By on April 24, 2014

12 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinBy my calculations, we will stop seeing Chrysler A bodies in wrecking yards by about the year 2109; so far in this series we’ve seen this ’61 Valiant, this ’63 Dart, this ’64 Valiant wagon, this ’67 Valiant, this ’66 Dart, this ’68 Valiant Signet, this ’73 Valiant, this ’75 Duster, and this ’75 Dart, and today I’m adding a first-year Valiant wagon that sat abandoned for about 40 years before being sent to a California self-serve yard.
18 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinHow do I know it sat for that long? From the yellowed but otherwise intact stack of 1970 newspapers I found in the back. Here’s the first paragraph of the Herb Caen column from the February 25, 1970 San Francisco Chronicle. Those damn Traditional Hippies (Caen invented the term “hippie”), donating blood for the SFPD! My very first job was delivering the Chronicle on my Schwinn, about 8 years after this issue came out, so it was cool to find this paper.
05 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Slant-6 engine was fairly modern in 1960. I can’t tell a 170 from a 225 by glancing at it, but the 170 was more common in the early Valiants. Someday I will buy an NOS Slant-6 scale model.
01 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe interior is pretty well cooked from those decades in the California sun.
11 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe early Valiant wagon had some interesting body lines.
27 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAll right, back to the 2/25/70 newspaper! Here’s an ad for the 70 Plymouth Duster, complete with cartoon woman in psychedelic bell-bottoms.
22 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAn unusual time to announce the somewhat delayed second-gen Camaro. Stewart Chevrolet is still around, though not in San Francisco.
33 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinConservative columnist Joseph Alsop had some concerns about Nixon’s plan to abolish the draft, citing Philip II of Macedonia.
32 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNews stories out of the Middle East haven’t changed much in 44 years, although big-nosed caricatures of Arabs in American editorial cartoons have been toned down a bit since then. Also, busing nowadays isn’t quite the issue it was in 1970.
21 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYou don’t see help-wanted ads separated by gender these days.
28 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinRemember Gordo and his cat, Poosy Gato? Only if you’re old.
24 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinHow about a sharp ’65 Chrysler for $595?
09 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYes, old newspapers in junked cars are quite interesting, as we saw with this 1982 Denver Post I found in the trunk of a 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air. Just think of all the big news stories that happened while this Valiant sat, forgotten, in a back yard or driveway since the early 1970s. Soon it will return to the steel from which it came.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

25 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon...”


  • avatar
    danio3834

    Old newspapers are about as close to a time machine as you can get. I love leafing through them, especially the classifieds. A friend and I used to call the numbers in decade plus old ads to see if the car was still there or if anyone at the number knew about it. And talk about prices, I want that ’68 Charger R/T for $2395.

    • 0 avatar
      Joe McKinney

      Several years ago my mother found a box of newspapers from the 1920′s at an estate sale. The car ads in these were a real time machine. I had no idea my hometown once had dealers for REO, Graham-Paige and Hupmobile.

  • avatar
    pragmatist

    I think that’s a 170. Hard to see clearly but the short heater hose between the water pump and the head is longer on the. 225.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    This is a neat one.

    Was probably in nice shape when parked after needing a $10 (non adjusted) brake repair. Lots can happen in 40 years, or even 4 years. I’m always amazed when something as big as a car sits ignored for so long. The owner is probably dead and buried.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Interesting body lines indeed.

    • 0 avatar
      Joe McKinney

      This was a peculiar time for Chrysler styling. The late 1950′s Forward Look had run its course and Virgil Exner was searching for the next big thing. His early 1960′s chicken wing designs were not as successful.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Ahhh.. the Slant-6.

    Glorious.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Hoff-My-Sta-Kink!

  • avatar
    olddavid

    As one of the last victims of the draft, I applaud Nixon for his stand. History has been much more kind to Richard Milhous than we were in 1972. Can you imagine a Republican proposing the EPA and abolishing the 30 year old mandatory draft in our political climate? I don’t really know what this says about us today, but I do not know many that are proud of our current governance – from either side of the aisle. I do know that I would like to buy a 240Z new again for $3675, but not with a $3.50/hr. paycheck.

  • avatar
    Pebble

    How I wish this could be restored. My ’61 Valiant 4dr sedan was the same blue as this one, with an identical interior to what you see here. Notice the pushbutton transmission buttons at the far left!

  • avatar
    SixDucks

    It’s a 170. 2 ways to tell, the short thermostat bypass hose as noted before and the position of the first exhaust manifold runner behind the back of the water pump. On 225′s the manifold is above the water pump. Great car.

  • avatar
    Monty

    I guess I’m weird, but this is one of my all time favourite cars, both in the aesthetic sense and the engineering.

    I love the odd lines and mash-up of styles – to me it all comes together in something that’s so ugly that it’s actually beautiful. It’s a wagon, so function over form FTW.

    Add the Slant 6 and the Torqueflite and it’s 1960 perfection on wheels.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      Did Exner work on these too? Guy was a madman…ever see a ’59 Dodge in person? It’s wacky as hell!

      • 0 avatar
        jhefner

        To me, the 1961-1963 Chysler Imperials were the king of wacky; with their freestanding headlights and huge fins (at a time when fins had gone to the wayside.) Exner did not go out on a good note.

        There was a 1963 Imperial in my hometown; when I saw the freestanding headlights; I thought “what in the heck is up with that?!?!?!”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_(automobile)#Exner.27s_last_Imperials

      • 0 avatar
        Joe McKinney

        Before Exner did all the wacky Chryslers he was responsible for the final design of the 1947 Studebakers.

    • 0 avatar

      One of my all-time favorites, too. The styling is incredible, and the engineering was probably the best of that time, at lest in the US.

      One of my big thrills the summer of 1960 was when the head of MIT Daycamp, where my brother and I went, took us home in his brand new Valiant wagon.

  • avatar
    GoesLikeStink

    I hope someone gets the rear quarter glass before this is crushed. This really makes me miss my 65 Dart wagon. It has been 2 years now but this still makes me sad.

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    Still has the intake/exhaust manifold connecting bolt! They usually rusted away. My daily driver is a 68 dart gt 340, but I would love a crack at restoring this baby.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    The exterior styling leaves me nostalgic and hankering to do some resto-modding. The interior brings back sad memories of uncomfortable surfaces, inadequate ventilation, and the godawful smell of a traffic jam at the height of the tetra ethyl lead mania. After Mother Jones published the article on links between residual lead and violence I brought up maps of the east bay and compared murder rates by block and my memories of where the traffic was heavy. Until someone presents an alternative explanation that’s compelling I won’t be raising my offspring immediately downwind of any heavily trafficked roads from this era.

  • avatar
    pragmatist

    My first car was a ’60 Valiant with 3 speed floor shift. Occasionally the sloppy linkage would disengage and you’d need to coast to a stop with the clutch in, shut off the engine and put the linkage back. Fortunately the linkage problem was above the floor.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States