Australia had its own muscle car movement during the 1960’s too. While everything in America was about the big V8, the Australian’s came up with some clever six-cylinder solutions that made impressive power. Chrysler Australia turned a truck engine into a hot little HEMI six-banger that made as much real horsepower as many of the big American V8s. Then they stuck them in a small sports coupe called the Chrysler Valiant Charger.
One of these rare, Aussie-only six-cylinder HEMI engines found its way on to Hemmings Auto Blog, and we find ourselves drooling over the hot pink HEMI.
The Chrysler Valiant Charger R/T was introduced in 1971 with four six-cylinder engine options, but no V8 engines. Yet the Aussies still managed to find 302 horsepower and 320 ft-lbs of torque from a 265 cubic-inch six-cylinder engine.
This top-of-the-line package is called the E49, introduced in 1972, and this particular Aussie import features this package, albeit not from the factory. The Valiant Charger led Chrysler’s Australian touring car campaign, and the E49 package came with this powerful six-cylinder engine mated to a four-speed manual transmission.
The 265 HEMI had the famous hemispherical compression chambers that made the big V8 HEMI’s of America performance icons. It could also be equipped with three two-barrel carburetors and weighed less than most American six-bangers, while making as much power as the big V8s. And when handled gently, they could return up to 30mpg. A six-cylinder HEMI. Who woulda thunk it?