Tina Wright’s Chrysler P6 Valiant

Tina Wright is part of a rare breed that still owns their first car after 30 years

Photographers: Troy Barker

What’s even cooler is that it’s an AP6 Valiant, something that has maintained its cred as a sweet cruiser throughout the decades. Tina chats with us about the AP6’s journey from daily family hauler to cruiser and everything in between.

This article was first published in the May 2020 issue of Street Machine

How did you end up with an AP6 Valiant?

We were a Chrysler family. My father had a red and black ’70 VG Pacer, then later a CL Chrysler ute, which he used as his milk truck. But the silver CM GLX that he called ‘Silverbird’ was his pride and joy, right up to his passing 18 months ago. My brother bought a VK Charger as his first car, and I bought my 225ci AP6 when I was 16 years old.

Tell us about your AP6.

I bought it from a deceased estate. I’d love to know the history from before I owned it, though I do know that the old guy was the first owner and had a terrier of some sort, as it destroyed the seats and scratched the windows – I was vacuuming dog hair out of it for years. Also, the old guy drove by feel, denting the light surrounds each time he parked!

What did you get up to in it?

Six could fit across the bench seats, so as teenagers my partner Mick and I would load the car up and go cruising along the Esplanade from Port Noarlunga to Moana and back – that’s the route that everyone took. We’ve always gone cruising with friends. Cars are part of our social scene with our mates.

And it was your daily driver, too?

Yep, up until the year 2000. I would drive it to work – an hour each way in peak traffic – with the three-on-the-tree, a cloth nappy as my demister and no heating or air conditioning. Some days I’d get home and be soaked in sweat. Though I did put it on gas, added a stereo, a driver’s seatbelt and tinting to help protect the interior. Later when we had kids, I added more seatbelts.

How’s the Val fared over the years?

It still looks great. The dash has cracked, but it’s all in good nick. I have had a bit of work done – a bare-metal respray in original Alabaster about 20 years ago, and the motor has been reconditioned. Mick was keen to modify the AP6, but I told him: “No way. It’s staying original, so you can get your own.” It took until six years ago for that to happen, though [we featured Mick’s AP6 last issue].

Do you still enjoy cruising the AP6?

I took it to Chryslers On The Murray three years ago when they had the AP5, AP6 and VC spotlight. We got it ready for the big drive, put the swag in it and off we went. On the weekends we get out to Coffee & Chrome and other events. I love that the AP6 starts straight away every time; it’s such a good car!

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