1965 Plymouth Valiant Convertible
In May 1957, Chrysler president Lester Lum "Tex" Colbert
established a committee to develop a competitor in the burgeoning
compact car market which included the popular VW Beetle, the new
American Motors Rambler and upcoming entries from GM, Ford and
Studebaker. Virgil Exner designed a car that was smaller and
lighter than a full-size car without sacrificing passenger and
luggage space. Originally named the Falcon after Exner's 1955
Chrysler Falcon concept car, the vehicle was renamed the 'Valiant'
honoring Henry Ford II's request to use the original name for the
This classic has been sitting in a garage in NY for the past year.
It is from a son who is now parting with his departed father's car.
He states it has not had any work done to it in the past year and
needs some cleanup and basic care.
A side view of this car and it will tell you that Virgil Exner
certainly had "different" in mind when he penned this design. This
example retains its grille surround in chrome along with the round
headlight bezels and chromed bumper below sandwiches the
fashionable grille all in shiny chrome. From the front quarters
through the doors and on to the rear quarters is a belt line trim
spear looking good. This trimming is within a field of white paint
that maintains its shine and covers steel that has sustained some
hazards of hitting things with rusted dents, crumples and rust
bubbling surfaces, mainly on the bottom end on the fender wrap
arounds and rockers. The white convertible top is showing as fair
with some dirt and staining, and dry rotted thread making the seams
come apart. No rear plastic is seen on this top. Mirrors and
bumpers have some pitting beginning on the chrome. On the back at
the end of a long trimming on top of the rear quarter is a vertical
tail lamp with a circular ring below housing the backup lighting.
This floats above a rear bumper that is in good condition. Standard
wheel coverings are wrapped in thin whitewalls all around, save for
the driver's rear which is missing the wheel cover.
Retaining most of its original charm and using red painted steel
and gray carpeting and striped broadcloth, the door panels have the
red on top, a mid section of striped tweed with hints of red
peppering it, and gray fuzzy broadcloth on the bottoms. Shiny
cranks and handles are here as well as a like new armrest, all
looking like newly done. Inside we see a like-new split back bench
covered in gray broadcloth for the inserts and smooth black vinyl
for the bolsters. A leatherette covered steering wheel fronts what
appears to be a mostly original dash painted in red. A simplistic
design for the dash front with dual circular gauges in front of the
steering wheel and a horizontal chrome strip which houses knobs,
temp sliders and the glove box knob. An original Plymouth AM radio
is below this strip and still works! Black carpeting is flooding
the floors and the underside of the canvas convertible has some
staining and is aged.
Flipping the hood we now see a fully restored 273ci V8 which is
original to the car. It is topped with a sporty Offenhauser intake
manifold and is topped with a 4-barrel carburetor. An A904 3-speed
automatic is on back as is a 7-1/4 inch rear pumpkin. This engine
presents nicely with its red valve coverings, chromed air cleaner
housing, and supple like new hoses and wires. The engine bay
surrounding is unrestored, but the battery and radiator appear like
Underneath save for just a bit of surface rust on suspension parts
and some light surface rust on the body hangers, it is a rust-free
environment. The ride is provided by independent torsion bar
suspension in front and for the back leaf springs. Drum braking is
all around, and a stock exhaust is on and looking good in
This car fired right up and as I slipped into the like new interior
and took off for the test track. Here it performed nicely with good
smooth acceleration, easy shifting, and a comfy ride. All functions
were working as they should.
Exner design, and the precursor to the Barracuda we all know and
love as a muscle car, some minor faults in the dent and ding
department, and a convertible top that needs some TLC we have a
partially restored, (interior and engine), car that with just a bit
of TLC will be back to snuff. Then you will have a Valiant
5-Los Angeles, CA Assy Plant
128308-Sequential Unit Number
1:1-Left Manual Outside Mirror
3:9-Variable Wipers W/Washer
Q:1-AM Music Master Radio
B24-November 24th Build
TRM H4R-Red Vinyl
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special
interest automobile showroom, featuring over 600 vehicles for sale
with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle
barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown,
Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia
on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is
www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914.
Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the
vehicle in person.