Chrysler Valiant AP5

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Chrysler Valiant AP5


Chrysler Valiant AP5

1963 - 1965
Slant 6
3.686 ltr.
145 bhp
3 spd. man / 3 spd. "TorqueFlite" auto
Top Speed:
Number Built:
3 star
Chrysler Valiant AP5
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 3


In late 1962 Chrysler Australia began an expansion programme aiming to increase production to 50,000 units per year by 1967. It was in 1963, with the introduction of the AP5, that Chrysler Australia began manufacturing Valiant’s rather than just assembling them (the "AP" referring to Australian Production).

Entirely new sheet-metal with new body panels were stamped at the new South Australian Tonsley Park facility. Surprisingly the AP5 only shared 6 common body panels with its US cousin, the left hand drive cowls being initially imported from the US with wipers sweeping to the left.

The reason was simple; money could be saved by having the Australian operation stamp the rear panels, but import the sheet metal forward of the windscreen so as to be able to take advantage of any US facelifts at minimal expense. While the level of US content dropped during its manufacture, significant items such as the engines were still imported - Australian content only climbing to 60%.

The AP5 carried over the R and S Series 3.6 litre 225 slant six engine, although it was now fitted with a new single-barrel downdraft Holley carburettor; the Holley provided a slight improvement in fuel consumption, although the power remained the same at 145bhp (or 109kW).

The suspension also remained generally unchanged, the engineers opting to only make the minor revision of putting softer springs on the rear. The AP5’s transformation into a dinky-di Aussie included the fitment of a unique extruded aluminium grille and a larger boot than the US model, along with a different rear deck and flat rear window. Chrysler claimed the AP5 offered a 12% increase in body torsional stiffness.

Unfortunately some rationalization had occurred at the front end, where the attractive twin-headlamp configuration of the R and S series was replaced by single units. Inside, the AP5 sported a two-tone synthetic material and there was more padding in the seats than in previous models. The standard features list was to grow, with sun visors, cigar lighters and ashtrays added as no cost items.

The AP5 had a more conservative and conventional look in comparison to the "R" and "S" Series, although new up-market models were introduced, such as the Valiant 'Regal' sedan and Valiant 'Safari' station wagon. Chrysler Australia produced the “Regal” to take on the likes of Holdens “Premier” and Ford's “Falcon Futura” models. Having more bright work and badging than the standard model, the Regal also offered better seats and interior trim, auto transmission, a heater with integrated demister, two tone steering wheel, carpets and even white-wall tyres.

That the AP5 was widely praised by the press at the time came as no surprise, the new smooth lines and less fussy appearance being typical of the tastes of the day, while the highly tractable 225ci engine remained entirely engaging for the driver looking for some spirited performance. Inevitably the waiting list for a new Valiant would grow even longer, helped in some way by the price drop over the outgoing models. Buyers could save £35 on the manual, and £40 on the automatic, the new prices being £1220 ($2440) for the manual, £1345 ($2690) for the automatic and £1498 ($2996) for the Regal.

In November 1963 the “Safari” station wagon was to join the Valiant lineup, and was available in manual, automatic and even Regal models. Priced from £1320 ($2640) the wagons used the same mechanical components and front-end styling as the sedans, but were fitted with bigger tyres and heavier rear springing.

The main selling feature was obviously the huge luggage space afforded by the wagon, although the low-level counterbalanced tail gate and wind-up rear window which could be locked in any position certainly showed the competition just how a wagon should be built! By the end of its production run, some 49,440 AP5 Valiant’s had been manufactured.

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Also see:

Valiant Colour Codes
Valiant Option Codes
Valiant AP5 Specifications
Valiant AP5 Wagon vs. EH Holden Wagon
Chrysler Valiant History
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