TOP FIVE CHRYSLERS: BUYER'S GUIDE

By: Guy Allen, Cliff Chambers, Dave Carey, Photography by: Coventry Studios, Ben Gali, Dave Carey

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Chrysler Australia's rich local production history has heaps to offer the classic car buyer. Here, we pick the top five...

 

TOP FIVE CHRYSLERS

Watching an auction of Aussie muscle and hero cars can sometimes be a dispiriting exercise. It’s nice for the owners to see the values of their pride and joy on the rise, but if you’re entering the market for the first time it seems a little daunting.

Fear not. There is an incredible history of locally-assembled metal from Mopar and there are still some rich pickings in amongst it. Some have race history, some just missed out, while others were just big old cruisers that have been given a new lease of life thanks to the changing tastes of local enthusiasts.

We picked the brains of a variety of folk to come up with this group of five gems, some of which you might score for just a few grand if you’re game enough to tackle a full resto. There are others where you can get an absolute ripper for the price of a used Commodore.

In any case, it’s a whole lot more fun than worrying about your superannuation and there’s a fair chance you’ll get a decent return on your investment. Enjoy!

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CHRYSLER VALIANT VF PACER

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The VF Valiant Pacer started a new line and is now surprisingly rare. It was built as a budget sports car and filled the brief very nicely.

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CHRYSLER BY CHRYSLER

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It's incredible the Chrysler by Chrysler exists at all. It wasn't just the tight budget that makes this car's existence remarkable, it's also the fact that it was competing n a small and well-serviced niche - Aussie luxo liners.

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DODGE PHOENIX

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It may come as a surprise for some to know that, in the late 1950s and early sixties, Australia had a pretty healty market for large American cruisers. In fact the Phoenix - while massive by our standards - was not the biggest thing in the Chrysler range.

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CHRYSLER VALIANT E55 CHARGER

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For something that effectively began as a skunkworks project done on the fly, the Charger scored incredible success and retains phenomenal cultural traction among petrolheads.

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CHRYSLER ROYAL

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When it was first mooted Chrysler Australia was to replace its locally-built P25-series cars, the company was reluctant to consign the tooling to the scrap heap. So in 1955, a small team of stylists reworked Virgin Exner's new 'Forward Look' Plymouth Plaza/Savoy design to mate to the P25's previous-generation glasshouse area.

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