by Andy Thompson
At the beginning of 1975, the assembly lines of the Chrysler 160, 180, and 2 litre (also used to build the Chrysler Centura) were transferred from France to Spain’s Barreiros factory in Villaverde. The plant, which belonged to Chrysler, specialized in making trucks, though it also assembled Simca cars and built the V8-powered Dodge 3700GT, for Spain.
The 160, 180, and 2-litre were not modified much and continued to be sold in France and Britain, but Spain swapped in a 2 litre Barreiros diesel while the 160 was dropped. This diesel was quite traditional, with four cylinders, and indirect fuel injection; it developed 65 CV at 4000 rpm and 13.2 m.Kg of torque at 2100 rpm. The 2 Litre’s transmission was kept (a four speed manual with a 215mm clutch). Tyres were 165 SR 14 and brakes followed the original 160 – discs up front, drums out back.
The Simca 1307 was also sold in Spain as the Chrysler 150.
Both trim levels were equipped with the dashboard of the Chrysler 160, which didn’t have a tachometer (the 180 did). The two front spot lamps easily distinguished the luxury model. Fuel consumption varied from 6.5 litres/100 km on the open road at an average speed of 80Km/h to 9 litres/100km in urban motoring. Top speed was just 134 Km/h.
Spanish taxation was based on the engine size, at the time; the top band of 13 CV corresponded to a cubic capacity of 1920 cc. Spanish rules were designed to encourage smaller, more economical cars. Until 1976, the tax was 16% of the price for the vehicles of less than 8 CV, moving to 20% above that. From 1976, the taxes increased to 17.2% for 8 CV and 22% for those over 8 CV. In November 1977, a third category appeared: a tax rate of 35% for vehicles of 13 CV and more.
The Chrysler 2 Litre and its diesel sister were hit by the 1977 luxury tax, so the Chrysler 2 Litre was replaced by the Chrysler 180 automatic. The diesel was shaved down to 1.92 liters, dropping it down to the next taxation band, saving 13% of the purchase price. Neither fuel consumption nor maximum speed were affected by this reduction in engine size.
In 1978 Chrysler España campaigned for sales on basis of the fiscal advantages of the revised 180 series. Peugeot purchased the company from Chrysler in 1980, renaming Chrysler cars to Talbot (The truck and bus division was sold to Renault).
Petrol (gasoline) engine production ended sometime in 1980, but production of the diesel lingered on until 1982.
The Chrysler had reasonable success, where it was successful as a taxi. Local body builders carried out limousine and station wagon conversions, although the company never listed these officially.
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