Valiant Spotters Guide

In March 1969, the VE was replaced by the VF model. The new car shared its middle section with the previous VE Valiant, but there was new front and rear styling. The new front end featured a horizontally convex grille, replacing the VE's concave design. The front indicators were placed at the top leading edge of the front guards rather than in a more conventional location in the grille or front bumper. This allowed the VF's front bumper to be thinner and less prominent, which made the single round headlights look larger, and the front end appeared more aggressive as a result.

Valiant and Valiant Regal models were once again available, and the VF range also saw the introduction of the Valiant Regal 770 and an upgraded VIP model. The VF VIP was introduced two months after the Valiant range and was no longer a Valiant V.I.P. but was now marketed as a Chrysler VIP, in sedan form only. It offered a stretched (112 inches / 2,800 millimetres) wheelbase, with longer rear doors than the Valiant. As with previous model changes, the VF boasted even more safety features including a padded instrument panel and energy absorbing steering column.

A larger 5.2 L (318 cu in) version of the LA V8 replaced the 273, taking the V8's top speed to 109 mph (175.4 km/h). Transmission options remained the same: three-speed manual or three-speed TorqueFlite automatic.

The most significant introduction to the VF range was the all new two-door Valiant Hardtop — a U.S. Dodge Dart coupé with Valiant front sheetmetal and interior trim. At nearly 17 feet (5 m) long, this was the longest two-door ever made in Australia. Released six months after the other VF Valiants in September 1969, it was available in Valiant, Valiant Regal and Valiant Regal 770 models.

In mid 1969, Chrysler released a fast four-door named Valiant Pacer. A low-cost, high-power version of the bread-and-butter Valiant sedan, the Pacer featured a high-performance six-cylinder engine and three-speed manual gearbox with floor shifter.

Despite a lack of exterior chrome, the VF Pacer stood out with its red and black grille, simulated-mag wheel hub caps, special body striping, 'Pacer 225' decals, and choice of "Wild Blue", "Wild Red", or "Wild Yellow" exterior colours.

The sparsely-trimmed interior featured high back bucket seats, and distinctive black on white instrument dials with a dash top mounted tachometer.

Although lacking the V8 of its rivals, the Pacer could reach almost 180 km/h (112 mph) and, at $2798, was $400 cheaper than the base GTS Monaro.

The Pacer was powered by a special version of the trusty 225 slant six. With two-barrel carburettor, high-flow exhaust system, and 9.3:1 compression ratio, it produced 175 bhp (130 kW).

Standard brakes were finned, servo-assisted drum brakes all round, although most buyers opted for the optional front discs.

Underneath was Valiant's basic torsion bar suspension, lowered by 125 mm (5 in) to improve handling and with a front anti-sway bar fitted. A 'Sure-Grip' limited-slip differential with either 3.23:1 or 2.92:1 ratios was optional.

Contemporary road testers were mostly full of praise for the Pacer, noting there were few cars that could match it on a performance for price basis.

Modern Motor (May, 1969) took a VF Pacer sedan to 60 mph (97 km/h) in a respectable 10.5 seconds, the 1?4 miles (402 m) in 17.5 seconds and topped out at 111 mph (179 km/h).

In 1969, Chrysler's market share reached 13.7%.

52,944 VF Valiants were built.


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