Silver Simplicity: 1966 Plymouth Valiant 200 – Sold?
June 11, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this vintage Plymouth “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
The word “Valiant” is defined as possessing or exhibiting valor; brave. Thirty years ago, driving a slant-six Valiant sedan to high school virtually guaranteed endless ridicule. Time is a healer, so we wonder whether a modern licensed teenager pulling up in this 1966 Plymouth Valiant 200 sedan originally listed in May 2021 on Craigslist in Niagara Falls, New York would receive a similar fate. Featuring a rebuilt Slant Six and rebuilt TorqueFlite three-speed automatic, for $4,500 this car could be a great first car. Comparing that price to the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the asking price falls between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $3,550 and its #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $6,000.
After the controversial styling disaster of the original 1960-1962 Valiants limited sales, Plymouth introduced a much more well-received and redesigned car for the 1963 model year. Designers reskinned Valiants on a slightly shorter wheelbase. t had a wide, flat hood and a flat square rear deck. The upper belt feature line ran from the rear body, in a gentle sweep, to the front fender tip. Advances in body structure, the availability of many accessories, and a new spring-staged choke were promotional highlights. Plymouth offered the Valiant in hardtop, convertible, and wagon variants. The result was a big sales success over the prior model. Fun fact: Plymouth supported a successful team of Valiant two-door sedans in the 1965 and 1966 SCCA Manufacturers Rally Championships.
The MyMopar.com YouTube Channel currently features this 1966 Plymouth Dealer Filmstrip covering the entire Valiant and Barracuda line that year:
As long as the “Underside repairable but very drivable” turns out to be nothing structural and each door opens and closes easily, then there is a lot to love about this claimed Barn Find that’s been thoroughly sorted. While it may not have the modern safety features helicopter parents prefer their bubble babies to drive, this is a great way for an aspiring young can enthusiast to get their feet wet understanding basic car design, maintenance, and troubleshooting.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“Barn Find, In storage for 25 years. Body Straight. Underside repairable but very drivable. New org, engine rebuilt by Napa. The transmission also Rebuilt with receipt in 8-19 .$2200. New Radiator,alternator,starter,hoses,brake lines,brakes,cylinders,spring kits and brake hoses. new tires, and new battery”
Do you have a Plymouth Valiant story to share? If so, comment below and let us know!
These cars are a testimony to automotive virtues no longer prized today. Simple, rugged, no frills, reliable, easily maintained and repaired, almost indestructible, and inexpensive.
A long time ago, 1990, I happened upon a virtual clone of this car – a 1965 Valiant V100 (the most basic version), slant 6, automatic, 4 door, in little old lady powder blue, inside and out. It was literally owned by a little old lady in central Pennsylvania who also literally used it to go to church and shopping. It has just 9,000 miles on it, and was in absolutely pristine, all original and as new condition. It wasn’t even remotely ‘collectible’ back then, but I couldn’t resist it’s appeal and paid the princely sum of $1,000 for it.
I kept it as a third car for over a dozen years, and drove it regularly, putting about 40,000 miles on it over that time. It’s simple, elemental nature was somehow wholesome, unpretentious, and addictive. The sheet metal felt like it was the same gauge as the battleship Missouri. You could stand on any panel and not bend it. The only ‘luxury’ was an AM only radio. There was nothing remotely ‘sporting’ about it, but it was nonetheless so satisfying to drive. The V100 didn’t even have carpeting (just rubber floor mats), and fresh air ventilation was provided by two ‘boxes’ in the footwells – you literally opened a metal door with a garden-shed grade latch that allowed fresh air to flow through the cowling. Summer ‘air conditioning’ was provided by one of the greatest automotive inventions of all time – vent windows.
Total repairs over that time amounted to two carburetor rebuilds, accomplished with a $25 kit in 30 minutes on my kitchen table. Maintenance consisted of oil changes, ‘plugs and points’, air filters, and a set of tires. The engine compartment was spacious enough to literally stand in, and it was a pleasure to work on.
The car and I were both getting on in years, and being older (but not much wiser) I started getting more concerned about driving on increasingly congested roads with a complete lack of any safety equipment. Lap belts only (not even shoulder belts), a solid steering column that would become a nice spear in any accident, and unassisted drum brakes which if you stood on them with all your weight, after about 30 seconds you could definitely feel the car begin to slow down. In a weak moment I sold it, I think for the even more princely sum of $2,800, and congratulated myself for nearly tripling my money despite a dozen years and 40,000 miles of use.
I’ve regretted it ever since. That car was a trusty, reliable old friend, the likes of which will never be found again (at least not at anything even remotely close to that price).