Phil Coconis
by Phil Coconis
em bodacious beaters and road going derelicts em really valiant

Typically, when you’re talking in antique vehicle terms, one might consider spotting something like this early ‘60’s Plymouth Valiant; a rare sighting in ANY circumstance. To find one largely intact, still operational, and out on the street—well, that puts it on another level!

As with other U.S. vehicles from this period, these Valiant models certainly weren’t suffering from any shortage of “Styling Funkitude”. This, of course led to their early demise in the field of potential collectability; and subsequently, some premature one-way trips to wrecking yards across the Continent—especially for four-door models, like the case-in-point.

These days, on the other hand, such styling shenanigans are antitheses to the modern, mass-produced autoconveyance; allowing one the opportunity to afford welcome to such a neighborhood discovery.

I really appreciate the well-integrated state of maintained original decay this particular unit is experiencing. It definitely is quite the whole package, isn’t it?

Although this Val’ would have most certainly “made the scene” when it was in San Francisco (note bumper-mounted permit—on what is one of the few suitable mounting spaces available there), it looks pretty much “in context”—BODACIOUSLY so—on an overcast day near Pt. Fermin, CA.

Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this ttac site). He can be contacted through this very site, or

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  • Skor Skor on May 21, 2013

    Chrysler wasn't the only car maker with push-button trans gear selector. The Ford Edsel had push-button trans as well...the buttons were located in the center of the steering wheel, I believe Ford called it "Teletouch".

    • Pebble Pebble on May 21, 2013

      Push button automatic trans was the shiznit, although when I first bought my Valiant my right arm kept searching for a column mounted shift lever that wasn't there...took a while to retrain myself to look for the buttons on the far left side of the dash.

  • -Nate -Nate on May 23, 2013

    Sweet old B Body ! . I wasn't a fan when they were in production but practical experience made me a fanboi forever more. Cheap , durable and oh so reliable , these fine , good driving and riding cars sold by the boat load to the more conservative minded buyers when new . Not even antsy teenagers could screw up those weird & wonderful push button tranny controls , Dodge trucks used them too . There's still quite a lot of oddball oldies in and around San Pedro , Ca. where this one lives . -Nate

  • Morley Wasn't that the war where the Brits came down from Canada and burned the White House to the ground?
  • Master Baiter I'll wait for the actual driving reviews. User interface quality and range are big question marks.
  • Jeff S Years ago Kentucky issued a license plate with a horse running with the words "Unbridled Spirit." The religious right objected and did not want the plate because they believed it encouraged people to go to the race track and bet on horses. Anyone who knows anything about Kentucky knows its famous for raising horses and yes there is Churchill Downs where the Kentucky Derby is run but horses in themselves are not sinful. It got so bad that the state issued a blank sticker to put over the horse and the logo. Kentucky also issued a plate for those who were offended stating "In God We Trust." The latest KY plate has no logo and nothing. I always picked the horse because I thought horses were something to be proud of and associated with Kentucky.
  • Old Scold As a Marylander, I got those plates assigned to me when I purchased my car in 2016, 4 years after the so-called anniversary. I figured they were using up NOS, and it never occurred to me to check out the URL. I still don't care. It's a stupid issue, but I have my tag number memorized should I need it.
  • Hpycamper I drive a car with automatic braking and have nothing good to say about it. It has activated going around corners on mountain roads when the hillside is close to the road, when lawn sprinklers turned on and sprayed the car, and driving past cars on the shoulder that are making right turns. Luckily these phantom brake activations have not caused a wreck. The systems are just too dumb.