Car Collector's Corner: A 1964 Valiant With More Family History Than The Waltons

J Sutherland
by J Sutherland
car collector s corner a 1964 valiant with more family history than the waltons

Gary Osbal’s grandfather purchased this brand new 1964 Valiant at a local Chrysler dealership. It was his last car. This is a barebones, radio delete, three on the tree 6 cylinder “stripper” car.

Grandpa was a practical man and this was a practical car, so he drove it until he was 80 years old.

That’s when Grandpa’s practical side kicked in. In 1974, after he hit a snow bank, he said, “that’s it, I’m not driving anymore” and he sold the car to his son. That son was Gary’s father.

Gary’s dad drove the now 22,000 mile Valiant for 9 reliable years until the body was done in 1983. After that the car went into hibernation for 26 years until Gary and his brother Nolan took the car to another level in a complete restoration.

The car did require new quarters and a fair amount of the grunt work that comes with any restoration. Gary admits that he doesn’t regret any of the time, money or effort when he drives the pristine Valiant.

One thing that didn’t have to be done was the engine. It hasn’t even had a head lifted in nearly 50 years. That’s the kind of reliability that Gary’s Grandfather was shopping for back in 64.

Gary didn’t have a wealth of experience in the Valiant as he explained, “ I was 17 when they bought it and I never really rode in it but my brothers did”. He did spend some time behind the wheel and admits, “he may have knocked back a beer or two in it” during his misspent youth.

Gary and his brother brought this Valiant to a class of show level, and even though it’s not a Hemi Cuda or Super Bird, this little Plymouth is much more than a mere commodity to the Osbal family. The family legacy is priceless.

Back in 1964, Gary’s grandfather bought the Valiant based on sheer pragmatism,whether he would agree with Gary’s investment is open for debate.

The end result is not.

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2 of 17 comments
  • Bill mcgee Bill mcgee on Apr 11, 2012

    A GF had one of these , same year, same body style , and with the three-speed stick . I drove it some , a couple times for maybe 150 miles trip , At this time , it was twelve years old but I remember that it felt much more solid than the newer Darts/ Valiants other friends were driving . At the time I was used to driving a four speed but remember being impressed with the positive feeling of the three-on-the-tree .It had been her father's car and he still was keeping it well maintained .

  • Beefmalone Beefmalone on Apr 16, 2012

    Love seeing the plain-jane sedans getting some resto love

  • Jeffrey An all electric entry level vehicle is needed and as a second car I'm interested. Though I will wait for it to be manufactured in the states with US components eligible for the EV credit.
  • Bob65688581 Small by American standards, this car is just right for Europe, and probably China, although I don't really know, there. Upscale small cars don't exist in the US because Americans associate size and luxury, so it will have a tough time in the States... but again Europe is used to such cars. Audi has been making "small, upscale" since forever. As usual, Americans will miss an opportunity. I'll buy one, though!Contrary to your text, the EX30 has nothing whatsoever to do with the XC40 or C40, being built on a dedicated chassis.
  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)
  • Luke42 When I moved from Virginia to Illinois, the lack of vehicle safety inspections was a big deal to me. I thought it would be a big change.However, nobody drives around in an unsafe car when they have the money to get their car fixed and driving safely.Also, Virginia's inspection regimine only meant that a car was safe to drive one day a year.Having lived with and without automotive safety inspections, my confusion is that they don't really matter that much.What does matter is preventing poverty in your state, and Illinois' generally pro-union political climate does more for automotive safety (by ensuring fair wages for tradespeople) than ticketing poor people for not having enough money to maintain their cars.