The VJ Valiant was introduced in April 1973 and was offered in 4-door sedan, 5-door station wagon, 2-door hardtop, 2-door coupé and 2-door coupé utility body styles in the following models:
- Chrysler Valiant sedan
- Chrysler Valiant Ranger sedan
- Chrysler Valiant Ranger wagon
- Chrysler Valiant Regal sedan
- Chrysler Valiant Regal wagon
- Chrysler Valiant Regal hardtop
- Chrysler Valiant Charger coupe
- Chrysler Valiant Charger XL coupe
- Chrysler Valiant Charger 770 coupe
- Chrysler Valiant utility
- Dodge utility
The Dodge utility was virtually identical to the Chrysler Valiant utility but had a slightly lower level of equipment.
A limited edition Valiant Charger Sportsman model was introduced in August 1974. It was available only in “Vintage Red”, with bold white exterior striping, plaid cloth seat inserts and various other extras. It was fitted with the Hemi 265 engine and a four-speed manual gearbox. 500 examples were produced.
The VJ Valiant models featured new grilles, round headlights and revised tail lights, along with improved trim and a larger range of colours. A new electronic ignition system was introduced on some models, the first time that this feature had been offered in an Australian built car. The total number of models offered was significantly reduced with Ranger XL, Hemi Pacer, Regal 770 and Charger R/T not carried across from the VH Valiant into the new series. Equipment levels were raised in July 1974 with power assisted front brakes, retractable front safety belts, improved sound deadening, a lockable glovebox and a front stabiliser bar now available on all models other than the utilities.
Engines and transmissions
Chrysler Australia’s “Hemi 6” straight six engine was offered in in three displacements, 215 cid (3.5 litre), 245 cid (4.0 litre) and 265 cid (4.3 litre). A 318 cid V8 was also offered and a number of Chargers were produced with the 340 cid V8. A 360 cid V8 replaced the 340 in 1974. 3speed manual, 4speed manual and 3speed automatic transmissions were offered.
Production and development
A total of 90,865 VJ Valiants were built, more than any other Australian Valiant series. Production consisted of 49,198 sedans, 15,241 wagons, 10,509 Chargers, 1,067 hardtops and 14,856 utilities. The VJ Valiant was replaced by the VK Valiant in October 1975.
Chrysler CJ series
Chrysler Australia also produced the Chrysler CJ series, a long wheelbase, luxury model developed from the VJ Valiant.