1981 CM Valiant: Our shed

By: Matt Wood, Photography by: Matt Wood

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Matt Wood's CM Valiant was one of the last, hence the Mitsubishi tags...

1981 CM Valiant: Our shed
Our shed: 1981 CM Valiant


Matt Wood's 1981 CM Valiant

It’s kind of sad to admit, but it’s starting to look like this is my mid-life crisis car. What can I say? I’m a Val nut. I’ve owned this 1981 CM Valiant since 2009 and it’s a work in progress, as well being my daily driver. I kind of like the dorky ’80s beige anonymity of this beast and I’m constantly being accosted by people who like to tell me about the example that their father, uncle or school teacher used to own. The most memorable quote came from a dodgy-looking old fella who told me that a Valiant was "the best car he’d ever stolen".

By the time my Val rolled out of Tonsley Park, Chrysler Australia was toast; in fact this one was born in the last month of production. As a result it wears Mitsubishi tags and is a hodge-podge of different options. It wears no Regal or GLX badges and has no air-con or power steering, but came equipped with an S-block 265ci Hemi six and a floor-shift auto. I get the impression that someone on the assembly line was rummaging around in a near-empty parts bin when it was assembled!

It’s had the inevitable cancer removed from around the rear window, as well as some dings ironed out of the rear quarters. The 265 dropped a valve (among other things) a while back and has now been fully re-built and balanced, with a mild cam and some head work. A new set of Lukey headers and a 2.5in exhaust emphasise the distinctive Hemi rumble. It’s my little time capsule, from a time when the first of the Big Three bowed out of Aussie manufacturing.


 More reviews:

> Buyer's guide: Chrysler CM Valiant (1978-81)

> Chrysler by Chrysler

> Valiant Pacer

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