Junkyard Find: 1961 Plymouth Valiant

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1961 plymouth valiant

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 Six es left in the world that you see them frequently in junkyards.

Chrysler needs to bring back the “toilet seat” trunklid!

Join the conversation
2 of 33 comments
  • Nickeled&dimed Nickeled&dimed on Apr 23, 2013

    What do you mean the grille is missing? It's just inside... that's not a valiant, it's a 96 Town & Country. Actually, a few blocks from my house lives a street parked Valiant in "original survivor" condition. White / blue interior. I walked by the house yesterday and it was gone! In its place sat a '50s buick under a car cover! Imagine my dismay! But, thankfully, as I drew closer I saw that the Valiant had merely been moved into the driveway and covered. Phewh!

  • OMG_Shoes OMG_Shoes on May 11, 2013

    It's a '60 for sure. Aluminum intake manifold gives a strong suggestion (it was cast iron starting in '61), though that could have been swapped with or without the engine. What could not easily have been swapped was the alternator bracket location: driver/manifold side in '60, moved to the passenger side starting in '61 -- a move that took a fairly substantial modification to the inner fender and other sheetmetal in the vicinity as well as the wiring. Another "it's a '60" clue is the full-width chrome trim at the dashboard crease. There are more, but a girl's gotta keep some secrets!

  • 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.
  • ToolGuy When you are pulled over for speeding, whether you are given a ticket or not should depend on how attractive you are.Source: My sister 😉
  • Kcflyer What Toyota needs is a true full size body on frame suv to compete with the Expedition and Suburban and their badge engineered brethren. The new sequoia and LX are too compromised in capacity by their off road capabilities that most buyers will never use.