Australian Car Spotters Guide - 1966

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1966 Chrysler VC Valiant

Chrysler Valiant VC

  Also see: Chrysler Valiant Car Reviews and VC Valiant Specifications
The release of the VC Valiant in March 1966 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, 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”.
1966 Ford Cortina GT

Ford Cortina Mark 2 GT

  Also see: Ford Cortina Car Reviews and Ford Cortina Mark 2 Technical Specifications
In Autumn 1966 the Mk.II Cortina GT was released. The body was, of course, completely restyled, along with the entire Cortina lineup, but initially the car was still using most of the Mk.I GT drivetrain. The same 78 bhp engine was used, and the same gearbox with the big gap between 2nd and 3rd, albeit with a new diaphragm-spring clutch, and a new three-rail remote gearchange. The final drive ratio also remained the same at 3.90:1. The fuel tank was enlarged to 10 gallons, while 4.5" wheels became optional, and radial tires became an option. Some suspension modifications were made, but mainly because the new body required it. As well as the new body, the car also had a new dash, which took a lot of its design cues from the last of the Mk.I GT dashes.
1966 Ford Falcon XR Sedan

XR Falcon

  Also see: Ford Falcon XK to XC Car Reviews and XR Falcon Specifications
Whereas the previous four ranges of Falcon tended to follow styling trends set by their full size US parent cars, and were marketed with reference to the "Thunderbird", it was decided with the new XR range, which again followed a US design, to instead capitalise on the phenomenal success of the Mustang.
1966 HR Holden Sedan

HR Holden

  Also see: Holden 48/215 to HR Car Reviews and HR Holden Specifications
Basically a face-lift of the previous model, GM's US stylists redesigned the somewhat unpopular HD shape and came up with one much more appealing to the Australian public. The redesign included vertical tail-lights, a sharper nose and moving the front parking lights from under the bumper to become integral with the grille. The track was now wider, and the bodywork featured a new rear window, a reworked roofline and squared off headlamp surrounds. Inside, Holden developed a more luxurious trim which included wood grain for the Premier, the addition of front seat belts, a shatterproof interior mirror and windscreen washers.
1963 Lightburn Zeta

Lightburn Zeta

  Also see: Lightburn Car Reviews
Technically, the Zeta was an oddity. The gearbox setup meant that the car could go as fast in reverse as it could forward, at a death-defying 60 mph! But to prove to the public that the Zeta was indeed a reliable and well manufactured car, it was entered into the 1964 Ampol 7000 mile cross-country trial. Many assumed the little car would fall apart after a few hundred miles, however it would win over many critics by putting in a stellar performance. Nevertheless, the public simply did not warm to the idea of a tiny, 2 cylinder car with virtually no boot space and an interior featuring a dashboard made out of a cardboard like material.
HR Holden
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