Production - Model Spotlight
AP6 Chrysler Valiant (1965)
In March 1965 the new AP6 model was introduced, and it marked a number of firsts for both Chrysler and Australian cars. The AP6 was the first Australian built car to offer a V8 engine - the 273 cubic inch V8 as used in American Plymouths, which was released in August 1965. The engine developed 180 HP and pushed the Valiant to a top speed of 109 mph.
The V8 was only available as an option on Regals, which also now had a vinyl-covered roof and two-tone steering wheel. The 'pushbutton' setup of the AP5`s Torqueflite automatic gearbox was gone in favour of a column mounted shift lever.
The AP6 also showcased other new Chrysler features such as self-adjusting brakes and acrylic enamel paint (at the time most advanced paint available).
The Slant 6`s camshaft was also redesigned, resulting in improved torque (due to increased valve overlap and a higher lift action).
Visually, the AP6 was almost the same as the AP5. The main change was the split grille treatment which was almost a carbon copy of the 1965 Plymouth Valiant's. The AP6's 'shoulder line' also finished in a thinner tick on the front fender than the previous model.
The Standard model also featured new chrome trim which ran the length of the shoulder line and also wrapped around the edge of the bootlid. The Regal`s chrome strip which ran through the centreline of the doors was largely unchanged from the previous model Regal.
The other significant moment in the AP6 story was the release of the 'Wayfarer' utility in November, Chrysler's first Ute!
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. Prices now ran from $2500 to $3650.
Charger Club of WA (Matt Roper)
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