Chrysler Valiant CL V8 panel van - today's tempter

By: Jack Houlihan, Unique Cars magazine

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chrysler cl panelvan Chrysler Valiant CL V8 panel van - today's tempter chrysler cl panelvan

Chrysler’s scarce entry to the panel van world

CHRYSLER Australia was well and truly late to the Aussie panel van craze, debuting its first examples of the body style partway through the CL’s lifespan in April 1977. The Drifter pack followed soon after, designed to do battle with Holden’s ubiquitous Sandman and Ford’s contemporary Sundowner utes and vans.


When lined up against Holden and Falcon vans, both of which enjoyed almost a decade of production, CL vans are a scarce find. Most sources cite around 1700 having rolled off the Tonsley Park line, ending with the release of the sedan and wagon-only CM in November 1978.

chrysler panel vans.jpg

This particular van isn’t a Drifter, but it’s been dressed up with iconic VH Pacer-style stripes over Vitamin C paint.

It’s also received a rebuilt 318ci V8 in place of the original 245-cube six offered with commercial-spec CL vans.

This is backed by a 727 Torqueflite auto with 3500rpm stall converter and Ford nine-inch limited-slip diff, offering a considerable performance boost over the factory running gear.

The odometer reading is listed as reading 170,000km.

Though this example is far from stock, it’s an affordable and comparatively rare way into V8-powered van motoring, with a distinct 70s flavour. It’s being offered in Victoria with a roadworthy certificate for $40,000.


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