From Q to G  . . . .  Some History



March 1965 saw the release of a new model the AP6, and added to the range a V8 engine Valiant "Regal" and the all new "Wayfarer" utility.

1965 Ap6 Front GrilleThe basic body shell was the same as its predecessor with technological improvements and some minor face-lifting. The obvious changes were a new three section grille, slightly protruding headlights, new rear end, new bonnet and new front guards which increased the cars length to 187.9 inches (4773mm) (just 2.5 inches (63.5mm) longer than the AP5) although the wheelbase remained as before at 106 inches (2692.4mm). There was new trim inside and out as well as a full width padded facia and a wider range of paint finishes were available. The Regal featured windscreen washers, carpets and various other luxuries as standard.

1965 AP6 Regal V8The AP6 saw the end of the 'futuristic' automatic push button gear selector which was changed to a traditional lever system and located on the steering column. Chrysler claimed the push button system was discontinued in order to standardize gearshift operations within the industry, more likely was that the push button system was not all that popular, and certainly not worth the added cost of manufacture.

The not so obvious changes in the new AP6 were the technological improvements which included "Diamonite" acrylic enamel paint, at the time the most advanced auto finish available. Self-adjusting brakes and an option across the range of Power brakes was now available. A redesigned camshaft for the slant six, resulting in improved torque (due to increased valve overlap and a higher lift action) and the carburettor went back to the Carter BBD used on the R and S, due to the AP5's problems with surge and low mileage.

273 ci V8 Engine introducted in 1965The AP6 introduced the first Australian-built Valiant to be offered with a V8 engine, the 273 cu in (4.47 L) LA V8, which had been introduced in the American Valiants in 1964, and was released in Australia in August 1965. The V8 range was available in either the sedan or wagon version and priced at just under £1800 ($3600) they made for a very attractive proposition.

The Valiant V8's performance dominated the market, even with the smooth, reliable three-speed TorqueFlite automatic. The engine developed 180 brake horsepower (130 kW) and pushed the Valiant to a top speed of 109 mph (175 km/h) and a 17 second quarter mile time.

Initially the V8 was only available as a model in its own right, the V8 Valiant, which had a vinyl-covered roof, individual bucket seats, floor console mounted automatic shift lever and two-tone steering wheel.

1965 AP6 Regal WagonThe V8 sedans and wagons were not that easy to identify, the body required only very minor alterations to accommodate the new engine. There were, V-8 emblems fitted to the front guards, the boot lid and bonnet, but to make these models more of a cut above the rest of the pack, the sedan models were fitted with a vinly roof (available in either black or white), and the Safari wagons were fitted with a roof rack.

Both sedan and Safari wagon V8 models came with the "TorqueFlite 8" transmission, with stiffened rear suspension and a heavy duty 3.23:1 rear axle to help handle the extra power. The upgrades added an additional 127lbs (57kgs) of weight to the V8 models over the slant-six models. Disc brakes were unavailable as standard or an option, so to increase braking performance on the V8's Chrysler fitted power assisted brakes as standard equipment.

1965 AP6 Wayfarer UtilityApril 1965 saw the release of the "Wayfarer" utility, the slant-six Valiant Utility ("ute") production run was small and many of these were bought by farmers or as work vehicles. In addition, Chrysler took over Rootes Australia (in 1965), including the plants in Melbourne.

Chrysler also brought out a 160 bhp version of the slant six as a £30 ($60) option on all Valiants. Later, they also made the V-8 an option £105 ($210) at all price levels, requiring disc brakes, as did Ford with their own V8.

Prices for the AP6 remained unchanged over the outgoing AP5, starting at £1240 ($2480) and rising to £1625 ($3250) for the Regal Safari. The Wayfarer utility selling for £1059 ($2118) in manual form and £1174 ($2348) when optioned with an automatic transmission.

Although the production rate at Tonsley Park was at a maximum rate of 200 cars per eight hour shift, Chrysler Australia still had difficulty meeting demands with customers having to wait up to 4 months to receive their new AP6. The Australian content had now grown to 65%, but Chrysler Australia still faced pressure to up this with the Commonwealth Government requesting this figure grow to 95% within 5 years.

43,344 AP6 Valiant's were manufactured. 



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© go_charger 16 August 2013