Template:List of Valiant ModelsThe Valiant was a compact car based on the Chrysler A platform, introduced by the Chrysler Corporation in 1960 and was in production through 1976 in the US and to 1981 in Australia. While never a full-fledged division of its own, the Valiant was in theory its own make for one year in the United States and from 1960–66 in Canada.
While best known as the Plymouth Valiant, the Valiant was introduced in the United States in 1960 as its own make. Chrysler advertised the Valiant that year as "Nobody's Kid Brother" to indicate that the vehicle was not a compact car from any Chrysler division; however, the vehicle was sold through Chrysler-Plymouth and Plymouth-DeSoto Dealer francises. In 1961 Chrysler merged the vehicle into the Plymouth line and renamed it the Plymouth Valiant, primarily to shore up Plymouth's sales volume, which had dropped embarassingly in 1960.
In Canada, the Valiant was introduced for 1960. It was sold at both Plymouth and Dodge dealers through 1966. The 1963 and 1964 Valiants used Dodge Dart bodies with a Valiant front clip. In 1965 both the U.S. Valiant and Dart were sold in Canada as Valiants. For 1966, only the Dart body was used. The Barracuda was built in Canada for 1964 and 1965 and sold as a Valiant, not a Plymouth. All 1965 Valiants, including the Barracuda, used the Dart dashboard. For 1967 the Plymouth Valiant and Dodge Dart were imported from Detroit which marked the end of the unique Canadian models.
- Main article: Chrysler Valiant
In Australia, the Valiant was imported and later produced by Chrysler Australia. The first models were the R and S Series imported in small numbers from 1962. These models both had Chrysler Slant 6 engine 225 in³ motors and were available with a Push Button TorqueFlite automatic.
Chrysler Australia continued to produce Valiants generally following the development of the American Valiant through the 1960s with mild facelifts with increasing localisation. Dissatifaction with the American car's styling led to the all-Australian VH Valiant series of 1971.
The VH model included the short wheelbase Valiant Charger coupe, the Hemi 6 (some versions producing up to 225 kW/302 hp) proved to be an initial success story, and for a time proved to be the fastest-accelerating car built in Australia. It's best sales, however, were noticeably in New Zealand. The combination of the powerful engine, lighter body and shorter wheelbase were more suited to New Zealands windy and more mountainous roads. Other motors used included 318 ci, and 340 ci wersions of the V8 Chrysler LA engines, (the 340 ci was only used in the Charger). The Valiant Charger VH model won the 1971 Wheels Car of the Year Award.
The VJ series Valiant, with some revisions, débuted in 1973. The VK was launched in 1975. The CL took over in 1976, with a more formal grille. A panel van version (including a sports version called the Drifter) was added in this model series, and the long-wheelbase models were dropped. The Charger was cancelled after 1978. The late-1970s models were not known for good build quality.
Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited, which took over Chrysler's Australian operations and the under-bonnet (hood) compliance plates for the Valiant began to have the Mitsubishi name on them with the Chrysler name being mentioned as "used under licence."
Mitsubishi did not renew the Valiant, although there had been some development work in Detroit on project "CM-41," a boxier replacement, reminiscent of the Dodge St. Regis and Plymouth Gran Fury of 1979, that was to have been launched in 1980.
The R and S models, and Charger have cult status in Australia and New Zealand, with clubs in every state. However, the company failed to keep pace with arch-rivals Holden and Ford, and Valiant and Chrysler disappeared from Australasia in 1981 after merging with Mitsubishi.