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The VH model range also saw the introduction of the new luxury class vehicles, the CH range. The Chrysler by Chrysler is a luxury automobile which was produced by Chrysler Australia from 1971 to 1976.
The original CH Series Chrysler by Chrysler was introduced in November 1971 replacing the Chrysler VIP as Chrysler’s competitor to the Ford Fairlane and the Statesman in the Australian prestige car market. It was offered in four door Chrysler Sedan and two door Chrysler Hardtop models.
The Chrysler was based on the VH series Chrysler Valiant, utilizing the floorpan of the two door Hardtop version. The 115 in (2,900 mm) wheelbase of the Chrysler was identical to that of the Valiant Hardtop and 4 in (100 mm) longer than that used on the Valiant Sedan. The Chrysler also differed significantly from the Valiant in external appearance, featuring a four headlight grille encircled by a chrome surround and a unique wrap-around horizontal tail-light assembly. The frontal styling was highly reminiscent of the 1971 US Dodge Coronet.
A long list of standard luxury equipment items set the Chrysler further apart from the Valiant and included front disc brakes, power assisted steering, a push button radio with power antenna, a carpeted boot, tinted power operated windows and courtesy lighting which included adjustable reading lights for rear passengers. Considerable attention had also been taken to reduce NVH with the application of additional soundproofing material.
A 265 cu in (4.3 L) Hemi six cylinder engine was fitted as standard equipment, with an American designed, Australian built 360 cu in (5.9 L) V8 available as an option. An imported “TorqueFlite” three speed automatic transmission was used in all variants.
An updated CJ Series version of the Chrysler was released in May 1973, one month after the VJ Series update of the Valiant. Styling changes to the Chrysler were minor. The four door Sedan was now the only model offered with the two door Hardtop body-style not being carried over from the CH series.
An updated CK Series Chrysler was released in October 1975, coinciding with the release of the VK Valiant range. Changes were again minor. The 360 cu in (5.9 L) V8 engine was modified to improve both economy and performance. however new emission regulations saw this unit replaced by a 318 cu in (5.2 L) V8 from 1 July 1976.
The CK Chrysler was discontinued in October 1976 with the introduction of the CL Series of Valiant and Regal models. This range included a luxury Chrysler Regal SE Sedan which effectively replaced the Chrysler, although it did not feature the longer wheelbase or the unique styling features of the outgoing model.
The Chrysler by Chrysler was marketed in South Africa as the Dodge SE from 1972 to 1975. For compliance with South African local-content laws, it was powered by the 225 Slant-6 rather than the Australian Hemi-6.
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