The Plymouth Valiant will go largely unnoticed in the annals of automotive history—and that’s a cryin’ shame, because without the Valiant, we wouldn’t have the Barracuda.
And without the Barracuda, we might not have had the “Pony Car Wars” of the late 1960s.
And without those ponycar wars, we perhaps would’ve never seen the Hemi ‘Cuda, or Mustang Boss 429, or Camaro ZL-1.
It’s a chilling thought, but…we digress.
The Valiant was a “compact” car offered by Plymouth to compete with the new downsized options from GM and Ford. And, while it served as the basic underpinnings of the Barracuda in 1964, it never reached the cult status of the Nova, Corvair, or Falcon.
In fact, it doesn’t even seem to get the respect given to its Mopar twin, the Dodge Dart.
But that’s not to say anything against the Valiant. Rather, it’s quite a handsome car and has aged gracefully. You could even get it with a V8 and a four-speed, so what’s not to like?
This week’s Lot Shots features a Valiant parked outside the Summit Racing retail store in Tallmadge, OH which we found during fall on an infinitely warmer and sunnier day than we’re having now in this part of the country.
Its grille and taillights tell us it’s a 1966, which places it at the tail-end of the Valiant’s second generation.
Made from 1963-66, you could get your second-gen Valiant with Mopar’s “new” LA-series V8, the 273, or opt for the venerable Slant Six. This particular Valiant wears a Signet emblem, indicating top-of-the-line luxury trim. That Signet badge got you plush carpet, special badging, and upgraded seats.
Our Lot Shots Valiant Signet is a ragtop too, which does nothing but add to its cruiser cache.
It’s in pretty darn good condition and has clearly been taken care of.
So a hat-tip to its owner and a hat-tip to the Plymouth Valiant for being the unsung harbinger of the Pony Car wars.
I am sorry but the restoration is great. It looks dead on which means it is absolutely as fugly as it was 50 plus years ago when it was first introduced.
I’ve always been a MOPAR guy, but there’s something about one guy’s ugly being another guy’s really cool! The ’61 Plymouths were as about as ugly as they come….but I stop & look whenever I see one – which isn’t often. If cruise-ins were all Camaros & Mustangs, they’d be pretty boring.