By on December 16, 2013

05 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe march of the Chrysler A-bodies into The Crusher’s jaws continues in Colorado; in this series prior to today, we’ve seen this ’75 Duster, this ’75 Dart, this ’64 Valiant wagon, this ’68 Valiant Signet, this ’66 Dart, this ’73 Valiant, and this ’61 Valiant. Most of these cars’ contemporary competitors— Chevy Novas, Ford Falcons and Mavericks, AMC Gremlins— were crushed decades ago, but plenty of the old 318- and Slant 6-powered Chrysler commuters managed to hang on in everyday service for nearly half a century. This ’67 sedan still looks pretty solid, but these days only the Dart coupes are worth fixing up.
14 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinChrysler made the Slant-6 engine from 1959 through 2000, if you count Mexican crate-motor production, and you could still buy US-built trucks with this engine in the late 1980s. With such a junkyard glut, not many Slant-6 engines will be saved once they get to this point.
09 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinPlymouth Transaudio AM radio, with none of the CONELRAD frequency markers you’ll see in most car radios of this era.
10 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe owner of this car must have been an AM radio audiophile, what with this aftermarket fader control. No doubt Bobby Goldsboro sounded a lot better this way.
12 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinHey, an aftermarket Libby Light!
07 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinDo you really need more interior than this?

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42 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1967 Plymouth Valiant...”


  • avatar
    -Nate

    I love A Body MoPars .

    This one really was well equipped for it’s duty with aux. lights , tow ball and fancy clock plus of course the fader for that ‘ Concert Hall ‘ sound =8-) .

    Not fast but these fine cars were in fact , serious Road Burners , capable of criss crossing America easily for millions of miles uber cheaply and always comfortably .

    Sad to see it junked as little rust and no crash damage but pleased to see someone cherry picked a bunch of cosmetics off it .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    Bench seats and vent windows. *sigh* Things gone, never to return.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Good riddance to bad rubbish in both cases. Uncomfortable and unsupportive, and utterly miserable if the driver is short and the passenger is not for the former. Leaky of both wind and air, with handles that break for the latter.

      • 0 avatar
        jeffzekas

        Vent windows are awesome– have them in my ’96 Bronco, and they work great, on those days when you want air, but not too much air… a brilliant, low tech solution (as compared to my son’s BMW computer system, with its high tech, constantly failing parts!)

        • 0 avatar
          CarGal

          Nice to see another Bronco owner :) 1989 here.

          I personally like vent windows but I understand why others don’t. The leaks they have is just white noise to me now, I don’t even notice it anymore.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    On the list of low cost transportation, the Valiant/Dart pair are at the very top. My first was purchased in the summer of ’84 for $150 (the seller was prepared to drop to $100 with the new battery removed, but I didn’t want to waste any more time getting moving) and provided years of quality motoring around Maui. I couldn’t help but giggle when I realized I was the rolling roadblock during the afternoon rush hour ascent from Kahului to the pre-bypass Pukalani-Makawao area.

    An overheating cooling system was cured with removal of the radiator cap and weekly infusions of distilled water. A slight sag toward the driver’s side was fixed in a half day with wrenches to torque the easily accessible torsion bars. The car tracked straight and true, and alignment was quickly achieved using the offset cams, making me the envy of the Ford and Chevy guys during the suspension and steering shop class, although one good speed bump would knock those cams askew.

    I ended up selling the car to a windsurfer for $500 and it managed to run for another 3 years before Ho’okipa’s salt spray finally claimed it. Had it not met its fate in that way, it could have become a parts car just like this one.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Interesting car. Normally, A-bodies cease to be drivable when their bodies rust away long before their drivetrains give out, but this one’s body seems to be solid all the way ’round. Of course, even a bullet-proof slant-six/Torqueflite combo will give out if you never change oil and/or fluid.

    OTOH, those foglights are located right where the turn signals should be, suggesting the grille was removed (or cut) just to make them fit. Likewise, all the JC Whitney-level, added-on stuff (particularly the switch selection for ‘buzz’ lights (?)) and all the loose safety pins (which, IIRC, were a way to hold ‘roaches’) suggest some kind of minimum-wage, pot-head, slacker-mobile which eventually met its demise at the hands of some Jeff Spicoli-type from Fast Times at Ridgemont High who simply abandoned it at the side of the road when it finally gave out.

    • 0 avatar
      I've got a Jaaaaag

      Look at the pictures of the fog lights closely, it appears that the owner drilled out the fogs to integrate the turn signals. These modifications have penny pinching engineer written all over them.

  • avatar
    AllThumbs

    Since it’s a sedan, I’m guessing the fader was installed so that the driver could listen to the news or whatever without bothering sleeping kids in the back seat. At least that’s what I’d like to imagine.

    My first car out of college was a 73 Dart hardtop coupe that I bought from my dad for $500 and sold a year and a half later to a neighbor for $600. I always think of that car as a “good” car, which is odd, considering how many things I had to fix on it (water pump, alternator come to mind, but there was more) and how many things didn’t work (fuel gauge). I guess I didn’t have the expectations I have since come to assume in car ownership.

    It WAS a good car, though, in that it got me where I needed to go. Including a trip to Mexico with friends. I remember driving back through south Texas in August and the temp gauge sitting at 2/3 to 3/4 (no AC, of course) and worrying about it overheating. My friend said, “It’s over 100 degrees and you’re driving 70, what do you expect?”

    Exactly. We pretty well got what we expected with those cars.

    • 0 avatar
      AllThumbs

      Oh, I might have mentioned that on that particular trip to Mexico (summer of ’83), a high percentage of the taxis in Mexico City were A Body Mopars at that time. Makes a lot of sense in a lot of ways– reliability, economy, ease of repair, space, availability from US (where they were plentiful, cheap, and looked down on).

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Hal and his Valiant had a lot in common.

    “Could be a winner boy, you move quite well
    Stroke me, stroke me
    Good morning. 630 KHOW, got your traffic.
    Starting to build near the I25/I70 interchange…”

    Hal pushed his glasses down his nose so he could peer over the frames into the distance. The Denver skyline was off on his left. Down below on the right, he could begin to make out the rolling parking lot on I-25. The Signet plodded along slowly at 55mph in the right lane. An angry Lexus SUV driver made an aggressive overtake. Hal’s road rage was minimal. He simply shook his head, and then smiled. The RX350′s brake lights illuminated as soon as it occupied Hal’s lane. The lady had become so enveloped in crafting the perfect scowl at the rusty Plymouth, that she failed to notice the backup of cars merging into her lane. Hal said “Ohhhhhhhh…”, taking in the sight of the 350′s full undercarriage, it pitching forward under the panic braking. Bang. Little bits of Lexus reflector shot sideways. Hal watched the 80% piece of Subaru tail light rocking on the pavement. He grabbed the metal turn signal stalk downward and completed his exclamation. “…Mama.”

    The slow and steady beat of the turn signal flasher’s “tick-tick” provided the soundtrack for Hal’s lane change around the calamity. He gawked at the woman as he passed, struck dumb in her seat, clutching her cell phone. “Was it worth it?”, Hal asked to himself. Long forgotten were the days when he was in such a hurry to commute to the power plant in his trusty old Dart. Traffic thinned as he headed west, with the drones plying off of the interstate towards their work day. The slant six’s ticking lifter increased in pace and assumed a din at it’s cruising speed.

    What he thought was a nice Toyota glided past. He admired it, although, without want. The Valiant was as it’s name implied, trusty. He imagined what life with the Tesla would be like, trying to get a jump with the hood open, a dead battery from sitting for two weeks. Hal exited, and soon the Plymouth turned up the mountain road. The asphalt was in a bit of disrepair. The suspension squeaked on tired bushings. The tapping of fishing tackle on sheet metal emanated from the trunk. He glanced at the creek below out the passenger window, then pulled the sedan off to the side.
    “I-70 is backing up due to a fender bender…”

    Hal pushed open the door, and it spoke with a “Crun-crunk”. He stuck his leg out, and felt that feeling again. His palm fell to his chest, then to the bottle of aspirin. The old man tossed back a few, and relaxed for a moment. When he brought his right foot back, it crunched something strange on the floor. “Where the hell did those come from?”, he said at the rouge safety pins. The pins had come out of their hiding place after the Lexus incident, now seeing the first light of day since the late 80′s, when the seat cover was installed.

    Hal opened the trunk lid. He saw his beautiful fly rod. Then there was pain, searing pain. He still gripped the trunk lid, and passed the weather beaten paint and brushed aluminum Plymouth strip on the way down.

    “Can somebody go get my car? It’s probably still out there.”
    “Sure Dad. Sure.”

  • avatar

    Poignant.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Slant 6, shrugs off your abuse and keeps going. The world needs more engines like the Slant 6 and Buick 3800 V6.

    Still dream of hot rodding an inline 6 one day. Just for giggles.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      Apparently the Ford 300 can make absurd power…and people used to hot-rod GMC truck sixes back in the 50s.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Yep, all 90 horsepower of it.

      • 0 avatar
        greaseyknight

        They don’t have the power potential of the equivalent V8, but they can be made put out a decent amount of Torque and HP. Torque being the important word. A hot six also has a completely different sound then a V8, nothing else like the brappp you get with duals.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          Only reason why the inline truck six went away is fuel economy mandates…they make plenty of power and torque and can be fitted with all the engine tech of a V6, but don’t seem to turn in as good of fuel economy as a truck V6 does.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I think engine architecture has very little direct correlation to fuel economy. The current V6s are in trucks because they are shared across many platforms (the exception being Chevy’s new 4.3), thus reducing development costs. V6s can easily be mounted transversely, not many I-6s are, except Volvo’s 3.2 and oddballs like the Suzuki Verona (2.5 developed by Porsche!!). Ford’s 3.7 is in everything from a Mustang, to an Edge, to the F150. Dodge crams the Pentastar in everything, and the 3.7-4.0L “van engine” into Rams and Wranglers before that.

            I do love a grunty I-6 with smooth electric-like torque down low. Had a rusty ’94 F250 with the 300ci at my last job, it would idle up hills.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      I’ve seen 8 second build sheets for the bigger slant 6. It was just a list of parts, but they were marketing it as an 8 second (8th mile) build, so it “must be possible”. Hey, checked records from a slant six forum and someone ran an “unlimited” slant six in the 10′s for a 1/4!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    CONELRAD station markers were no longer a federal requirement by 1963. With four years past, not surprised they aren’t there.

    The ‘ye ol’ Slant 6 was like the Energizer Bunny of engines. They just keep going and going and going and going…

    When I was in high school Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler vehicles with a Slant 6 were the beater of choice. The bodies and frames would rot away in the salt of the New England winters while the driveline just kept going.

    My sister had a ’74 Plymouth Duster with a Slant 6 – she went 30K miles (to my father’s horror) doing basically a rolling oil change. She even broke off the dipstick at one point and just left the end rattling around in the oil pan.

    It…just…kept…going…

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      A college buddy grew up in a Chrysler family. His dad would keep dropping the same Slant 6 into different bodies as the body rotted away. The rough part was finding good bodies given that they were living in Cleveland.

      His college ride? Ex-cop Diplomat with Slant 6 and a posi.

  • avatar
    50merc

    Eh, you youngsters and fancy “AM” radios. When I was a kid, we only had “M” radios, no AM or FM either! But we liked it just fine.

    Liked the Slant 6, too. Like the Buick V6, it didn’t deserve to die.

  • avatar
    Omnifan

    My second car was a 67 Valiant 100 series. No radio, no carpet, vinyl bench seat, but it had bonus wheel covers and side molding. 170 CID /6 with automatic (only option). Black with red interior. Grandma’s car with only 2300 miles when I got in 1973. Put over 100K on it between Michigan and Maryland and the third owner put another 70K on it before scrap.

    Not powerful, not good looking, but usually reliable. Points and condenser ignition, which on the /6 was a pain to install and adjust without dropping a screw in the distributor.

    Thanks for the memories.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      In theory a small TBI unit and a modern distributor would make the Slant 6 completely livable even in the modern world. TBI unit for some slight performance and fuel economy improvements as well as easier starting in bad weather, modern distributor also for easier starting and increased reliability.

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      If you overlooked or forgot to address the dropped screw, it was time to visit the auto parts counter for a replacement nylon drive gear, followed by ensuring the rotor was in the 1 working spot out of 17 possible positions before retiming the engine.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      A locking screwdriver was a very valuable tool for changing Slant 6 points and condenser.

      • 0 avatar
        Omnifan

        I did have a locking screwdriver for that purpose, but even with that, the angle and location of the distributor made it difficult to work on the points. It was easier to pull it out (I’d rotate the engine by hand so the rotor was pointing to 12 o’clock) and do the job with room to spare.

        My next car, a Duster, had electronic ignition.

  • avatar
    Dan R

    In many respects Chrysler’s finest achievement. Many of their
    other cars were a triumph of form over function.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      While high-horsepower behemoths like the 426 Hemi get all the Chrysler engine glory, the Slant-Six easily bests it on longevity, alone. Apparently, while the 30º cant doesn’t really offer any inherent advantage over the upright designs by GM and Ford, it’s main claim to fame is the extra space for better distribution of the same-side intake and exhaust manifolds, as well as clearance for other accessories. But that doesn’t explain the anvil-like reputation the /6 garnered over the years.

      Nevertheless, it was a good design with positive attributes, and I was always puzzled why GM and/or Ford (or anyone else, for that matter) never copied it. I guess they must have done cost analyses which showed the advantages weren’t worth the tooling expenses. Chrysler was always willing to be more daring (at least in engineering).

      • 0 avatar
        greaseyknight

        The intake manifold may explain some of the longevity, as it allows all 6 cylinders to run the same Air/Fuel ration. The other 6′s run 1&6 lean, 2&4 about right, and 3&4 about right.

        I’ve heard that the 318 (small block dodge)had the lowest warranty claim rate of all dodge engines of the era, even lower then the /6

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    It was done for engine packaging. Check out how they mounted the water pump.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    Dusters are worth fixing up, too, if not more.

  • avatar
    Mikein08

    Sigh … very fond memories … I had a 67 Dart with a 170ci I6 and
    auto tranny that would cruise at 90mph all day, and a 1969 225ci Valiant
    with auto tranny that would break loose the tires from a standing stop.
    Great cars for their era, and I loved both of mine.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Mid-late 70′s I learned to drive stick on my dad’s 68 Valiant yellow 4 dr 225-6 3 on the tree, rubber floor mats and a very effective vacuum floor pump windshield washer. Also learned how to do a valve job on it. He got well over 150k out of it with normal maintenance, tune ups, brakes and a clutch. until the a front torsion bar separated from the subframe. He did not want to bother with having it welded so sold it and bought a blue 704 dr with A/C. At the time I wished he bought a Duster because they seemed less pedestrian.

    The 68 was the 1st year of the side markers, the round style and optional head restraints on a entry level Chrysler product. It also had the cool uniquely styled radio with the vertical tuning knobs. It’s a shame there was never a wagon version of the 67-76 A-Body.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      Those late-sixties, thumbwheel Chrysler radios looked better than they worked. The problem was that the tuning/volume thumbwheels were made of metal and conducted heat much more efficiently than the typical plastic knobs. So, trying to adjust the station or volume on a Mopar radio that had been on for a while required a light touch, lest someone wind up with burned finger tips.

      I would imagine the theory was the vertical, metal thumbwheels simplified installation and reduced labor costs. Of course, it also meant that using an aftermarket radio would be a lot tougher, too. As far as I know, the vertical spin thumbwheel Chrysler radios only lasted from 1968-1970, and were phased out from 1971 on, as Chrysler returned to normal, plastic knob radios.

      But they did look cool and are a great piece of period nostalgia.

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        It appears that the thumbwheel radios were only in existence from 68-70. My grandfather had a 67 Fury III 4dr hardtop with most options and it had a regular plastic and metal knobbed two shaft radio. An uncle of mine had a 69 Fury III 2dr hardtop and it had the thumbwheel style radio that was designed as part of the instrument cluster so only the driver could control it thus keeping the pesky spouse or kids from changing the station. 70-74 Cuda/Challanger and others the radio was designed with both volume and tuning on the left side.


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