Very Important President: 1968 Chrysler Valiant VIP

Apparently, America has a President’s Day, something that would be unheard of in Australia. I have no idea what happens on President’s Day, I assume this year Americans will have to make an offering to their President, and kiss a cardboard cut-out of his feet. Never the less, should the President come to Australia, this is the car for him: named for arrogantly important people, and made by an Australian company with an American name. Find this 1968 Chrysler Valiant VIP in Burnie, Tas, for $12,500 AUD ($9,580 USD at the time of writing) via gumtree.

The VIP was little more than the top specification on the VE Valiant, and while its name is laughable, it’s not as bad as its ’70s successors: the Chrysler by Chrysler. Enzo Ferrari would be proud of such a name. Naturally, it came with a V8 with as much power as Portugal, mated to an automatic with fewer gears than Homer Simpson has fingers, because damn it, that’s what real luxury is.

This particular example has a needy interior, with a body that’s just a little bit beyond patina, but the engine had a fairly impressive overhaul two years ago, but may need rings now. Restoration is definitely possible, but may take more than a few weekends of leisurely wrenching to get it back on the road.

The upscale market at the time this was launched was interesting Down Under: Ford was still building localised Galaxie 500s, as well as the Australian Fairlane, and Holden had just launched the rushed Brougham to compete with the latter Ford. In the end, neither the Holden or the Chrysler could compete with the Fairlane, and though lesser Valiants are a reasonably common classic car, the VIP models are rare today.

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Michael is a teenager who’s been obsessed with cars since he was able to talk, but has no ability in mechanics whatsoever. His daily driver is a manual transmission Nissan Maxima – the Australian Infiniti I30