Chrysler Centura

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Chrysler Centura

1975 - 1977
4 & 6 cyl.
2.0ltr (4) & 4.0ltr (6)
4 spd. man / 3 spd. auto
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Chrysler Centura
In response to the growing success of the medium sized Ford Cortina and Holden Torana, Chrysler countered with the Centura.

Based on the French "Simca", the Centura was considered by many to be too little too late, being released in 1975, some 8 years after the Torana and TC Cortina had made inroads and established their market share.

Entry level Centura's had the donor Simca's 4 cylinder engine bored out to increase capacity from 1.8 liters to 2.0 liters. But to be competitive in the Australian market, and compete equally with the Cortina and Torana, Chrysler needed a mid sized six cylinder car.

Chrysler Australia engineers set about transplanting the Valiant's Hemi 245 engine, utilising an Australian Borg-Warner gearbox, tailshaft, and differential.

The Centura was criticised at the time for its handling, particularly in 6 cylinder form with a heavy front end and extremely light rear end. However unlike the Valiants and Chargers of the day that had torsion bar front ends with leafsprung rears, the Centura had coil springs all round.

To compensate for the 6 cylinder Centura's weird weight distribution Chrysler engineers placed a variable hydraulic pressure limiting valve in the rear braking circuit.

This device sensed the cars attitude and reduced the rear brake pressure when the front of the car dived, such as under hard braking, thereby preventing the rear brakes from locking up.

This device was bolted to the rear of the chassis and connected to the rear axle through a series of springs and levers. Few owners bothered to maintain the device properly and existing examples of the Centura have probably had the device "bypassed".

The Centura would not last 3 years in the showroom, initially being released as the KB and then followed by the facelifted and better optioned KC model. The European Simca C180 on which the Centura was based had slightly better longevity, being manufactured from 1970 to 1981.

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Also see:

Chrysler Centura KB/KC Specifications
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