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> 1966 Bathurst 500: The Valiant V8 automatics that conquered The Mountain
post Sep 10 2013, 04:27 PM
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From the pages of http://www.shannons.com.au/club/news

Story by MarkOastler

The Boddenberg/Cooke VC Valiant V8 captured in full flight across the top of Mount Panorama. The V8 Valiants impressed with their speed and reliability over the 500 mile (800 km) race distance.

Chrysler Australia never built a V8 version of its hot Valiant R/T Charger, so the company’s Bathurst racing heritage has been built around its signature ‘Hemi’ six cylinder engine.

However, long before the Charger program kicked off in 1971, V8-powered Valiants did compete in the annual 500-mile Bathurst endurance race for stock standard road cars and enjoyed great success, even though few may be aware of that historic achievement today.

In 1966, a pair of the latest model VC Valiant V8s ran pretty much as they came off the showroom floor, complete with black vinyl roofs, three-speed automatic transmissions, four-wheel drum brakes and skinny radial tyres. The only showroom items removed were the hub caps.

They not only scored a resounding 1-2 in the big car division (Class D) but also 10th and 11th outright, making them the first non-Minis to finish behind a swarm of hot Cooper S entries that filled the first nine places that year.

Six cylinder Valiants had competed in the annual 500-mile race before, at both Philip Island and Bathurst, but the much trumpeted arrival of the 273 cid (4.5 litre) small block V8-powered AP6 in August 1965 suddenly raised the bar.

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