Robert Bowen
Robert Bowen
1/4/12 1:12 p.m.

My poor Valiant has been sitting neglected while I work on restoring my '68 Dodge truck so I though I would put it into service on the daily commute for a few days.

Started right up, as always, what a great car.

Needs rubber seals, floorpan welding on the passenger side and some minor rust repair (oh yeah and a paint job) and.. and... But it's fun to just drive it.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/4/12 4:02 p.m.

That rules.

Robert Bowen
Robert Bowen
1/4/12 4:47 p.m.

Thanks! One of these days I'll start on the cosmetics but I hate to take it off the road.

Gary
Gary Reader
1/5/12 7:03 a.m.

Robert, nice vintage American iron! And nice patina. If it was mine I'd take care of the mechanicals and the rust repair as you've stated and leave the rest just as it is. But that's just my preference.

Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder Technical Editor/Advertising Director
1/5/12 8:21 a.m.

What Gary said. While I love a restored car, I think my next classic will strive to just be a fun survivordriver

Tom Heath
Tom Heath Web Manager
1/5/12 9:21 a.m.

I had a 64 Valiant that I really liked. They were much better cars than they got credit for.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
1/5/12 9:38 a.m.

Great to see the old girl getting some exercise! I had a 66 Rambler American that I loved. So simple and direct!

gjz30075
gjz30075 Reader
1/5/12 2:05 p.m.

Doesn't look too bad in the pic. I guess you're saying it won't buff out?

Robert Bowen
Robert Bowen
1/5/12 2:08 p.m.

Yeah, it's a tough old beast. 179,000 miles on the original bottom end. Burns a little oil at "high" rpm, but not too bad. Still gets 22mpg.

Unfortunately it's been painted badly twice in the past, so there are areas on the other side that the paint is chipping off. It will have to be painted just to keep it from deteriorating further.

BUT, I will leave all the glass and doors in if I paint it again, just because I don't want to mess with a full disassembly. And the interior paint is in great original shape. Doing one full restoration is the quickest way to cure that urge forever (as I am sure you know Per!).

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt SuperDork
1/6/12 7:45 a.m.

Very nice - great to see an early A body on the road!

Tom Heath
Tom Heath Web Manager
1/6/12 10:55 a.m.

You know, the Valiant doesn't get the attention it should. For a cheap, entry-level car, there sure are a lot of survivors out there...cheap, too. (At least cheaper than the surviving Novas and Fairlanes that were its contemporaries)

Although if I ever buy another, I think it would be a '62. Talk about "bold" styling...

Robert Bowen
Robert Bowen
1/6/12 11:52 a.m.

I like me some road toads! I think 61s had the 'toilet seat' fake tire on the trunklid but not '62s.

The 61-63 cars are pretty oddball. You can find them with an all-aluminum slant six, although probably not too many have survived cooling jacket corrosion by now.

With something like 500,000 Valiants made in 1964 alone, and about 220,000 being V200 sedans with a 225 like mine, there is no danger of them becoming valuable!

Randy_Forbes
Randy_Forbes New Reader
1/6/12 10:03 p.m.

Always been partial to the original Valiant. My father brought one home approximately October 1959. He was working at Genthe, a local Detroit area Chrysler Plymouth (& Desoto?) dealer at the time, and ordered it for himself. It was light blue/blue and I think it was the V-200 version. About a year & a hlf later, he was getting out of the car in front of a hotel in Kokomo, Indiana when an icicle (80 pounds) broke loose from the gutter and clobbered him and the car! He recovered from that, and they put a '62 roof on the car. Some years after that, he was rear-ended, and that was fixed too. A testement to workmanship of the time, neither repair was detectable.

At 130,000 miles, he sold it to the lady across the street, and she and her two (2) teenage kids put another 100,000 miles on it (it was my brother's "first car" too). At that point, the valve cover had still never been off the head__quarter of a million miles, with nothing more than oil changes, and a few alternators (my dad blamed the guy for running the belt too tight.

In later years, after a succession of other Mopars, my dad bought a 78 Valiant, and at one time during the mid-90s, I was using a 70 Valiant as a daily driver, but I got fed up replacing the exhaust manifold, always cracking at the #1 cylinder's flange.

My ideal valiant? A first generation 2-door, with something hot under the hood (340 6-pack?) with a push-button Torqueflite and appropriate suspension and brakes.

chandlerGTi
chandlerGTi Reader
1/8/12 2:58 p.m.

Love it, my FIL was gifted one that my wifes great grandmother had bought new. Southern California car, one humid summer here and the rear windscreen exploded. Still trying to find one if anyone has a lead!

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/8/12 3:30 p.m.

In high school my buddy had a '65 'Vert, slant six 4 speed. Whoda guessed a six had so much ass?

A Valiant's on my Bucket List.

Dan

Robert Bowen
Robert Bowen
1/10/12 2:08 p.m.
chandlerGTi wrote: Love it, my FIL was gifted one that my wifes great grandmother had bought new. Southern California car, one humid summer here and the rear windscreen exploded. Still trying to find one if anyone has a lead!

You can get a used back glass on www.forabodiesonly.com

I believe it is still being made - my local Pilkington dealer ordered one for us about 10 years ago.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt SuperDork
1/11/12 8:03 a.m.
Robert Bowen wrote: The 61-63 cars are pretty oddball. You can find them with an all-aluminum slant six, although probably not too many have survived cooling jacket corrosion by now.

Interesting tip: The '60-'61 suspension was a two year oddball; the '62 had the same early body style but the suspension allows using A-body parts through '76. And there are some parts bin combinations that can be pieced together that go even further forward in time - use '73-'76 upper control arms and ball joints, and you can get '89 Diplomat brakes and spindles on it. (The hot ticket, though, is the late '70s B or R body brakes, which are nearly 12" in diameter. Got them on my Dart.)

Robert Bowen
Robert Bowen
1/20/12 5:46 p.m.

Yeah the cop car brakes are nice but those rotors are HEAVY. I think they are too much brake for an early A-body. Though I do like those brackets that use the 11.75 unicast rotor with Wilwood calipers. Now that seems like the best of both worlds to me.

cpdave
cpdave New Reader
1/23/12 8:01 p.m.

Drove my '66 Dart Downtown yesterday to the DC Convention Center where it will be on exhibit in the SCCA display area during the Washinton DC International Auto Show:

Tom Heath
Tom Heath Web Manager
1/24/12 1:39 p.m.

I love that car, Dave! Good luck at the show, I'd love to see more pictures.

cpdave
cpdave New Reader
1/24/12 9:58 p.m.
Tom Heath wrote: I love that car, Dave! Good luck at the show, I'd love to see more pictures.

Hi Tom,

More Photos here: http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/reader-rides/5967/#

Tom Heath wrote:

And here: http://users.erols.com/dmapes/ZEBRA.HTM

I've got someone tracking the display set-up and for me and expect some updated photos soon.

Dave

Tahoe
Tahoe New Reader
1/31/12 4:00 p.m.

A Valiant effort indeed!

ronbros
ronbros Reader
2/12/12 6:01 p.m.

had a 1961 valiant, put a buick V8 with auto. around 1966, in it, was a decent car, but sold it, for more than i had in it!

time changes all things!

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