Welcome back to My Wheels, Abhay. The last time we saw you (issue 376) you had an awesome, bright red 1980 Camaro Z28. Have you still got that Chevy?
Thank you for having me back. I so wish I still had the Camaro but, unfortunately, I had to let it go. However, the reason for that was so that I could own another classic, which I do now! There are times, though, when I feel like calling up the new owner just so I can arrange to see how it is doing, but I’m sure he’s taking good care of that one. Well, he better be!
You have replaced it with an even better muscle car, a third-generation Charger. These are quite rare — how did you come across it?
My friend Mitch Perera was going to the US and he asked me if there were any classics that I wanted him to check out for me while he was there. So I looked online and found this 1973 Charger. He got to the US and drove in the freezing cold Colorado weather to see the car. He called me and said it was in decent condition for the asking price and then I had to make a quick decision if I wanted it or not.
I told him to go ahead and make the deal and I don’t regret that at all. It took a while to get here though; almost a year passed from the day I said I wanted it to the day it finally arrived in the UAE, but it was well worth the wait. I must thank Mitch for doing the groundwork for me and getting the car.
Now it’s here, how much fun is it proving to be?
It’s simply fabulous — but I had to wait a little longer to drive it as it didn’t pass the RTA checks at first. After a bit of fine-tuning from Hammer Head garage in Al Quoz, I finally got it registered. Now from the moment I start it until I reach my destination I have a smile on my face. This car delivers such a thrill. The thumbs up I get from random people just makes my day. It makes me realise that there are lots of people out there who appreciate classic cars. In fact, after we completed this photoshoot and my family and I were heading back, we were stopped by a gentleman in a Dodge Durango who was totally shocked by the Charger. He literally waved me down in the middle of the street and was asking all sorts of questions about it. He was so amazed and I wish I could have spent more time talking to him — but we were holding up traffic and had to move on.
If it were possible, I would drive this car every single day like they used to back in the Seventies, that’s how much I love it. However, that is not possible — not because the car has any issues now, it’s perfectly fine — but I wouldn’t want to risk driving it daily, what with the way some tend to drive out here, and so it’s limited to weekends and car meets and I really look forward to those. And since this is a car that you don’t see all that often, it really makes a great impression on people.
Yes, the second-generation Chargers are a bit more common, but I prefer the lines and shape of the third-generation cars.
I agree. It was a hard act to follow but the Dodge nailed it. These came with a wide choice of engines — which one does it have and how well does it perform?
It’s a stock 318 cubic inch (5.2-litre) V8 with a carburettor, mated to a three-speed automatic, and it gives me such an adrenaline rush when I start it up. Driving this car is a real stress-buster for me and it is an exhilarating feeling just being able to cruise around in such a beauty. It still has more than enough power to spin the wheels that’s for sure! I love everything about this car, from the way it drives to the muscular body, long bonnet, and especially the way it sounds when I hit the throttle.
My wife and son love this car too and we enjoy weekend drives with it — but he always gets startled when I crank it up first! He’ll get used to it soon enough.