The Chrysler by Chrysler CH model was released in
November 1971 in both two and four door models. Released
as a replacement to the ever popular VIP model, the
Chrysler CH moved even further up the luxury ladder,
and was often described as a “limousine”.
Its origins were obviously from the VH range, however
there were significant changes taken to ensure it
was in a class of its own.
The front end treatment
came courtesy of the US Dodge, while the floor-pan
from the Valiant Hardtop was used, giving the big
Chrysler an overall length a fraction under 5000mm
(196.6 inches) and wheelbase of 2900mm (115 inches).
The side indicator/parking light setup was removed,
and the bumpers extended upward to give a stronger
visual appearance while adding to the bright-work.
The grille incorporated twin headlights, while at
the rear a horizontal tail-light assembly incorporated
stop, turn signal and reversing lights in a wrap-around
Naturally the standard equipment list was long
and detailed; it included power assisted steering and
front disc brakes, tinted power operated windows,
push button radio with power antenna, a carpeted
boot, courtesy lighting throughout including the
provision of adjustable reading lights for the rear
Significant attention was also taken
to reduce NVH, particularly in regard to the fitment
of extra soundproofing material.
You could option
the car with an electric power seat adjuster, allowing
the driver to tilt the seat or move it backward and
forward, up and down, all for a modest $125 premium.
The only other options any purchaser needed to consider
was air-conditioning, an auto-search radio combined
with stereo tape player and vinyl roof for the sedan
models (the vinyl roof coming standard on the Hardtop
model). The vinyl roof was available in three colors;
black, parchment and brown Paisley.
A feature that is
fitted to even the most utilitarian cars of today,
but was a marvel back in 1971, was the illuminated
ignition keyhole light fitted to the Chrysler. Activated
after opening the drivers door, it would remain on
for 30 seconds. The front seats were also more upmarket
than the lesser Valiant models, although Chrysler chose
to use a split-bench design rather than individual
The New 360 V8
Both the sedan and Hardtop versions could
be ordered with a choice of 265 Hemi, through to the
newly introduced “360” V8,
this stonking 5.9 liter unit being rated at 190kW
(255 bhp) and was manufactured at Chrysler’s
Lonsdale (South Australia) facility. The 360 was
a further development of the Fireball 318, the increase
in power and size gained by using a larger bore and
stroke, while the fitment of a two-barrel carburetor
ensured the engine offered better performance, and
worse economy if pushed hard. Whichever engine was
chosen, Chrysler then mated it to an imported “TorqueFlite” three
speed automatic transmission, the locally manufactured
version deemed less smooth.
In every way the Chrysler
by Chrysler was a worth competitor to the competition.
It beat Ford’s
ZF Fairlane to market by almost five months, and
came fitted with much more equipment than the General’s
Statesman, the latter also not being afforded the
option of a 2 door model. The motoring press of the
day were quick to declare the new model the “King
of the Prestige” of the Big Three manufacturers.
The base price for the six cylinder version Chrysler
by Chrysler was $4895, rising to $5872 for the fully
optioned V8. The 360 V8 was a $200 option. Today
these cars are becoming rare, and are keenly sought
by collectors and Chrysler fans, they representing
the halcyon days of the marque in a style no other
could hope to match.
The Chrysler brochure for the Chrysler by Chrysler
stated the following; "Over the past four years, the
full resources of Chrysler Australia have been directed
toward a very special goal. To build Australia’s
Ultimate Motor Car. The Chrysler is that car. We do
not discuss here, the merits of owning a great luxury
car. We assume you have already reached that understanding.
Instead we simply list the main features:"
- Tasteful, aerodynamic wedge styling in a full
- Distinctive looped front bumper,
completely enclosing dual headlamps
- Formal roof
covering of paisley patterned brown vinyl, leather-grain
black or parchment (Standard Hardtop, optional
- Elegant hand-painted coachline along the
full length to enhance the Chrysler’s shape
piece wrap around rear bumper incorporates tail
lamp grouping. Side-marker lamps have inlaid castle
- Woven nylon brocade
upholstery in Interlaken pattern.
instrumentation including ammeter and clock, deep
set in Carpathian elm panelling
- Spacious interior
dimensions: Legroom front 40.34”;
rear, 38.25” minimum. Head-room front, 39”;
rear, 38”. Shoulder room, front and rear,
- Exclusive 50/50 split front seat design is a
Chrysler first. Can be used as a groad one-piece
bench seat, or with twin centre arm rests lowered,
as two independent “arm
chair buckets”. Each seat has its own armrest,
is independently adjustable for legroom and angle
- Full width rear seat with fold down
centre arm rest.
- Specially molded loop pile carpeting
throughout. Carpeted boot and spare wheel.
13 transistor push button radio
- Options of Airtemp
air-conditioning, Searchtune radio,, with stereo
cassette tape player.
- Power operated windows, power disc brakes and
power radio antenna. Co-axial steering with built
- Illuminated boot, glove box and ash
receiver. Twin rear compartment reading lamps,
time delay ignition light, 4 door courtesy switches,
fender indicator lights
- Deep, jet aircraft type
vinyl pockets on the rear of the front seats for
rear passenger stowage.
- Seat belts for all passengers.
Front seat harnesses are linked to automatic retractors.
control exterior rear view mirror. Prismatic day/night
interior rear view mirror.
- Elegant leather-grain
inside door pull handles. Flush mounted pull-type
exterior door handles.
- Anti-theft steering column
- 360 cubic inch
Chrysler V8 developing 255 brake horsepower at
4,400 revolutions per minute. Or 265 cubic inch
displacement Hemi six cylinder.
- Smooth 3-speed column
mounted “TorqueFlite” automatic
- Torsion bar front suspension with
anti-lean sway bar. 4-leaf semi elliptic spring
rear suspension with isolators for noise reduction.
construction using 8,000 individual welds for enormous
strength and silence
- Double thickness
paint-work and sound insulation throughout.
- 11 additional
inspectors devote full time to performing 140 overlapping
quality control checks.
- A 12 mile open road test
is carried out in addition to the normal factory