Chrysler Valiant Charger

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Main article: Chrysler Valiant
Chrysler Valiant Charger
ManufacturerChrysler Australia
Parent companyChrysler Corporation
ClassMuscle car
Body style(s)2-door coupe
LayoutFR layout
RelatedChrysler Valiant
Dodge Dart
ManualsService Manual

The Chrysler Valiant Charger is an automobile produced by Chrysler Australia from 1971 to 1978. It was a short wheelbase two door coupe based on the Australian Chrysler Valiant sedan. Introduced with the Valiant VH model, it continued through the VJ & VK series up to the CL range, released in 1976. The best sales were in New Zealand, where they were also assembled, where the combination of the powerful engine, light body and short wheelbase were suited to New Zealand's winding and mountainous roads.

The Valiant Charger VH model won the 1971 Australian Wheels Car of the Year Award.

Engines were:

VH Chargers

Chrysler VH Valiant Charger R/T

The primary Valiant performance Chargers were in the VH range they were known as the R/T Chargers, there were:

    • Charger R/T E37 (Three speed, Street version of the 6 pack engine).
    • Charger R/T E38 (Three speed close ratio, Factory production racing car - 280 bhp (210 kW) Small and big tank track pack options)
    • Charger R/T E48 (4 speed, Street version of the 6 pack engine).
    • Charger R/T E49 (4 speed close ratio, Factory production racing car - 302 bhp (225 kW) Small and big tank track pack options)

The luxury model was the Charger 770, which came with either the 318 cui V8 2 BBL or the 265HP (High Performance - 218 bhp (163 kW) - 2 BBL).

A late entry in the VH range was the Charger 770 SE which featured the 275 bhp (205 kW) imported 340 V8.

    • The Charger SE E55 was marketed as a luxury cruiser and could only be purchased with an automatic transmission (Chrysler LA engine).

VJ Chargers

Chrysler VJ Valiant Charger

In May 1973 the VH range was superseded by the VJ range, the new VJ model featured a minor face lift with 7" round headlights replacing the previous rectangle lights. The new model also saw the end of the R/T range with Chrysler pulling out of support for motor sport. The performance Chargers in the VJ range were:

    • Charger E48
    • Charger E49
    • Charger 770 E55

Performance options

  • VH Charger R/T and available on VJ - lower ratio differential; six-inch (152 mm) rims; front anti-roll bar; a tachometer and an oil pressure gauge.
    • "Six-pack" 265 ci engine with three two-barrel Weber carburetors
    • E38 - Three speed, higher compression ratio, different gear ratios, and 280 bhp (210 kW)
    • E49 - four-speed manual gearbox, 302 bhp (225 kW). Fully blueprinted engine ready to race.
    • Charger SE and 770 E55 275 BHP V8 340 ci.

VJ E55 Chargers

These cars no longer were the special "SE" versions, but were just an ordinary engine option for a 770 Charger. This saw some very basic ones which could leave the factory with nothing except the bare minimum, which included the 14x7 lightweight 5 slot mags, tyres for those wheels and an automatic transmission console. From the outside the only distinguishing mark that could be seen is the 340 4BBL badge on the guards.

There were a few improvements to the motor in this model, as opposed to the previous model. The introduction of "Electronic Ignition" replaced the use of points ignition. This greatly improved the car for normal use making cold starts easier, and no longer requiring the ignition to be tuned every 10,000 km or so.

The Carter Thermoquad was used in this series as well, however not from the start, or at least not all the cars left the factory with one. Some still had the previous models AVS carburettor. When the carburettor was implemented is unknown, with some examples having the Thermoquad and later builds still keeping the AVS. This is an improvement to the engines performance as the flow in the carburettor was increased from 625cfm to 800cfm for the Thermoquad.

During this model, the motors also had a change in the Cylinder Heads. According to the service manuals, early models maintained heads with 2.02" inlet valves, whereas later heads had a decrease in inlet valve size which saw a reduction to 1.88", again, when this was implemented is not truly known and some early build cars have the smaller valves whereas some later builds have the larger valves.

VK Chargers

The mildly revised VK Series Charger was released in October 1975 in Charger XL and Charger 770 variants. [1] The Charger was now marketed as the Chrysler Charger rather than as the Chrysler Valiant Charger. [2]

Some changes to the VK model included wiper and windscreen washer controls integrated into the indicator stalk, some slight trim revisions with Boca-Raton trim patterns, most notable being the crash pads with the previous "wrap around" style being dropped from entry level models. Other cosmetic changes were the tailights, more chrome used around the car and for the 770 model the black panels behind the side windows which were now made of fiberglass and extended further than the vinyl clad style of VH and VJ cars.

Mid way through the VK model ADR 27A was implemented which meant that the 215cid HEMI-6 motor and the 360cid V8 were dropped from the lineup. This happened at the start of January 1976.

CL Chargers

Chrysler CL Charger

The CL series Charger was introduced in October 1976 and was initially offered only as the Charger 770. [3] The CL was the last of the Charger model made. Its production ceased on 16 August 1978 with the final Chargers being a limited run Drifter.[citation needed]

Motor Sport

Some Chargers were raced in the Bathurst 500, let down by inadequate brakes. In New Zealand, however, they proved to be virtually unbeatable from 1971-1979 at the famous B&H 500 mile (later 1000km) series at Pukekohe Park Raceway. The most successful drivers were Leo Leonard and Jim Little, who still races his Valiants (mostly pre-65 class).


  1. Elisabeth Tuckey and Ewan Kennedy, Chrysler Valiant, 1996, pages 140-141
  2. Tony Davis, Aussie Cars, 1987, page 143
  3. Elisabeth Tuckey and Ewan Kennedy, Chrysler Valiant, 1996, page 165

External links