1972 Dodge Phoenix 318 V8 Sedan (RHD)
The Dodge Phoenix was Chrysler Australia’s top-of-the-range model in the 1960s, imported in CKD (Completely Knocked Down) form and assembled locally using a range of Australian-made components alongside the local Valiant. Initially based on the contemporary American Dodge Dart Phoenix, the Australian version was only sold as a four-door sedan when introduced to the local market in 1960 and there was just one engine offered, the smooth 318-cid V8. Minor trim and sheetmetal changes followed until 1965, when Chrysler began basing the Phoenix on the Plymouth Fury, with its vertically-stacked headlamps and more angular styling. In 1967 the Phoenix range was expanded to include a four-door hardtop, along with the optional 383-cid V8 engine. In keeping with contemporary styling trends, the final Phoenix of 1969-1973 was longer, lower and wider than ever, with a horizontal grille and quad headlamps. Facing stiff competition from a new generation of domestic luxury cruisers in the form of Ford’s Fairlane and the Holden Statesman, the writing was on the wall and the Phoenix was eventually replaced by a long-wheelbase variant of the Aussie-made Valiant. Today the Phoenix makes a great cruiser, offering classic American looks and smooth V8 performance, good spares availability and support available from local clubs – all at a very affordable price.