From Q to G  . . . .  Some History



August 1970 saw the introduction of another face lifted version of the VE/VF body style in the VG Valiant. Externally there were very few differences, apart from the headlamp shape change, now rectangular (except on VIP models, which used quad round headlamps), and the tail lamps which were revised and wrapped around to the body side. The grille was a horizontal, single-plane item and the guard-top indicator location was carried over from the VF and the interior remained almost identical in every way. Introduction of the VG did bring optional ventilated front disc brakes, but the biggest changes were in the Pacer range, with many previously extra features now standard. Sedan, Wagon, Utility and Hardtop body styles were offered once again as well as the same luxury levels as before.

VG SedanBase VG Valiant's featured new black protection mouldings running the full length of the body sides, while larger Valiant emblem hubcaps were used throughout the range. The front guard badges denoted each models Hemi 245 engine category, repeated on the rear of the car. The Regal featured new wheel arch mouldings, larger hubcaps with Regal emblems and a full-width panel on the rear deck. New trim materials were offered and a new look instrument panel, with different cluster face dependent upon the model. The Regal sported an up-market (but fake) wood-grain dash surround, and both the Regal 770 and Pacer were fitted with a tachometer.

The VG was offered in a variety of different model configurations, with manual and automatic transmissions available, along with three types of Hemi 245 engine, as well as the 318 V8 and the 225 (mainly built for the export models). In order to streamline the production line, the V8 was made available as an option only on the Regal Safari, Regal 770 and VIP models. In August 1970 Chrysler added to their model line-up the two-door Hardtop and the high-performance Hemi 245 as the standard Pacer.

Valiant VIP SedanAlso in 1970 the VIP became the first Australian made car to be fitted with air-conditioning as standard. The up-market Chrysler was also fitted with an electric clock, and came standard with the 138kW hemi 245 engine, with the 172kW V8 available as an option. If you selected the V8 option, Chrysler included a push button radio.

The VG range may not have brought any noteworthy styling changes, but what was more significant was the release of the brand new 4 litre Hemi engine which was the replacement for the stalwart 225 slant six. The Hemi-6 was introduced as a 245 cu in (4 litre) unit with quasi-hemispherical combustion chambers, was 40 pound lighter, and 16% more powerful in standard configuration.

The Hemi was an all-Australian venture, apart from the hydraulic valve lifter, and it demonstrated Chrysler's commitment to its Australian operation and the new capacity six cylinder engine. Chrysler opted for the "big six" as the engine of choice for most Australian motorists; this was in direct contrast to the choice taken by Holden, who chose a small capacity 253 ci (4.2 litre) V8 to appeal to the prospective customers in the same market. Chrysler spent $33 million in the development of the Hemi, while GMH had spent a more modest $22 million on the development of the 253 ci V8.

Hemi 245 Six Cylinder EngineIt was not hard for Chrysler Australia to market the Hemi 6 as a desirable engine as the name "Hemi" was already well-known in America through Chrysler's use of the Hemi V8s and having invested heavily in the development of the Hemi, so it was only natural that Chrysler would go to great lengths to promote the new engine. Chrysler enlisted Stirling Moss and brought him out to Australia to join the publicity campaign, having him appear in a series of commercials extolling the virtues of the all new motor.

When releasing the Hemi engine Chrysler stated "After five years development work by a team of engineers at Lonsdale (SA), Chrysler Australia has introduced a completely new six-cylinder engine to give its 1970 Valiant range a power and fuel economy advantage over all other six cylinder engined cars produced in Australia. Chrysler believes the new engine, named the Hemi 245, to be the most advanced six-cylinder power plant made anywhere in the world". An audacious statement, but as it turned out a fairly accurate one, which was supported by the motoring journalists of the day praising the Hemi's reserves of power and ample torque, even though they had criticism for the high end harshness of the new motor.

The Hemi Six engines are in-line six cylinders with pushrod-activated overhead valves, combined intake/exhaust manifolds on the left side of the engines, and hydraulic valve lifters to cut maintenance needs; Carter carburettors were generally used on the standard engines, with three side-draft Webers on the highest performance versions. The single barrel carburettor version of the Hemi 245 produced 165 bhp (123 kW) and 235 lbf ft (319 Nm).

At its introduction, a single-barrel carburettor was used even on the 265, though a higher-output 265 was sold with a dual-barrel Carter carburettor and twin-outlet exhaust manifold. The Six Packs used Weber 45 DCOE dual-throat carburettors. Even the smallest engine, the 215, equipped with a single-barrel carburettor, produced more power than the biggest American slant six and it weighed less.

Three Hemi engine versions were offered; the 165 bhp (123kW) unit was fitted to the base Valiant, the VIP, Regal 770 and Hardtop came fitted with the 185 bhp (138kW) two barrel carburettor version, this version featuring a modified camshaft. The third version was a high performance unit, fitted exclusively in the Pacer model. Chrysler offered no specific power claims for this version of the engine; testing by motoring authorities of the day placed it at between 190-195 bhp (142-146kW).

Pacer Engine Colour scheme

Each Hemi engine version came with its own colour scheme; the base 245 single barrel carburettor version has a red block, silver rocker cover and air cleaner with matching white fan; the 245 two barrel carburettor version has a red block, "black crackle" rocker cover and air cleaner with a white fan. The high-performance Pacer engine has an orange-red block, yellow rocker cover and air cleaner and white fan. Each engine dressed with the decal "Made solely in Australia - By Chrysler". The 318 V8 was also still available.

Chrysler needed to quietly phase out the US built TorqueFlite transmission in support of the Borg Warner transmission so it could increase local content on the VG. The Borg Warner transmission was not as smooth as the TorqueFlite, but the gear ratios and torque converter proved to be a much better pairing with the new engine.

Pacer Sedan

The VG Pacer came with side and rear sill stripes, a "HEMI 245" decal on the C-pillar and full carpeting. There was also an optional "Sports Appearance" pack, which included a spoiler, hood decals and black paint-outs on the hood. The 225's "tombstone" seats were replaced by new ones with lower backs, and the strip tachometer gave way to a proper dial. The VG Pacer unlike the VF Pacer sedan was offered with 3 different versions of the new 245 Hemi engine; though Chrysler Australia still did not publish any power output figures for the Pacers.

The standard Pacer had a 2-barrel carburettor and produced 185 bhp. Option E31 produced 195 bhp and included a 2-barrel carburettor, higher-performance camshaft, smaller fan, and windage tray.

Option E34 produced 235 bhp and included a 4-barrel carburettor, high performance camshaft, dual-plate clutch, manual choke, modified instrument cluster, torque limiting engine mount strut, larger radiator, smaller fan, windage tray, premium engine bearings, shot-peened crankshaft and connecting rods and high-capacity oil pump.

Option E35 included a 4-barrel carburettor, high-performance camshaft, heavy-duty engine bearings, a dual-plate clutch, torque-limiting engine mount strut, and the ordinary Pacer-spec transmission.

A four barrel Pacer 245 was created tor Bathurst with 35 gallon fuel tank, twin plate clutch, shot peened crankshaft and water heated inlet manifold. In a standing start quarter mile, the VG Valiant could manage 15.6 seconds compared with the Torana at 15.8 seconds, or the 351 GTHO Falcon's 15.2 seconds.

VG Hardtop Pacer

The VG series Pacers were the only model to include a Hardtop body style, of which three were optioned with the E31 package and three were optioned with E35 package. No VG Pacer Hardtops were available with the E34 option.

Chrysler Australia's policy of using only locally-produced components, and the unavailability of a local four-speed gearbox, unfortunately meant that the VG Pacer was still offered only with a three-speed floor shift manual transmission. The retention of the old three speed manual transmission may have been a disappointment to those waiting the new model, but gear ratios were altered to suit the Hemi. Standard differential was a 3.23, but 3.5 and 2.92 ratios were available. The Regal 770 sedan and Hardtop had automatic as standard, all other models were available in manual and/or automatic depending on the selected engine.

The Hardtop Pacer priced at $3178 came standard with the "Mod Pack" and was available in Bondi Bleach White, Thar She Blue, Little Hood Riding Red, Hot Mustard and the ever popular Hemi Orange. The interior trim colours were a little more restrained, being in red, neutral and black. The base 245 VG sold for $2686, with the automatic Regal selling for $3483 in six cylinder form, with the 770 V8 selling for $3748. A top-of-the-range VIP automatic with V8 sold for $4332, the Pacer sold for $3229. Middle of the range Regal sales made up approximately 60% of Valiant sales.

In 1970 Chrysler achieved the requested 96% Australian component content.

By the end of its production run 46,374 VG Valiants were built.  



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© go_charger 16 August 2013