The Truth About Cars » valiant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:58:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » valiant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1967 Plymouth Valiant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1967-plymouth-valiant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1967-plymouth-valiant/#comments Mon, 16 Dec 2013 14:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=680690 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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Junkyard Find: 1961 Plymouth Valiant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/junkyard-find-1961-plymouth-valiant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/junkyard-find-1961-plymouth-valiant/#comments Fri, 19 Apr 2013 13:00:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=485296 A few months ago, we saw this Lebowski-grade ’75 Gran Torino in a Denver wrecking yard, and an early Chrysler A body could be seen in the background. Here’s that car!
This car is a bit rusty and it’s a not-so-desirable four-door, so it’s a good thing that some Valiant (or Dart) owner has rescued most of the interior. It would be a shame to have useful 52-year-old parts go to The Crusher.
It’s possible that this is a ’60, but (as far as I know) the differences between the ’60 and the ’61 are mostly in the grille, which is missing. The junkyard thinks this is a ’62.
Still enough Slant Sixes left in the world that you see them frequently in junkyards.
Chrysler needs to bring back the “toilet seat” trunklid!

01 - 1961 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1961 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1961 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1961 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1961 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1961 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1961 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1961 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1961 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1961 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1961 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1961 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1961 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
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Junkyard Find: 1973 Plymouth Valiant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1973-plymouth-valiant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1973-plymouth-valiant/#comments Sun, 20 Jan 2013 14:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=474379 Chrysler A-bodies are much like VW Type 1 Beetles when it comes to junkyard populations— they’ve been showing up in self-serve junkyards in a steady stream for more than 30 years, and you can usually find one or two in the larger yards. Like old Beetles, I don’t photograph most of the ones I see (though we have seen this ’68 Valiant Signet sedan, this ’64 Valiant wagon, and this ’66 Dart sedan in this series so far). The make-your-neighbors-hate-you band stickers on the decklid of this one caught my eye during a recent trip to my favorite Denver-area yard, and so I broke out the camera.
This generation of Valiant/Dart sedan was once among the most common motor vehicles on American roads, which made it a natural choice for Dennis Weaver’s car in the 1971 film Duel. You still saw quite a few of them around, well into the 1990s, but at some point the beater-Valiant demographic switched over to beater Corollas.
You could get the ’73 Valiant sedan with a 318-cubic-inch V8, or even the 340, but almost every A-body sedan shopper went for the good old quadrillion-mile Slant Six engine. Come to think of it, there were no bad engine choices for this car.
Slant Six A-bodies with air conditioning were rare indeed, and someone had already grabbed the AC compressor by the time I found this car.
I don’t bother getting 5-digit odometer shots, especially when you can’t tell an 80,000-mile car from a 480,000-mile one.

In honor of the musical tastes of this car’s last owner, let’s hear one of my favorite Melvins songs.

01 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 02 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 03 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 04 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 05 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 06 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 07 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 08 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 09 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 10 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 11 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden 12 - 1973 Plymouth Valiant Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Phil Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
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Junkyard Find: 1964 Plymouth Valiant 200 Station Wagon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/junkyard-find-1964-plymouth-valiant-200-station-wagon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/junkyard-find-1964-plymouth-valiant-200-station-wagon/#comments Sun, 05 Feb 2012 21:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=429601 I just spent two days in California (returning to find my Civic completely buried by the Denver snowstorm I thought I’d dodged), visiting family and 24 Hours of LeMons co-conspirators. Time was short, but there’s always time to visit the junkyard! Colorado junkyards are good for finding long-forgotten four-wheel-drive cars, but you can’t beat the San Francisco Bay Area for doomed classic Detroit iron.
Yes, this wagon has the Chrysler pushbutton automatic shifter.
It also has California-style rust. That’s the kind of rust that results from bad weatherstripping allowing rainwater to get into the car, where it sits all winter… for years. Yes, that’s moss growing in the hole; I suspect this car spent a decade or two in a damp, shady back yard overgrown with weeds and wild blackberry bushes.
Then you get pine needles filling the rain gutters, which leads to this sort of rust.
These cars were cheap, reliable (by 1960s standards), hauled a lot of kids and groceries for their size, and sold in huge quantities. Sadly, most of the Valiant (and Dart) wagons were crushed at least a decade before station wagons become hip among old-car freaks.

24 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden 01 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden 02 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden 03 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden 04 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden 05 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden 06 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden 07 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden 08 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden 11 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden 13 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden 14 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden 15 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden 16 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden 17 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden 18 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden 19 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden 20 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden 21 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden 22 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden 23 - 1964 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'The Enver Hoxha of Image Consultants' Greden ]]>
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The Ultimate Curbside Classic A-Body: 1965 Plymouth Valiant Daily Long-Distance Driver http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/05/the-ultimate-curbside-classic-a-body-1965-plymouth-valiant-daily-long-distance-driver/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/05/the-ultimate-curbside-classic-a-body-1965-plymouth-valiant-daily-long-distance-driver/#comments Tue, 04 May 2010 14:50:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=355148

Having recently done the Ultimate CC Truck, what would its passenger car counterpart be? Let me ask it this way: how many cars have their owners replace their V8 engines with a slant six? If you understand the true attraction of Chrysler’s A-Bodies with the slant six as the ultimate long-life American car, you’ll understand why. There are several dozen A-bodies in Eugene, and I have shot many of them, and yet I still keep uncovering new ones. Many are still used to some degree or another, although most are clearly slowing down in their old age. Not this ’65 Valiant: it’s in full front-line duty, as the business vehicle for an energy specialist that regularly takes him all across the North West. Needless to say, he’s also the ultimate A-Body owner, with his type-A attention to modifying his Valiant in a way to keep it suitable for his preferences and today’s conditions. This baby is good to go for the long haul.

The Valiants, Darts and all their offshoots produced from 1960 through 1976 long ago became recognized for their rugged simplicity, which made them perfect for cheap, reliable and potentially long-term transportation. Although it was a flexible platform that also lent itself to terrific performance applications like the Duster 340 and the early Barracuda, the more typical application was for utility. With the legendary slant six, they were the appliances of cars. A white Dart I picked out for a friend decades ago was dubbed The Kelvinator: the refrigerator of cars.

This 1965 Valiant wagon is owned by the typical kind of fanatical keeper of the A-Body flame; not as a hobby or out of nostalgia. This is purely for work; the equivalent of Mike McCool’s 1956 Ford F-350. Owner Alan Van Zuuk has owned several A-Bodies over the decades, and this one found its way to him some years back. And he knew exactly how he wanted modify it for his purpose.

Out went the original 273 V8 and three speed transmission, and in went a “Super Six” 225 slant six from the mid seventies, a version with a stock two barrel carb that still gives excellent economy but also the extra punch when needed. It’s backed by an A833 four speed overdrive stick shift and a 3.23 rear axle. This results in relaxed low-rpm highway cruising. The rear drum brakes are 2 inch units from…something else, as well as the front disc brakes. The stiffer V8 torsion bars/springs combined with other suspension upgrades optimize the intrinsic good handling of the A-Bodies. Alan says he’s surprised more than one BMW and Mercedes on some of the curving downhill stretches of mountain passes he frequents on his many drives. And Alan wants you to know he’s got some nice wheels for his summer tires.

The Valiant had over 100k on the odometer when he picked it up, and he’s put well over another 250k on it since modifying it. The total is close to 400k, and there’s no succession plan. Alan showed me a number of other details, including his home-spun steering wheel cover and other modifications in the driver’s compartment, the details of which now elude me. But you get the drift: he’s an A-Body nerd, and he’s got it set up just the way he likes and takes advantage of the cheap parts stashed away that used to be so readily available at the junk yard.

The 1960-1962 Valiants and Dodge Lancers had styling so off-putting that even the Corvair outsold it, despite the little Mopar’s excellent underpinnings. But the restyle for 1963 was perfect: less adventurous yet not too boring. Most of all, it seemed to express its inner durable soul, in the way the eccentric earlier version didn’t. Sales picked up dramatically after the restyle, which also included a handsome coupe and convertible, along with the wagon.

But why the redesign for 1967 dropped the wagon is beyond me, except for the obvious reason that it probably didn’t sell that well. Still, it must have sold better than the rag top, which survived the cut. And the wagon seems like such an obvious choice to go along with the A-Body’s practicality. Figure it. Anyway, Alan makes full use of his wagon to haul the baggage of his trade.  Good luck finding a replacement if the body on this one finally wears out. He’ll have to switch over to a Volvo 245, like so many former A-Body drivers have. Talk about the perfect replacement; rarely have two vehicles from such different backgrounds ended up being so similar.

The A-Body story is a long and rich one. As soon as I find a ’60-’62, we’ll cover its birth and early years. And the many others in my collection will fill in other aspects. But when it comes to its most essential quality, none will top this evergreen ’65 wagon.

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