Classic cars have always interested me, especially the American muscle of ole. With their uproarious engines, larger than life dimensions and their high likelihood of doing a burnout almost every time one puts their foot to the pedal, these cars have almost always brought a smile on my face.
Thus, it was no surprise that I went crazy when I paid a visit to Al Numairy performance. Where I just happened to find Fadi’s 1968 Dodge Charger R/T resting in the shadows.
For those who do not know, Fadi is the manager at Al Numairy Performance, a garage that specializes in engine building and tuning. Aside from the 1968 Charger R/T, he has in his arsenal a 1970 Chevelle SS, 2014 Dodge Viper GTS and a 1992 Dodge Viper RT. I have been told this is just the beginning of the list
Most people recall this particular model of the Dodge Charger from the 1968 movie Bullitt. Where its involved in a 10 minute long car chase against a dark green Mustang. Touted as the greatest car chase scenes of all time, this movie is solely responsible for boosting the 68 Dodge Charger sales.
Fadi tells me that it took him a while to find his Charger R/T. However his patience paid off when he found this triple black, 426 Hemi example in America. This is quite rare to come across. Since only a handful of Chargers were sold with the Hemi. The car was built in the USA under Fadi’s supervision as he wanted to make sure that everything worked just as well as it did when they first produced the car back in 1968. The reason he chose to build it in the States was because he believed that the garages in the States truly understand how classic cars should be built and done. I believe that garages here can learn a thing or two from, especially ones that ‘restore’ classic cars.
For some enthusiasts, the 68 Charger R/T is one of Mopar’s all time ‘Greatest Hits’ with what was to become known as the Coca-Cola body style – with hideaway headlights, a beastly HEMI engine under the hood and a glorious growl. A growl that turns heads, and wakes up your neighbors.
When first rolled out the 68 Charger came with 5 engine choices, the base engine was a 318 cubic inch engine, the second a 383 cubic inch engine with an option of either a two barrel 290 hp or a four barrel engine 330 hp. On the other hand, the R/T came standard with a 440 cubic inch Magnum but also featured an optional 426 cubic inch Hemi (as seen in Fadi’s) with 425 hp and 490 lb-ft of torque.
However, even though horsepower numbers for the 426 Hemi were attractive, the sales figures for the Hemi were quite low and made up for less than 500 of the 17,000 non-Hemi R/T Chargers sold.
Fadi’s car is not just a regular Hemi however; at its heart is a stroked engine with a 12:1 compression ratio. Which when combined he says, makes 580 BHP on pump gas. Everything in the car is stock. And this is quite remarkable. As finding a car this rare in stock form today is as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack.
The thing I found to be most unique and just loved about Fadi’s Charger R/T is just how sharp and fresh it is for a 49 year old car. It’s probably the freshest example I’ve seen here in the UAE; it has not a single blemish, dent or scratch. And that goes both ways, for the exterior as well as the interior.
Fadi’s love and passion for muscle cars exists because he firmly believes that they were the beginning of an era that defined mechanical technology to its maximum. There was no computerized assist system that existed and mediated between the driver and the car; it simply was just the driver and a car with no brain whatsoever. Cars were just machines, which moved at the command of your foot.
The thing I most adore about the 68 Charger (especially Fadi’s) is just how intimidating and badass the car looks. The hideaway headlights, the black paint coupled with the red bumblebee stripes, the quad taillights, the hulking size and the monstrous sound all contribute towards the car’s outlaw-ish and rebellious look and in my opinion makes it the poster child of classic and timeless muscle cars.