1962 Chrysler Valiant 'S' Series Sedan
|Engine||In-line 6-cylinder, 225-cid|
|Interior||Cream & Blue|
Chrysler's first Australian Valiant was launched in January 1962 and like Ford's rival Falcon, was based on its US counterpart suitably beefed up to cope with local conditions. Each of the original R-series Valiants had Chrysler's powerful 225-cid slant six under its shapely bonnet and the combination of good looks - along with performance levels that easily eclipsed the contemporary Holdens and Fords - put the new Valiant in a league of its own. Just over 1000 were made in three months and showrooms across the country soon ran out of stock, leaving Chrysler little choice but to follow up with a revised model, badged the 'S', in March 1962. As with its predecessor, the baroque 'S' shared its sheet metal and underpinings with the American Valiant, including a revised grille, new tail lights and cleaner bootlid that did away with the controversial fake spare wheel cover. Mechanical changes included a sealed chassis system - a significant improvement that resulted in fewer lubrication points and longer intervals between changes - plus upgraded brakes with bigger 9-inch drums, a larger fuel tank giving much longer range and the gear shift (either a three-speed manual or optional Torqueflite automatic) was now located on the steering column. The 145 horsepower slant six continued to provide exemplary performance in comparison to the markedly slower Fords and Holdens and could be ordered with a three-speed manual gearbox or the smooth push-button TorqueFlite auto transmission. Unlike the limited production 'R' Series, Chrysler's Australian dealers experienced no supply issues with the 'S' Series and total sales exceeded 10,000 units before the replacement AP5 was introduced in 1963. Both of these first-generation Chrysler Valiants enjoy a cult following today and remain very popular with collectors and enthusiasts alike, being well supported by Chrysler clubs around the country.