I keep my eyes open for DOTS cars when I'm out and about on the streets of Alameda, and often I get a flash of something old-looking out of the corner of my eye as I pass a side street. Was that worth going back for? I ask myself; sometimes retro-styled late-models can fool me. In the case of this Valiant, however, I was several blocks away when it caught- and held- my eye with its unmistakable vintage A-body-ness...
The great thing about the early Valiant is the absurd amount of decorative body lines and weird compound curves, something you usually didn't see in a low-priced car from its era.
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The V-200 was the midlevel Valiant, between the V-100 and the Signet, and could be had for $2026. This was a bit less than the $2047 charged for the much more subdued 4-door Ford Falcon. And remember, you didn't get the super-indestructo Slant Six with the Falcon!
Damn! Look at that tailight/fin combo, no doubt inspired by a captured UFO from Area 51.
And, of course, the notorious "toilet seat" on the trunk lid. Chrysler needs to bring back the toilet seat! You heard it here first!
The grille is a bit less spacecraft-esque than the rear, but so what? It's sort of mullet-like that way.
If a bright red '62 Valiant didn't have a pushbutton shifter I'd be outraged. Fortunately, it's got one (actually, a floor-shifted 3-speed would have been acceptable as well). So, in addition to bringing back the toilet seat on the trunk lid, Chrysler needs to bring back the pushbutton automatic!
I can't help thinking that this car would look better if it had more rubber filling those big rear wheelwells. Some widened factory steel rims with dog-dish hupcaps and fat tires would be just about right. Oh yeah, and about 20 pounds of turbo boost on the engine- the Slant Six can take it.
Chrysler marketed the '60 Valiants as their own line (like Imperial), but by the time this car was built they had made it a Plymouth. Whatever you call it, I'm just glad you still see them on the road.
Year by year history of the Plymouth Valiant [allpar.com]
Down On The Street: 1962 Chrysler New Yorker; Leaning Tower Of Power Gets Blown For $400 [internal]