Junkyard Find: 1968 Plymouth Valiant Signet Sedan

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

Sharp-eyed readers noticed the old Valiant parked next to last week’s Eagle Summit Junkyard Find, and some wondered if I’d photographed the Chrysler A-body while I was there. Of course I did!

I’ve owned a few late-60s Darts and Valiants and ridden in many more; these were the cheap, reliable, and semi-fuel-efficient beaters of the 1980s, before the prices of used Civics and Sentras came down to earth. I consider the 1967-75 Dart and Valiant to be the best basic-transportation cars Chrysler ever built; with the optional V8 and 4-speed manual transmission, they were also just as quick as more expensive Mustangs and Camaros.

Someone has already grabbed the head off this Slant Six, along with the instrument cluster and much of the car’s trim. That means there’s a Colorado Valiant getting nicer, even as this one prepares for death.

The Signet was the upscale version of the Valiant, with nicer interior and more chrome. “Nicer” is a relative term, of course; this car was all about the sweaty vinyl and cardboard-backed door panels.

It’s too bad that Chrysler 86’d the Plymouth marque, because a new Valiant to go with the new Dart would be just right for the dig-up-the-bones retro philosophy so much in vogue in Detroit.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Andy D Andy D on May 12, 2012

    My brother bought a 66 Valiant that was loaded and had the big 6 in it. It was a little old lady car with under 20k miles on it. He lavished all sorts of attention on it. The car was perfect until he was the middle car in a 3 car pileup. Minor cosmetic damage. He sold it to me for 500$. It ran great for 5 yrs. I would have kept the car, but in a power disc brake world, manual drummies just couldnt cut it in rush hour traffic. Later I had a 74 Dart I bought for 50 bucks and drove for nearly 2 yrs. My 88 528e is a good update of the 60s Valiant sedan.

  • Toomanycrayons Toomanycrayons on Jan 22, 2013

    "...this car was all about the sweaty vinyl..." Hey, maybe they should have called it Leatherette, like BMW does?

  • Scott So they are losing hundreds of millions of dollars and they are promising us a “Cheaper EV”? I wonder how that will look and feel? They killed the Fiesta because they claimed that they couldn’t make a profit on them and when I bought the first one in late 2010 they couldn’t deliver the accessories I wanted for it! Then I bought a 2016 Fiesta ST and again couldn’t get the accessories for it I wanted. They claimed that the components were going to be available, eventually. So they lost on that one as well! I don’t care about what they say anymore. I’ve moved on to another brand.
  • Michael S6 CX 70 or 90 will not be on my buying list. Drove a rental base CX 90 and it was noisy and the engine noise was not pleasant. Ride was rough for a family SUV. Mazda has to understand that what is good for Miata isn't what we expect in semi luxury SUV. My wife's 2012 Buick Enclave has much better Ride and noise level albeit at worse gas millage. Had difficulty pairing my phone with Apple CarPlay
  • Michael S6 What is the metric conversion between one million barrels and the number of votes he expects to buy.
  • NJRide This could give Infiniti dealers an extra product maybe make it a sub brand
  • Lou_BC Mr. Posky outraged over an old guy passing er releasing some gas. How are those sedan sales going?