Hemi-powered Chrysler VG Valiant Hardtop

Elite-level Valiant hardtop from Townsville debuts at Chryslers on the Murray with a 426 Hemi

Photographers: Luke Hunter

KEVIN Couper’s 426ci Hemi-powered VG hardtop was a real standout at this year’s Chryslers On The Murray. The elite-level Valiant, all the way from Townsville, took out the coveted Chrysler Of The Show award on debut.

The hardtop’s rebuild was very much a family affair, with Kevin and sons Steve and Paul doing the work at home in the shed. “It was a car we bought off a mate of mine in Townsville,” Kevin says. “It was nothing special, just a Regal, but for its age it wasn’t bad for rust. We stripped it down to the bare shell, put it on a rotisserie and rebuilt it from end to end over a five-year period. Without help from a couple a mates on things like the exhaust and wiring, it wouldn’t have got done.

This was no run-of-the-mill rebuild. From the outset the plan was to build Kevin an elite-quality, yet practical and street-drivable, 426 Hemi-powered show-stopper.

“We had the motor built by HP Performance in Knoxville, Tennessee,” Kevin says. “They cast their own alloy blocks, the heads are what they call their Stage V heads, and it’s got a decent-size solid-roller cam in it.”

Up top it runs twin 750 vac-sec Holleys on a low-rise manifold, with an MSD ignition system. It made 830hp on the dyno over in the States before it was shipped Down Under.

Backing the 426 is a full-manual reverse-pattern Torqueflite 727 auto built by Coan Engineeing with an eight-inch stall converter.

To cope with the power, Kevin and the boys added chassis connectors and sleeved the rails, then welded in a four-link kit from Control Freak Suspensions in the US. The front end is a tubular, coil-over, rack-and-pinion-equipped bolt-in set-up, also by Control Freak, while the Wilwood brakes use twin master cylinders hidden under the dash.

“The Couper family would like to thank everyone involved with Chryslers On The Murray; it’s a fantastic show with wonderful people,” a very chuffed Kevin says. “Thanks also to everyone that came along and checked out VG HEMI; your reactions to the car really made the hours worth it!”