While we often characterize the muscle car as an American exclusive, that is genuinely not the case. While Ford, General Motors and Chrysler were pumping out some of the most iconic vehicles of the 1960’s here in the states, they were also doing the same thing in Australia. In order to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of these down-under muscle cars, FCA has unveiled the Chrysler 300 SRT Pacer muscle car.
The Chrysler Valiant is mostly an afterthought here in the states, but the model holds a special place in the hearts of Aussie car enthusiasts thanks to the 1969 Chrysler Valiant Pacer. This Australian market exclusive was a performance sedan aimed square at taking on the other muscle cars of its day, despite lacking the V8 power most commonly related to the segment. Instead, the Valiant Pacer packed a 3.7L Slant 6 with a two-barrel carburetor, a high-flow exhaust system, and an impressive 9.3:1 compression ratio, resulting in a total output of 174 horsepower. Power was routed to the rear wheels via a three-speed manual transmission. While down on power compared to its competitors, the Valiant Pacer carried a price tag of $2,798, which was $400 cheaper than a base model GTS Holden Monaro.
Despite originally being offered with six cylinders, the 50th anniversary Chrysler 300 SRT Pacer features the tried and true 6.4L Hemi V8 found in the Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack, which produces 469 horsepower and 470 pound-feet in this spec. The original Valiant Pacer was available in Blue, Red, and Wild Yellow paint, which is the color shown on the 300 SRT Pacer courtesy of a wrap. Much like the original car that ditched chrome for strip packages, there are also black stripes down the side of the body with red accents, including a stripe on the wheels like they did it back in the 1960’s. Pacer 392 decals point to the engine displacement, much like the original Pacer 225 badges of the past.
While the special edition Chrysler 300 SRT Pacer is just a one-off for the time being, FCA has said that the car is intended to have a limited production run later on. While we won’t be getting this Australian special on this side of the pond (even though we should!), we love that FCA is committed to celebrating their important models from the past in other markets.