Chrysler 180 in the Czech Republic
The 180/2 Litre range has reached a devoted following of fans in the Czech Republic, partly thanks to its special status it reached in former Czechoslovakia during the 1970s. Several hundreds of Chrysler 180s were imported into Czechoslovakia and sold by two state-owned organizations, Mototechna and Tuzex. First examples were imported in 1972, last Spanish Simcas 1610 (re-badged Chrysler 180) were sold in 1979. Apart from this, several other cars were imported on private basis during the 1970s and 1980s.
When sold as a novelty, Chrysler 180 quickly won itself very posh image of the fanciest car on the market and it never lost it completely even during the „image crisis“ in late 1980s, when various boy racers became interested in having and „improving“ 180s. Most of these „tuned“ examples ended in scrapyards. Some of them were later stripped for parts by our club members..
One web source mentions that large number of 180/2 Litre models was sold in Eastern Europe, where „Volga was the main competitor“. It is not quite true – firstly, Czechoslovakia was the only Eastern Europe country, where this car was available and 180 was the only model of the range imported in large numbers. Secondly, during the 1970s, it had several competitors on then Czechoslovak luxury cars market – Saab 99, Cortina Mk.III, Renault 16, Renault 20. People, who were buying these cars generally did not feel much sympathy to Volgas (although even these are quite interesting cars these days).
These days, there ARE still more than a hundred Chryslers registered in the Czech Republic. Quite a large number comparing to nearly complete disappearance of Chrysler 160/180/2 Litre in the rest of the world.