- 51k Mile Survivor
- 148hp, 225cid “Slant 6” Engine
- Torqueflight 3-Speed Pushbutton Automatic Transmission
- Unibody Construction
- Red/Black/White Lattice Patterned Interior
- Rear/Trunk mounted “Mopar Cold Air” A/C unit
- New Radial White Wall Tires
This innovative little charmer has aged really well. The silver and gray over red color combination allows the Valiant to punch above its weight in the competition of cool. These cars were examples of mass-produced trickle-down technology, both a carry-over of post war economic growth and the dawn of space age optimism. The accentuated side fins, both front and rear, evoke C2 Corvette comparisons, but the recessed continental tire trunk bulge reminds us we’re still in a classic compact car. As an entry level vehicle of the time, we can’t forget that size has always been the primary yardstick by which the automotive hierarchy is designated. Sixty-years have passed since this example rolled off the line and with that distance, we can appreciate the Valiant objectively as a car with character, something in short supply in today’s entry level offerings. Equipped with a larger 225ci (compared to 171ci on earlier models), aluminum block version of Chrysler’s slant mounted inline 6-cylinder engine, there’s no muscle to flex here. However, what it lacks in outright speed it makes up for in dependability. Also, worth mentioning, there’s a healthy amount of brightwork on this rig, and as the seller rightfully states, it is truly brilliant!
As previously noted, red interiors may be divisive, but they can’t look better than when paired with simple silver on the outside. Like black and tan, or peas and carrots, some things when combined are greater than the sum of their parts, and the form fitting plastic seat covers protecting the joyful lattice print benches make us hungry for some spaghetti and meatballs! The white stripes reaching across the seats blend beautifully with the >< motif on the door cards. The door tops’ evenly spaced bar design gets carried through the passenger dash cover, which begs the question whether one person was responsible for designing the entire interior. From the driver’s cockpit, the view is neat and tidy, with all the white buttons and levers retaining a spotless appearance. We hope that the unconventional factory A/C unit is still functional – these types of quirks and features are what make the experience special. Judging by the photos, we’re left to ponder whether the seller laid the rug down on the driveway just to ensure the tires would remain unsoiled, it really is that clean!
Plymouth Valiants are not rare cars, with total production numbers around 300k from 1960-‘62. That said, because most were never intended to be collectibles, survivors like this have to be getting thin on the ground. Hagerty’s pricing guide shows #1 concours vehicles to be worth $18,600 and #2 excellent examples at $10,400. That’s a pretty large discrepancy, but not abnormal. The mileage on this one is probably what would drag it down from the top rung here. And yet, this machine looks like it has been lovingly cared for and gingerly driven 1,000 miles per year for a half decade. What is that worth? If it’s a car to be enjoyed as a car, and not a static piece of art, then you’d be hard pressed to find a better Valiant than this one. For all those reasons, we say this one is well bought. Cars and coffee events would be so lucky to be littered with the likes of these.