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.
The basic body work was carried over from the AP5, although
along with the grille revision were slightly protruding
headlights, a new bonnet and new front guards which
increased the cars length 63mm (2 inches).
There were also several significant technological improvements
introduced, such as self adjusting brakes, although
regrettably the futuristic automatic push button
gear selector was changed to a traditional lever
system and located on the steering wheel.
Chrysler claimed the push button system was dumped in order
to standardize gearshift operations across the industry,
but the truth was the push button system was not
all that popular, and certainly not worth the added
cost of manufacture. What a shame.
The camshaft for the slant six was redesigned, resulting in improved
torque (due to increased valve overlap and a higher
All models were now finished in acrylic
enamel paint - at the time most advanced paint available,
while the introduction of metallic paint on some
models was available. Power brakes were made available
across the range as an option, as was two-tone trim.
Prices remained unchanged over the outgoing AP5, starting
at ₤1240 ($2480) and rising to ₤1625
($3250) for the Regal Safari. In April Chrysler released
the wonderful “Wayfarer” utility – it
selling for ₤1059 ($2118) in manual form and ₤1174
($2348) when optioned with an automatic transmission.
Then in August came the big news, with the wonderful
273ci V8 also available as an option. Sourced from
the US where it was fitted to the Plymouth Barracuda,
the 4.4 liter engine produced 135kW and 352.6 Nm,
making it remarkably tractable, particularly in the
more “compact” Valiant guise. The Valiant
now boasted a top speed of 109 mph (175 km/h).
It was not too easy to identify the V8 fitted sedans
and wagons, the body requiring only very minor alteration
to accommodate the new engine. There were, of course,
V-8 emblems fitted to the front guards, the boot
lid and bonnet, but to make these models more a cut
above the rest of the pack the sedan models were
fitted with a vinly roof (available in either black
or white), while the Safari wagon was fitted with
a roof rack.
Step Up To A Valiant (1 track)
Both sedan and Safari wagon V8 models
used the “TorqueFlite
8” transmission, while the rear suspension
was stiffened and a heavy duty 3.23:1 rear axle fitted
to help cope with extra power and extra 57kg premium
over the slant-six models.
The V8’s obviously
needed more stopping power, so Chrysler fitted power
assisted brakes as standard equipment, although disc
brakes remained unavailable. Priced at just under ₤1800
($3600) they made for a very attractive proposition.
Australia had difficulty meeting demands with the
Valiant being built at Tonsley Park at a maximum
rate of 200 cars per eight hour shift. Customers
had to wait up to 4 months to get their hands on
a new AP6, although the Australian content had now
grown to 65%. The challenge for Chrysler remained
however, with the Commonwealth Government requesting
this figure grow to 95% within 5 years. In all, some
43,344 AP6 Valiant’s were manufactured.