Jed Coinu’s VH Valiant Charger R/T

We caught up with Jed and his ex-speedway, genuine VH Charger R/T at Chopped 2022

Photographers: Chris Thorogood

Chopped 2022 was a ripper event filled with awesome machinery, and amongst it all, we spotted Jed Coinu’s ex-speedway VH Valiant Charger R/T. Naturally, we had to find out more about how a young buck had come to own such a cool old thing and got it running again for this awesome event.

What’s the story behind the Charger?

It’s a genuine 1971-72 VH Charger R/T that was a speedway car at some point. I found it in a regional Victorian town while on a camping road trip for New Year’s Eve. It was sitting out the front of a panel shop and no one was there, so I left my phone number, got a call back around two weeks later, and ended up buying it after some haggling.

What was needed to get it ready for Chopped?

In short, lots. It still had a 265 and drivetrain and all that stuff, but it hadn’t run for at least 10 years. It got to just two weeks before the event before we even started on it, and I wanted to get it running without spending a heap of money.

I got brake lines from a wrecker in Dandenong and straightened them all in the vice, and it needed a new booster and master cylinder. I also had to get a new fuel tank, lines, and get some mates to help with the wiring to get it done.

How did it go at the event?

I only got to do one lap of the paddock before we loaded it up for Chopped, so it was basically untested.

We had issues with the cooling system and the carby, but I still got to have fun with it on the dirt track. It was my first time at Chopped, and I had a ball.

Do you have any other cars?

I’ve got a 1965 Plymouth Valiant coupe, which I originally got from the States as a rolling shell when I was 16 with the help of my dad, as he imports cars from America a lot.

I learnt everything I know rebuilding that car, and I got it done when I turned 18. I’ve had a few others over the years, and right now I’m building a traditional Model A hot rod on ’32 rails.

Where did your love of cars start?

My dad was a big influence, so I’ve been around tough cars basically since I was born. He loves his tough 80s-style street machines, and like me, he’s a definitely a Mopar fan. Like I said, he imports a lot of cars from America, so being around that since I was a kid and building my ’65 coupe really got me into it.

Any future plans for the Charger?

Not really right now, because it can’t exactly be put on the road easily. I’ll probably bring it back to Chopped again, but right now my focus is on getting my hot rod project done.

Anyone you’d like to thank for getting it to Chopped?

I’ve gotta give a massive thank you to some of the guys and girls from the Misled Youth Australia Car Club. They put in a heap of effort to get the thing running and ready for Chopped, and we all had a ball at the event.