CHRYSLER BY CHRYSLER
Back when Chrysler Australia was seeking approval from head office to develop the new VH range, it ended up with a problem. That was, it had a miniscule budget, said to be just $22 million, to develop a sedan, wagon, ute variants and, by the way, some sort of luxur y range. That in itself was to include a sedan, plus a hardtop.
Chrysler could hardly miss that Fairlane and Statesman were rumbling out of showrooms at a decent clip and clearly wanted part of the action. The pimped VIP sedan from the previous series went some way to answering the call, but didn’t really do the job.
With the new series, the cars were to be longer and ver y well specified, while any mention of the Valiant family car name was dropped. Enter Chrysler by Chrysler, which were richly appointed for the time and came with a choice of two engines: the premium 265 in-line six with a Borg Warner type 35 auto, or the 360 V8 with a Torquef lite 727. Just 2500 were made in 1971-76.
As Cliff Chambers reported in 2016, when we first looked at the coupe you see here, owner Sean Morgan understood why these models would have struggled in the showroom. “The Charger was a really exciting car, well marketed and a huge success,” he said, “But Chrysler had two coupes and the long wheelbase coupe was living in the shadow. All that expense and cost, such as the tooling for those huge rear quarter panels and the long rear deck, it was a bit of a failure.”
What’s the appeal now? “I think the rarity, particularly in the Australian Chrysler fraternity... I think there would be less than 200 V8s left as original.”
When we started putting this stor y together, we asked the question, what are the coupes that make the cut? This is definitely one of them. Your biggest issue will be finding one...