Mid way through 1976 the CL Valiant was introduced and it`s arrival coincided with the new stringent air pollution restrictions of ADR 27A. Although it used the same body as the previous VK range, for the first time since the VH range there were completely redesigned front and rear treaments.
The CL front end now had quad headlights and seperate grill and the front guards and bonnet were also different to accomodate the new front sheetmetal. The rear end was just as different again with a boolid that had a curved leading edge that flowed down to new tailights that sandwiched an uncluttered centre garnish panel.
The base model CL was no longer called the Ranger, instead it was named the Valiant, and the long wheel based CXC was now gone and in its place was the Regal SE. The CL series also saw the last of the mighty Charger, which like the previous VK range, was now just called the Chrysler Charger, not Valiant Charger. The CL Charger was only available in one guise to the public - the Charger 770. Late in the model run a Special Edition Charger called the Drifter was introduced. There actually was an XL Charger but it was only available to police departments. The CL series also saw the arrival of the panel van body shape to compete with similar offerings from rival makers.
The interior for Valiant and Regal models carry over from the VK range, however the new interior on the Regal SE is plush, with 'buttoned' leather an option. Base Valiant continued with the previous Ranger style strip speedo, whereas the Regal dash featured recessed circular gauges and clock with a woodgrain finish. The Charger 770 dash was similar to the Regal except it had a tacho instead of a clock and was finished in black.
The 215ci Hemi and 360ci V8 were dropped for the CL range and the only engine options were the 245ci (low and high compression) and 265ci Hemi 6 cylinders and the 318ci V8.
Transmission options were either 3 speed manual (floor shift), 4 speed manual (floor shift), 3 speed auto (column shift) or 3 speed auto (floor shift). The 3 speed auto was standard with the 318 V8 and optional with a 6 cylinder. The 4 speed was optional for either 6 cylinder or V8 models. The floor shift auto option was fitted to most Regals and all Regal SE's.
A limited edition run of 400 special Regal Le Baron models (option A17) saw a number of mechanical updates such as a larger front sway bar and reshaped rear leaf springs which resulted in an above average handling car. The Le Baron was available in Silver only with red or blue interiors, the 265ci Hemi as standard or the 318 V8 as an option. With the 318 option, a special 'Electronic Lean Burn' spark control system was incorporated which was reported to give 25-30% better fuel economy under gentle driving conditions.
A sports sedan called the GLX (option A16) was also released which featured the Charger grille, Charger dash, special cloth trim, Cheviot Hotwire mag wheels and door frame black outs among other things. The GLX could be optioned with a 265ci 6 cylinder or 318ci V8.
(NOTE: the GLXs above and below are actually CMs not CLs)
The last special option in the CL range was the Charger Drifter (also available in panel van and utility). A $816 option, the Drifter was only available in Impact Orange, Sundance Yellow, Spinnaker White and Harvest Gold. The Charger Drifter sports bold side and rear stripes with Spinnaker White models featuring additional 'strobe stripes' on the bootlid. Engine options were again the 265 six or 318 V8, but the 4 speed manual was the only transmission option.
A total of 36,672 CL Valiants were built and this model saw the sad end of the almighty Australian Charger, never to be built again.
Hey Charger (Gavin Farmer & Gary Bridger)
Corrections, additions or feedback - feel free to contact us.