Chrysler Valiant Review Australia | Features, Specification, Price
- Car Reviews,
- Nov 22, 2020
In the late 1960’s, young Aussies were done with driving the traditional average sedans. It was time that they moved behind the wheels of something quicker and more spirited. Car manufacturing companies identified the demand, and soon enough Holden produced the Monaro. Ford Australia quickly followed suit, with the arrival of the Ford Falcon GT. With both cars earning stellar reputations, especially on the racetrack.
It was evident by then that Chrysler had to come up with a car to compete and capture the minds and hearts of the young. And the young at heart. Behold, the Chrysler Valiant, which was designed to do just that. In 1971, when the Chrysler was introduced, it was the fastest accelerating Australian-built car. Thus, becoming an instant icon.
In this article, we will be focusing on the Chrysler Valiant Charger, part of the iconic range. They account for almost half of the total Valiant that was produced by Chrysler.
Badged as a full-size car, the Chrysler Valiant was produced by Chrysler Australia from 1962 to 1981. Initially, the first generation was only assembled locally. Then in 1963 with the revelation of the second generation, the Valiant was fully manufactured in Australia. The car was mainly sold locally in Australia, but few were exported to New Zealand.
Chrysler made a huge investment in the Australian market. A new plant was added in South Australia in 1964 while another engine foundry was installed in Lonsdale. It was thus that the Chrysler Valiant Regal established itself as the third most Australian made vehicles in the country, behind Holden Kingswood and Ford Falcon.
The VH series for the Chrysler Valiant continued on till 1979 when it was replaced by the CM series. That also marked the end of the local production.
Trims and Models:
The Chrysler Valiant was built on the North American A-body platform. However, most of the components and parts came from Australian suppliers. Initially, there was a sedan and wagon-style available. Later, a commercial utility was also added to the range. In 1969, a two-door version was launched, and then the Chrysler Valiant Charger.
Greater differentiation from the donor car crept in overtime, particularly since the VE series. It was embraced by the Australian motoring press and won the 1967 Wheels magazine car of the year award. The VF series of 1969 and the VG of 1970 departed even further from its North American donor. Both in terms of styling and performance. Moreover, Australia continued to produce a station wagon model, called Safari. Even after this body style was discontinued for North America.
Chrysler Valiant Charger:
The Chrysler Valiant Charger was introduced in 1971 and was, without doubt, the most popular one in the range. It was a two-door hardtop coupe version of the Chrysler Valiant Regal, being a short wheelbase variant. It was introduced in the VH Valiant series and continued till 1978 in the VK, VJ and CL series. For the VH and VJ series, it was labeled as the Valiant Charger. While for the VK and CL series, it was known as the Chrysler Charger.
The VH Valiant proved to be the most popular, winning the Car of the Year award of 1971 by Wheels magazine. The car was equally liked in New Zealand. Where they were imported and assembled, but not altogether manufactured.
Later, the sporty image was somewhat diminished by the VJ range. And was finished altogether with the arrival of the VK series.
In its seven years of production, the Charger carried variations of the two basic power plants. The first one was the Chrysler LA engine V8 or the more popular Chrysler Hemi-6 engine.
The Charger is based on the same US A-body platform, but there are some notable differences. The front suspension is almost identical, but the fenders have been widened. The rear axle is made wider. That makes the overall look of the Charger much wider than the American A-body platform.
As mentioned before, the Charger proved to be an immense success, especially in the VH series. At one point, the Charger constituted almost 80% of all Chrysler Valiant production in Australia.
Below are the basic specifications for the Charger, based on the Chrysler Hemi-6 engine power plant:
✔ Engine: 4345cc inline six with three twin-choke Weber carbs
✔ Power: 208.5kW @ 5000rpm
✔ Torque: 420Nm @ 3700rpm
✔ Gearbox: 3-speed floor-shift manual
✔ Suspension: Independent with torsion bars (f); live axle, semi-elliptic leaf
✔ springs (r)
✔ Brakes: 11-inch discs (f) 9-inch drums (r)
✔ 0-100km/h in 6.4sec
Performance and Price:
At the time the organization asserted a stock E37 could finish a quarter-mile run in 15.7 seconds. However, that number fell if the discretionary "six-pack" bundle was added. That put three two-barrel Weber carburetors on the straight-six motor. As well as increased the ability to 248hp (a 30hp increment) and 306 foot-pounds.
The base-model vehicle was evaluated from $2795. However, the R/T was estimated at $3395 - presently these vehicles can bring a place somewhere in the range of AUD 60,000 and AUD 110,000. The R/T superior pack came to fruition from a craving to go engine hustling. It added dark stripes, a dark radiator grille, driving lights, model-explicit steel wheels, a games instrumentation pack, and a two-talked aluminum controlling wheel.
Right from the start in 1971, the Valiant Charger breathed a new life into the Chrysler range. It came with a style that was loved by all and admired by most. It managed to compete with the rivals at that time and proved to be a formidable competitor on the track.
Even though the local market was tiny, 17,000 Chargers made their way to the homes of new owners. It paved the way for the popularity of the Chrysler brand, which was not very much famous before that.
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