I found this posted on a Mopar forum around 2001 - read on to check out the story of an E49 Charger reigning supreme at an Illinois drag strip in the late 1990s.
There's a definite laugh in this story, though some Ford owners might not see the joke. Anyway, it starts in New Zealand and moves to the USA…
Regardless of their personal allegiance, most Australian and NZ enthusiasts agree on the performance credentials of the Valiant Charger E49.
A little while back, a member of the Chrysler R/T 6 Pack Owners Club of NZ sold his E49 to Paul and Lisa Smith of Illinois, USA.
So, its new owner plans to restore the Charger to concourse condition and show it at all the major USA MOPAR shows. But in the meantime, Gary Bridger, of the 6 Pack Owners Club of NZ, received the following account of what happened when Paul took the beastie for some exercise …
After a couple of days getting used to the E49, driving and tuning, I decided to see what we could make it do in the 1/4 mile. Wednesday night is grudge match night at the local drag strip. I call it my `run what you brung night’. A couple of friends and I decided to try to break into the 13's with the Charger.
The first pass was a lone run and I posted a 14.11 at 100.003 mph. Not bad for a first run All of a sudden the "Mustang" crowd started showing up to see what we had under the hood, oops I mean bonnet. We kind of closed the hood and let it cool off and waited for the next run.
We adjusted the air pressure in the rear slicks and unhooked the front sway bar for more weight transfer. I pulled up to the staging area and was up against a brand new 2000 Mustang GT. 4.6 litre 5 speed. He had all of the go fast goodies like a big exhaust, big tires and even chrome rocker covers. I knew that he was really fast then.
After pulling around the burnout box and doing a couple of dry hops we were ready for action. I had a reaction time of .489, started shifting and waited for the Mustang to appear. But to no avail, I never saw him except in my rear view mirror. After running through the traps and slowing down he did finally catch up with a real confused look on his face!
I got my time slip and I turned a 13.96 at 101.994 mph! Not bad for my second run.
The Mustang boy takes a look at the hood and says "No wonder you beat me you got a hemi!" Boy, was he in for a surprise!
Then we adjusted the timing and reset the rear tire pressures and went for it again. No! not another Mustang, a 1995 5.0 LX which is the lighter version. Oh well, what the hell, we’re here for fun!
After staging very shallow, we got the last yellow I hit it, rolled into second gear and he was nowhere to be seen. He had staged very deep and when I hit it on the last yellow light he hit it and red lighted! OK, so far so good, we beat 2 out of 2, pretty good luck.
Now the last run because of impending thunderstorms. We cooled the intake with ice, checked the timing and tire pressures and went back for another run.
The president of the Mustang club wanted to run me so we set it up. He had a 1969 351 Windsor 4 speed and 3.90 rear. I figured that we were in trouble but again we were here for fun and waited for our turn. He kept giving me the "LOOK of Death", I guess we were making them look bad.
So I staged shallow again, a real favorite of mine and looked over - he was laughing and giving me a real nice middle finger salute. Boy, those Mustang boys don't have a sense of humour! I let the last yellow glow and hit it again. It launched like a rocket, I didn't even spin the tires, 2 turns and we were off. I was pulling the gears again waiting for the BIG BAD Mustang to appear, again to no avail - it never did. I pulled into the cool down lane and got my time slip, 13.91 at 103.001 MPH, NOT BAD!
We all felt that we could get a lot more out of it. I don't think that 13.50's are out of the question. With a fresh motor, clutch and time we could really make these things fly.
I pulled back into our pit area to let the Charger cool off and the president pulled up and told me that it was a really bad running hemi and I should get it looked at! We opened the bonnet for him and the look on his face was worth a million dollars.
"A fucking 6 cylinder - What the hell is that!?"
I explained to him what it was and what it was built for, he just shook his head in disbelief and walked away a really beaten man.
The word got out about the motor and it took us 2 hours to get out of there. Most of the Mustang guys took it in stride, they were good sports about it, a couple of guys said that we should beat them because it is a real race car! I asked if any of them would like to go to the race track with turns like Road America but there were no takers.