruition and Ian would like to thank his staff, Christo Brand, Tonie Verwey, Percy Ndaba, Howard Macdonald and Fuad Fisher for all their hard work. The good news is that this rare #Dodge
Charger is for sale, the bad news, from a personal point of view is that I couldn’t possibly afford it. If you have a spare R1200k lying around and want to buy something truly awesome that will only appreciate in value, now is your chance.
OWNER: Ian Viljoen and Kevin Magee
LOCATION: Strand, Western Cape
BUILDER: Ian Viljoen of Side Ways Customs
COLOUR: Candy apple Kawasaki green
PAINT TYPE: #PPG
PAINTER: Howard Macdonald
REAR END: 9’ Chrysler diff
BRAKES: Brembo 4-pot calliper upgrade
9.5’ front, 10.5’ rear
TYRES: 275/35/20 front, 315/35/20 rear
FUEL TANK: 80 litres
REBUILD TIME: 5 months