Chrysler Valiant AP6

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Chrysler

Chrysler Valiant AP6

1965 - 1966
Country:
Australia
Engine:
Slant 6 & V8
Capacity:
3.7 & 4.4 ltr.
Power:
180 bhp / 135 kw (V8)
Transmission:
3 spd. man / 3 spd. "TorqueFlite" auto
Top Speed:
109 mph / 175 km/h (V8)
Number Built:
43,344
Collectability:
3 star
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 lift action).

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.

Chrysler 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.

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Also see:


Valiant AP6 Specifications
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