By on June 2, 2013


Looks like we’re going for a double-shot of Valiance, here at the home of the B/B! This time it appears to be a ’63 Convertible model, done up in early ‘80’s Sunset Strip Heavy-Metal Hair Band red and grey primer, no less!

As in it looks as if it was really done in the early ‘80’s and just left to its own devices! WAAYYY BODACIOUS!

1963 Valiant Convertible (3)

Check out the “For Sale” sign. So sunbleached as to be illegible, it is.

If I’m interpreting the owner’s “statement of intent” correctly, this Valiant is more “on display” than “for sale”—which is just as well. Who’d want to let such a unique vehicle like this one suffer such a mundane fate as to be sold and then given a legitimate restoration?!

1963 Valiant Convertible (5)

Not I, for one.

Also noteworthy in the owner’s trim preferences are the stub of “whip” antenna on top of the right front quarter panel, and the mismatched and undersized lower-than-stock profile tires. Nice touches, for sure!

1963 Valiant Convertible (4)

I was always impressed that Plymouth designers executed such a styling about-face with this model, in the space of a couple of years. But for the emblem design, the earlier iteration (one model year previous—featured in the last Bodacious Beaters entry) and this one seem to have very little in common, in terms of exterior styling. In my opinion, they both have merit; but it certainly is a comparison of “apples and oranges”.

1963 Valiant Convertible (2)

Speaking of “apples”, when I lived in the “Big Apple” back in the early ‘80’s, I frequently got out to Fire Island to enjoy the E. Coast beach scene during the summer. I had a ’67 Dodge Dart at my disposal for these excursions; but I would have much preferred cruising this sibling convertible predecessor, instead. It would have definitely made the scene for one of those infamous Oak Beach Inn (R.I.P.) hard rocking weekend concert/party nights.

1963 Valiant Convertible (1)

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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16 Comments on “BODACIOUS BEATERS (and road-going derelicts): MO’ VALIANT!...”

  • avatar

    Is that the front half of a ’63 Valiant mated to the back half of a ’65 Valiant? I don’t think those tail lights were available in ’63.

  • avatar

    Speaking for myself, I wouldn’t restore this car if I bought it … I would turn it into a Pro Touring vehicle. I would give it an Art Morrison chassis and a 3G Hemi bored and stroked to 426 CID, but make it look stock on the outside … and inside.

  • avatar

    Brings back memories. Amazing automobiles in their time. According to Consumer Reports, the only thing that EVER broke on the little ponies was the water pump.

    I owned two of them – don’t ask why. Drove them both from new and nearly new to nearly worn out at 150 & 180k miles. Only thing that ever broke was the water pump – on both.

    Eventually gave one to a down-on-his-luck friend. Sold the other to a pretty hippie girl and her boyfriend.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    The nose is a 63 but the rear is a 65. Most likely the front was crashed and replaced with a 63 nose.

    My dad owned a 63 Valiant 4 dr in white. 170-6 and 3 one the tree. He got 175k out of it with normal maintenance which for it’s time, early 70’s was a super high-mileage car. The only major work it needed over the years was a couple of clutches, since Mopar used a relatively small disc and pressure plate on these.
    It was still running fine when he sold it, just the floors and quarters were rotting.

  • avatar

    Jeez… when cars do meth.

    Save the hubcaps, crush the rest.
    Hose that parking spot with bleach.

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      What’s your problem? That’s a good looking car. Sure the paint sucks, but if it’s not rusting its not a problem.

    • 0 avatar

      Or someone could just simply have the car repainted as part of a restoration project … assuming someone can buy it, which might be a little hard to do since I can’t tell what the phone number is.

  • avatar

    Those taillights were correct in 1964 , I don’t know about 1963 .

    This one looks decent , no visible rust out and that’s a rare thing .


  • avatar

    My father bought one of these in the mid 70’s from a Hippie commune out in the mountains. The car was probably already past it’s life cycle by then, but he drove it for a few years while getting through college. Said the slant-6 never gave any problems, but the rest of the car pretty much rotted away.

    • 0 avatar

      Seems like that’s the story with any sixties’ /6 A-body. Even when Chrysler got the drivetrain right (and the slant-six has to be one of the ten best engineered engines to come out of Detroit), there was no escaping the infamous Chrysler body integrity.

  • avatar

    Yes, it looks rough, but also looks amazingly complete. If the tin-worm hasn’t got hold of it, might make a good candidate for restoration.

  • avatar

    Great cars. My parents had a 65 Dart. My grandmother had a 66 Dart that lasted her till 1988 and I had a 66 Dart and a 75 Dart. This Valiant looks in good shape for its age and is probably can be restored. The A-bodies were bulletproof cars with the slant six and were a great size to drive. Hope this one gets fixed up or restored.

  • avatar

    Try finding 80 series tires in your local tire store nowadays and you’ll know why it has “low profile” tires on it.

  • avatar

    Didn’t one of the Magliozzi brothers (Click and Clack) joke about one of them owning a Valiant convertible? This might be the one that was abandoned on the street, when either Tom or Ray got a Fiat. I wonder if he’d like to have it back?

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      It was the 63 Dart convertible that they would frequently refer to. It was shown in the 60 Minutes segment on Car Talk. BTW They have been running best of’s.

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