Chrysler CM Valiant (1978-81) - Club Classics Under $30k

By: Cliff Chambers

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The 4.3-litre, 265 cubic inch motor was the best Aussie six of its era

 

1978-81 Chrysler CM Valiant 

If all I could say in support the CM Valiant’s inclusion in our under $30k classics was that they don’t terrify me in the way a VH-VK does, that would probably be enough. This wasn’t just the last gasp of a doomed design, the CM transformed a wallowing vehicle into a bloody good car. Only problem; it turned up five years too late.

The 4.3-litre, 265 cubic inch motor was the best Aussie six of its era. Even in 4.0-litre form it was a powerful and very durable and made all the better by ‘Electronic Lean Burn’ technology. Improved suspension was introduced right towards the end of CL production but so few of those cars survive you might as well deem Chrysler’s take on ‘radial tuned’ suspension a CM feature.

Chrysler at the time was tipping every developmental dollar into the hugely successful Sigma and about all the CM had to distinguish itself was a new grille and some bits of amended bright-work. Delve deeper though and you found quartz-halogen headlamps – four of them even on the base model – and wider ‘sports’ wheels to accommodate chunky radial rubber.

Assuming you can find one, the CM to hunt down is a GLX with four-speed manual transmission. Not quite a supercar but certainly a high-grade ‘sports sedan’ with definite collector chops.

In the absence of a GLX look for a Regal or even the sumptuous SE. These with 4.3 litres cost a little less than 4.2-litre HZ Premiers but you win out on fuel economy and interior space. Watch for rust.

Value guide: $5-34K

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