Chrysler Valiant Review Australia | Prices, Specification, Features
- Car Reviews,
- May 29, 2020
Despite the "Charger" in the name of the Chrysler Valiant Charger, the car has no relation to the American Dodge Charger. The car was launched in the Australian market by the American manufacturer in 1962, and by ‘63 Chrysler Australia had already designed a version based on the original and incorporating many of its design cues, but better suited to the local market. This new design would debut in 1964.
For 1965, Chrysler Australia recognized the performance potential of the platform and offered a V8-powered Valiant. This was fine for a couple of years, but when the Mustang-powered GT debuted in 1967, the V8 Valiant seemed at risk of losing its market. So in 1971, Chrysler developed a fastback coupe version of the Valiant, calling it the Valiant Charger.
The Chrysler Valiant Charger was a two-door hardtop coupe introduced by Chrysler Australia in 1971. It was a short-wheelbase version of the concurrent Australian Chrysler Valiant sedan. Introduced within the VH Valiant series, it continued as a variant through the subsequent VJ, VK and CL series, until production ceased in 1978. It was marketed and badged as the Valiant Charger in the VH and VJ series and as the Chrysler Charger in the later VK and CL series.
VH Valiant Charger:
The Chrysler VH Valiant Charger range, introduced in 1971, consisted of Charger, Charger XL, Charger 770 and Charger R/T (Road/Track) models. Somewhat modest in comparison to the investment in the development of the Hemi engine, Chrysler spent a still very sizable $22 million on the development the new Valiant, the company determined to lift its market share from 12%.
It seemed the designers of the VH got it right, with commentators of the day, along with the public, claiming the new body style to be both bold and beautiful. Charger won Wheels magazine's Car of the Year award for 1971 and was widely acclaimed by others of the motoring press. Australian Motoring News described it as "...the most handsome car Chrysler has ever produced, and probably the best looking car ever produced by an Australian manufacturer".
The range of cars was broad-based to appeal to all manner of people:
✓ Charger: 215 cu in (3.5 L) base engine (140 bhp (100 kW), 3spd manual, $2795.00
✓ Charger XL: 245 cu in (4.0 L) base engine (160 bhp (120 kW), 3spd manual, $3195.00
✓ Charger R/T: 265 cu in (4.3 L) HP base engine (218 bhp (163 kW), 3spd manual, $3395.00
✓ Charger R/T E38: 265 cu in (4.3 L) HP base engine (280 bhp (210 kW), 3spd manual, $3975.00
✓ Charger R/T E49: 265 cu in (4.3 L) HP base engine (302 bhp (225 kW), 4spd manual, $3975.00
✓ Charger 770: 265 cu in (4.3 L) HP base engine (203 bhp (151 kW), 3spd automatic, $3625.00
✓ Charger 770: 318 cu in (5.2 L) 2bbl V8 engine (230 bhp (170 kW), 3spd automatic, $4105.00
✓ Charger 770 SE E55: 340 cu in (5.6 L) 4bbl V8 engine (275 bhp (205 kW), 3spd automatic, $4850.00
VJ Valiant Charger:
In March 1973, the VH range was replaced by the VJ series. The VJ featured changes to the grille, lighting and rear quarter feature panel, with notably 7" round headlights replacing the previous rectangular units. Significantly, this new model range saw the end of the Charger R/T. However, the essential elements of the Six Pack E37 engine option were carried over into the VJ series, now referred to as the E48 engine option.
✓ option E48: Street tune "Six Pack" 265 cu in (4.3 L) engine with three two-barrel Weber carburetors and four-speed manual gearbox.
✓ option E55: 4bbl 275 bhp (205 kW) 340 cu in (5.6 L) V8 (1.88" valve heads).
The mildly revised VK series Charger was released in October 1975 in only two variants. The Charger was now marketed as the Chrysler Charger rather than as the Chrysler Valiant Charger [with Chrysler script badging having replaced Valiant badging front and rear.
✓ Charger XL: 3.5 L (213.6 cu in), 3spd manual (4 L (244.1 cu in) and 4.3 L (262.4 cu in)litre engine options)
✓ Charger 770: 4 L (244.1 cu in), 3spd manual (4.3 L (262.4 cu in), 5.2 L (317.3 cu in) V8 and 5.9 L (360.0 cu in) V8 engine options)
The introduction of the VK series saw the demise of the "Six Pack" engine E48 option package, such that only a basic specification 4.3 L (262.4 cu in) engine remained.
Specifications for VH Valiant Charger:
✓ Engine type: Hemi six-pack V6
✓ Type: Conventional, water-cooled four-stroke, reciprocating piston type with 6 cylinders
✓ Configuration: Front mounted, longitudinal, upright, "Hemi" head
✓ Head: Pushrod and rocker actuated ohv with two valves per cylinder
✓ Fuel System: 3 x 2 barrel side-draft type carburettor
✓ Bore and Stroke: 3.91 x 3.68 inches (99.314 x 93.472 mm)
✓ vDisplacement: 4.3 l (262 ci)
✓ vPower: 306 ps (302 bhp / 225 kw)
✓ Torque: 441 Nm (325 lb-ft)
✓ Power/litre: 71 ps (70 hp)
✓ Power/weight: 226 ps (223 bhp) / t
✓ Torque/weight: 326 Nm (241 lb-ft) / t
✓ Transmission: 4 speed
✓ Layout: front engine, rear wheel drive
✓ Car type: Coupe
✓ Curb weight: 1352 kg (2981 lbs)
✓ Dimensions: 4.56 m (180 in) long, 1.89 m (74 in) wide, 1.38 m (54 in) high
✓ Wheelbase: 2.67 m (105 in)
✓ Introduced: 1971
✓ Steering: R/T with A84 or A87 option: 16:1, Power Steering
✓ Brakes: Tandem/divided master cylinder
✓ Front: All models except Hemi 215: 11 inch ventilated disc with single piston, sliding head calliper
✓ Rear: 9 inch x 2" (228.6 mm) drums
✓ Air Conditioning: $400
✓ Power steering
✓ Disc brakes with 215 engine
✓ Power brakes
“ideal car for Australian conditions, strong, powerful, reliable long-distance car! very unlike today's plastic rubbish!” – UniqueCarsandParts.com
“One of the best cars I've ever owned, I regret selling my e38. I have heard of a silver big tank 49 selling in 2018 for $450k, the car is now in WA. Three cars are highly collectible, wish I had the money to buy another.” - UniqueCarsandParts.com