Junkyard Find: 1964 Plymouth Valiant V-200 Sedan
Chrysler sold Valiants in North America from the 1962 through 1976 model years, with the sales of the Down Under versions continuing through 1981. The Valiant's Dodge-badged sibling on our shores was the 1960-1962 Lancer, then the 1963-1976 Dart.
Not every Valiant sold here was a Plymouth. Valiant was a separate marque for 1960 and 1962-1963 (though it was sold through Plymouth dealers) and then became a Plymouth model for good in 1964. Chrysler did the same thing with the Imperial over the decades, so perhaps it was a corporate tradition.
Valiant logos are all over the place.
In 1964, the Valiant was available in three trim levels: the stripped-down V-100, the mid-grade V-200, and the somewhat luxurious Signet.
The list price on this car was $2,044, or about $19,713 in 2022 dollars. The very cheapest possible '64 Valiant was the V-100 two-door sedan, which started at $1,921 ($18,526 today).
The interior in this one is in distressingly nice condition. These bucket seats and their tall headrests came from a much later car, of course, but the door panels and carpeting are original and look great.
The paint is faded, the body is a bit dinged-up, and there's some rust in the usual spots. Still, it wouldn't have taken much to clean this car up… if anyone cared to restore a cheap mid-1960s Detroit compact with four doors.
This car's owner or owners took good care of it for most of its 58 years.
Still has the original hubcaps.
The engine is a member of the incredibly sturdy Slant-6 family. 1964 was the first model year in which the factory would install a V8 engine in your new Valiant (a 273-cubic-incher rated at 180 horsepower).
In 1964, the base engine was a 170-cubic-inch Slant-6 with 101 horsepower. This appears to be the optional 225-cubic-inch version, with 145 horses. Of course, we could be looking at a 225 air cleaner from some other Chrysler, and this could be the 11th engine swapped into this car during its life; I wasn't feeling sufficiently ambitious to check block casting numbers, sorry.
Most of these cars got the very affordable three-on-the-tree column-shift manual transmission, but this one has the optional three-speed Torqueflite automatic. The price tag: $172, or around $1,659 now. If you wanted a four-on-the-floor manual, the cost was $180 ($1,736 today).
This Prozac pen will join the car at The Crusher.
Perhaps this car would have had a shot at avoiding this fate in the Rust Belt, but things didn't work out for it in Colorado.
Here's a dealership promotional filmstrip presentation.
Even wins over Ebenezer Scrooge!
[Images by the author]
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