Chrysler Valiant

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Chrysler Valiant

Chrysler would become the third major player in the Australian automotive marketplace, and the timing couldn’t have been better. Chrysler distributors had been finding it increasingly difficult to offload the large and more expensive US sedans in the face of competition from the all-conquering Holden, even sales of the Simca were in decline.

Following the lead of Ford to assemble an American compact sedan for the Australian market, Chrysler imported just over 1000 R series Valiant sedans to be assembled at their Mile End facility in Adelaide. The R Series was far sleeker and more modern looking than Holden’s EK, and the recently introduced Falcon XK was beginning to suffer reliability problems on the tough Aussie roads – it is no wonder then that the original shipment of R Series Valiant’s sold out in days.

Buoyed  by the success, Chrysler would undertake the serious importing of S series components for assembly, some 10,000 units rolling of the production line and into the hands of eagerly awaiting purchasers during 1962. Unable to meet demand for the Valiant, Chrysler undertook the $36 million construction of their Tonsley Park facility, and by 1963 the new AP5’s would be rolling off the line, boasting high local content and local design initiatives to ensure the cars suitability to Australian roads.

Despite doubling the expansion to some $72 million, Chrysler’s biggest problem was in meeting demand. In 1965 Chrysler acquired Rootes Australia and assumed control of their Melbourne manufacturing and assembling facilities, helping bolster production output and putting Chrysler firmly in 3rd spot on the new car sales chart, having a 13.5% share. The best days for the marque are unquestionably the 1960’s, the brand simply unable to keep up with Holden and Ford during the 1970’s and slowly loosing ground, despite such wonderful iterations as the Pacer and Charger.

Also see: Chrysler History

Chrysler Valiant R Series  

Chrysler Valiant "R" Series

1962 - 1962
Understanding the R series Valiant requires taking a look back in time so that the car can be put into perspective. More >>
Chrysler Valiant "S" Series  

Chrysler Valiant "S" Series

1962 - 1963
The Valiant "S" series, or SV-1, was an evolution of the R Series, it continuing the theme of a US design being locally assembled. More >>
Chrysler Valiant AP5  

Chrysler Valiant AP5

1963 - 1965
It was in 1963, with the introduction of the AP5, that Chrysler Australia began manufacturing Valiant’s rather than just assembling them. More >>
Chrysler Valiant AP6  

Chrysler Valiant AP6

1965 - 1966
The Valiant AP6 was an evolution of the AP5, having a facelifted split grille and introducing to the range the V8 engined Valiant "Regal", along with the “Wayfarer” utility. More >>
Chrysler Valiant VC  

Chrysler Valiant VC

1965 - 1966
The release of the VC Valiant heralded the true beginning of the “Battle of the Big Three”. The Chrysler stylists had been busy creating a car that looked longer, lower and sleeker than any previous model, even though it was basically only a facelift of the previous AP5/AP6 design. More >>
Chrysler Valiant VE  

Chrysler Valiant VE

1967 - 1969
The Valiant VE was an all new design, the bodywork sharing some sheet-metal with the US Plymouth Valiant and Dodge Dart; despite the US content the VE was unquestionably the most Australian Valiant to date. More >>
Chrysler Valiant VF  

Chrysler Valiant VF

1969 - 1970
For our money, the face-lifted VF ushered in a new elegance and style lacking in so much of the competition, and with the introduction of the “Pacer” Chrysler clearly indicated the new found good looks would be matched by equally impressive performance. More >>
Chrysler Valiant VG  

Chrysler Valiant VG

1970 - 1973
Differentiating the VF over its predecessor is a little like playing a “spot the difference” test in a weekly magazine. Externally there were very few differences, apart from the now rectangular front lights, while the interior remained almost identical in every way. More >>
Chrysler Valiant VH  

Chrysler Valiant VH

1971 - 1973
There was a collective sigh from Valiant aficionados in 1971 with the release of the all-new VH, particularly with those salivating for new Chrysler sheet metal. More >>
Chrysler by Chrysler CH Hardtop  

Chrysler by Chrysler CH

1971 - 1973
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”. More >>
Chrysler Valiant VJ  

Chrysler Valiant VJ

1973 - 1975
By the time of the release of the VJ Valiant, Chrysler’s market share was in its fourth consecutive year of decline. More >>
Chrysler Valiant VK/CK  

Chrysler Valiant VK/CK

1975 - 1976
The VK Valiant was yet another mild makeover of the previous VH and VJ models. The obligatory new grille design combined with a revised tail light assembly made up the more obvious of only a handful of changes, leaving many to ask why Chrysler had indeed bothered. More >>
Chrysler Valiant CL  

Chrysler Valiant CL

1976 - 1978
The CL Valiant was supposed to be something special. Chrysler had been touting the fact that the all new Valiant VL would be an Australianised edition of the Plymouth Volare / Dodge Aspen intermediate sized car proving to be very popular in the US. More >>
Chrysler Valiant CL  

Chrysler Valiant CL Panel Van, Drifter and LeBaron

1976 - 1978
The model range of the CL was certainly nowhere near the heady days of the VH series, when 56 different model variants were available. The development then of an entirely new model seemed at odds with the conservative approach being taken by Chrysler. More >>
Chrysler Valiant CM

Chrysler Valiant CM

1978 - 1981
The last re-styling and packaging of the 1971 VH design was to be seen in the CM Series Valiant – unfortunately this would also be the last of the prestigious lineage of Valiant’s that had graced our shores since 1962’s introduction of the “R” series. More >>
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