The release of the VC Valiant in March 1966 heralded
the true beginning of the “Battle of the Big
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, the
overall dimensions remaining virtually unchanged.
Chrysler advertisements of the day highlighted the new grille
and front-end treatment, claiming it to posses a “bold new styling” and “up
to the minute sculpting”.
To create the new
look the designer’s fitted deep-set bumper
bars fitted with recessed park/turn signal lights.
A new look rear was created for the sedan, it now
afforded different and individual panels and tail
lights; the Safari wagons and Wayfarer utilities
carried over the panels and lights from the AP6,
although the Wayfarer did have a new bonnet and front
The familiar “slant-six” was also carried
over, although quite some work had gone into making
the engine smoother and more economical. Chrysler
claimed the VC offered “extensive mechanical
refinements”, such as a new steering column
and three-speed all-synchromesh gearbox.
the first release of Borg Warner’s Australian “common
industry” manual transmission, and showed those
who bemoaned the loss of the push button automatic
system in the previous model why Chrysler had been
forced to adopt the “common industry” standards
of the day, particularly with the Commonwealth Government
pushing the manufacturer to up the local content
on the Valiant to 95%.
Chrysler also introduced a
greater degree of individuality between the models
not seen in previous iterations. The Valiant, Regal
and V8 each had individualised hubcaps, horn-rings
and steering wheel motif, while the V8 sedans carried
over the use of a vinyl roof.
The V8 wagon was fitted
with a chrome roof rack and stainless steel air deflectors
on each side of the tailgate, designed to help keep
dust and dirt from building up on the rear glass.
Helping with safety, each Valiant was fitted with full-width
instrument panel crash padding, seat belt anchor
points, safety door locks, a modified zone windscreen,
lift up interior door handles, wide double-sided
safety wheel rims, lower profile tires and a larger
glass area. All this contributed to the increase
in weight, by 36kg to 45kg depending on the model.
Also adding to the increase in weight were the many now
standard features, such as windscreen washers, fresh
air ventilation, vanity mirror, armrests on all doors,
reversing lights, coat hooks, new-look floor mats
and variable intensity instrument lighting, while
to provide some protection at the local supermarket
a full length chrome strip ran almost the entire
length of the car. And all of these were fitted to
the base model!
The Regal and V8 iterations also included
a heater and demister with two speed fan, full carpeting,
central armrests, prismatic anti glare rear-view
mirror, boot light, courtesy light switch gear to
all four doors, “sponge vinyl” trim,
door sill skuff plates, two tone steering wheel,
wheel trim rings, dual horns, air deflectors on the
station wagons and whitewall tires. The V8 also sported
new bucket seats with full length console plus a
glove compartment and ashtray.
The revised automatic
transmission lever had a straight fore and aft selection
with a push-button lock-out release. On both Regal
and V8 models the three-speed TorqueFlite transmission
was standard. Contrasting the high level of creature
comforts now gracing the VC models, the Wayfarer
utility was an entirely utilitarian affair, although
the external rear-view mirror and tonneau cover were
In February 1966 Australia converted to decimal
currency, with 1 pound equalling two dollars. The
base model VC’s were priced at $2490, a $10
premium over the previous model, while the most expensive
in the range was the V8 Safari Wagon, now $3590.
Cheapest was the Wayfarer Ute, at only $2128. In
late 1966 Chrysler introduced front disc brakes as
an option, this improvement only adding to the
already stoic reputation the Valiant’s enjoyed.
Move Up To Valiant (14 tracks)
Solid, Reilable, Powerful, Unassailable...
Solid, reliable, powerful and brimming with creature
comforts, it seemed the Valiant was unassailable.
But the following year Ford upped the ante, the March
1967 release of the Fairlane 500 and XR Falcon signalling “game
on” from the blue oval.
In contrast to the 135 kW Chrysler V8, the Ford iteration was good for
150 kW, and was available across the entire Falcon range
rather than only in the up-market models.
The General would soon follow with their 5.0 liter 307 c.i. Chevrolet
sourced V8 made available in the HK series. At a
time when Australian petrol was amongst the worlds
cheapest (regrettably not for much longer however),
it seemed whoever could boast the most power would
fare best at the dealer showrooms.
Motoring writes of the day also noted how the Valiant V8’s
suffered from noticeable understeer, something many
forgave when the Valiant was the only Aussie family
sedan fitted with a V8, but with the new competition
closer attention was being paid to the Valiant’s
handling, or perceived lack of it. By the end of
production, some 65,634 VC Valiant’s would
Above we have included 14 individual
radio advertisments for the VC Valiant range, from
the Slant Six 225, 273 V8 and Wayfarer utility.