By now, most of you guys have read at least one or two of the user-submitted stories weve been sharing about your histories as Dodge fans. One of the most interesting submissions we received didnt even come from this country, but from the other side of the globe entirely. This is the story of a genuine Dodge guy living in Sydney, Australia, and you may be surprised how similar his story sounds to the ones youve been hearing from over here.
Daniel charger dan Andrew claims hes been a Dodge nut since the day he was born, and credits his two Mopar-obsessed uncles for the inspiration. Apparently, one of them even had a yard so crowded with Mopar muscle that the grass couldnt even be mowed, so its safe to say these guys were indeed enthusiasts.
Some of Daniels earliest memories involved him tearing around the neighborhoods with his uncles, and he vividly remembers the occasional burnouts theyd pull off. At the ripe young age of 8, Daniel had already learned more about these cars than most local mechanics, solely from sitting around the campfire listening to his uncles talk about their cars for hours on end.
Now 28 years old, he has already owned quite an impressive array of cars. While he never really had easy access to the exact same vehicles found here, there was usually the Aussie equivalent. Many of them were pretty impressive too, often involving some combination of small-block goodness, classic looks and frequently less weight than their counterparts seen here. Daniels favorite was the Valiant Charger, and he wasted no time choosing it for his first car.
In fact, he still kicks himself to this day for selling that first car. It was a 1973 VJ 770 Valiant Charger 340, and he claims it was one of just two made in Arctic White (something he only recently found out, and certainly isnt helping his sellers remorse). After that came a VG Convertible, white with a 245 HEMI six-cylinder. He says this was actually a great car for cruising, but it wasnt long before he moved onto his third Mopar, a VG Valiant Pacer. This four-door packed a gutsy 265 HEMI, and Daniel claims it could rip down the 1/4 mile in just 12.2 seconds. Thats a screaming fast sedan, no matter how you cut it. The last car he owned before his current ride was an AP5 Safari Wagon, a Canadian import with a 318 stuffed under the hood, which he says was another great beach-cruising car.
Now, he hasnt strayed far from this path for his current car, a 76 VK 770 318 Chrysler Charger that hes nicknamed THE REAP3R (were guessing thats probably also on the license plate). After a series of unfortunate mishaps with the car early on, he decided it was time to realize his life-long dream, and began turning it into a full-blown project car.
He says the build is at about 70% completion and is still lacking an engine, but hes been going at it for four years now. Its fan page has provided Daniel with great feedback and amazing assistance from people all around the world, whether its help with sourcing some parts or even funding the project. He says he was shocked by how many great people are out there just willing to help, and that hes forever grateful to all of them. Although its not finished yet, hes confident its now turning into something very special.
In the meantime, Daniels doing what he can to help the growing Mopar scene down under. Hes never missed a single All Chrysler Day event and he recently participated in last years two-day Mopar Rumble Car Show, commenting that it had a very promising turnout for its very first year. He says the Mopar guys down under are really a tight-knit group (which is why he named his ever-growing Facebook group the Mopar Family), and that everyone involved treats each other like family. This community keeps him busy around the clock, with a never-ending influx of emails in his inbox and a phone ringing off the hook. Still, he shouldnt be too surprised that hes viewed as the local expert after all, hes even got a Dodge tattoo on his arm!
At the end of the day, though, he says he still feels like hes a Dodge kid born in the wrong country, and hes begging us to send some extra love down under whenever we can. Well, were listening, Dan. Is anyone else here reading from Australia? Tell us in the comments below what youd like to see from us down there, and well do what we can.