(Warning, Lazy ad campaign incoming)
(excerpt from from Cincinnati Enquirer Automotive section, shortly after the LA Auto Show in November):
Ardent 1972 Offerings:
For the '72 model year, the Sentinel compact sedan, coupe, and wagon continue virtually unchanged, save for alterations to the bumpers to meet federal standards. It is a poorly kept secret that Ardent is in the process of designing an all new Sentinel, so we expect the status quo until that is released. We’ve been told that will be the '74 model year.
Ardent has announced a rather sizable shakeup of the Chesapeake line this year. The Jetsetter convertible trims are now gone, and new base L and mid-trim S model two-doors join the lineup. The L 2-door is only available with the 203 cubic inch Orion straight-six, though one has the option of a 3-speed manual or 3-speed automatic. The S 2-door is only available with a 289 cid Toledo V8 and a 3-speed auto. The remaining two door options, the 333 GT, 444 SS, and 444 Super SS, remain unchanged.
Other changes to the line are minor. The base L models now gain an in-dash analog clock that higher trims have had for years. Minor changes were made to the pattern of the optional cloth seating surfaces. Finally, the bumpers and brackets have been revised to meet upcoming federal crash standards.
Ardent’s pony car gains a little extra weight this year with the addition of federally compliant bumpers. S models now an in-dash clock standard, and L models gain new wheel options.
Ardent’s flagship sedan soldiers on with no major changes. The rumor mill is, however, flying that the Townsend-exclusive fuel-injected version of the 444 cid big block will soon make its way into the Manhattan.
A100 and A200 series trucks and vans
Since Ardent’s little truck-world coup in 1969 of making the 444 big block available in the A100 series, it has proven quite popular. Popular enough that, for the '72 model year, the 333 small block will no longer be available in the A200 series, as Ardent tries to shift more attention to its heavier duty workman’s vehicles.
Townsend 1972 Offerings:
Townsend’s small but luxurious offering continues on for yet another year with minimal changes, giving rise to the question as to Ardent’s long-term intentions towards this line, or any Townsend for that matter. The good news is you can still get the Trinidad with a 289 cid V8. The bad news is you can also still get it with the questionable 140 cid Templar straight-six.
What could have once been considered a premium sports car now languishes after years without major updates. Like the Trinidad, it can still be had with a 140 six or 289 eight.
The bright spot in the Townsend lineup is definitely the Toulouse. Based on the Ardent Manhattan, it still holds on to its exclusivity of the fuel-injected 444 cubic inch big block. This makes for a smoother ride than the equivalent Ardent, plus the interior just feels more refined. Townsend has hinted at further changes to this model over the next couple years.
Ardent Chesapeake L sedan w/203 and 3-spd auto
Ardent Chesapeake 444 Super SS w/4-speed manual
Townsend Toulouse base w/444 MechJect and 3-spd auto