9,300 Miles Of Perfection: 1966 Plymouth Valiant

It never ceases to amaze me how some cars are purchased and receive very little use in their lifetime like this ’66 Valiant. Purchased at an estate sale, this crispy clean Plymouth sedan has apparently only covered less than 10,000 miles in it’s lifetime. Completely functional, and described as a crowd pleaser, this Valiant is offered for $9,500. Check it out here on craigslist out of Harrison, Maine. Thanks to reader Bill Walters for this beautiful submission!

An estate sale can often be a great place to find something of interest, but in many cases the history or the “story” of an item can often become blurry. Although taking a look at the photos, you feel a bit inclined to believe that this could possibly be a 9,300 mile car. Some cars do age well with regular use and maintenance, but there are some key items that can give away either a low mileage car, or a very well maintained car. The interior of this Valiant is very close to mint, with the only disparaging issue being dirty feet prints on the driver floor. The seats are without fault, and the steering wheel that receives so much use and abuse, is like a fine work of art. Even the door pulls, and door panel hardware are in great condition with no signs of abuse or aging.

Described as rust free, and appearing as new, this Valiant may not be a high strung muscle car, but it is a beautiful example of a 1960’s American classic. The paint is phenomenal on this Plymouth. I see new cars on my daily drives that I can see orange peel on from 15 feet away. On the other hand, this Plymouth looks like a finally polished Onyx gemstone. Borderline mesmerizing, this classic sedan looks to be the closest dictionary definition to “mint condition” as car may get. Would you preserve or enjoy this outstanding survivor?

Fast Finds


  1. ccrvtt

    There’s an apocryphal story about a Chrysler engineer who was asked about the generous tolerances and the amazing longevity of the fabulous slant 6 – he said, “Nothing touches. Y’all might have thought of that…”

    Great find. For $9,300 you could have this with 10,000 miles or a used Altima with 150,000.

    No contest.

  2. Rabbit

    Personally, I’d make a summer driver out of it. Can’t beat a Slant-6/904 combo for bulletproof dependability. On a side note, I welcome all the new writers! We suddenly have a lot more write-ups and no loss in quality. Great job, Guys!

  3. Howard A Member

    No doubt, the real deal. Perfect entry level car, although, a tad steep, despite it’s original condition, again, it’s a 50 year old car, going to need something., I’d look it over carefully. What a find, tho. One of the nicest 60’s originals to come through here in a while,,, BUT WHY BLACK??? Possible repaint? I just don’t remember too many black cars in the 60’s, like it was taboo to have a black car, for some reason.

    • Michael

      In the 60’s living in Florida, if we saw a black car we knew they were Yankees! Especially if the car, like this example, had lots of extras but no Factory AC. Probably a Maine/New England car all its life. Or better yet, only driven during the summers at the shore.

    • King Al

      Howard, I think you are on to something with the paint color. It coyld gave been – a Goverment vehicle. Maybe for an IRS auditor.

      • Pa Tina

        Or a man of the cloth.

    • Karl

      My 67 Barracuda is black with a red interior so……I wonder which slant six is in there, a 170 or 225?

      • Rabbit

        According to my parts lookup computer, there’s an 82% chance of it being a 225.

    • Terry

      My 1st car was a 1962 Ford Fairlane Sport Cp. Black from the factory!

    • PaulieB

      Great looking car!! My eldest brother had one exactly like this back in 1970. Black with the same blue interior. It had 27,000 on it and he drove until his family got too big. He gave it to my 3rd eldest brother and he drove it until someone t-boned it in Amherst MA in 1977.

    • Tim Rusling

      Those that I saw back then were either black or white. I don’t care about speed. This car pushes all my buttons.

  4. King Al

    Great little vehicle. Got a couple (late 60s Valiants) for the kids when they first started to drive, as they could never remember to check the oil. Engines and trannies never quit. Only accidents (the other drivers at fault) could put these out of their teenage driver misery.

    • glen

      Well, my oldest brother(Geophysicist,Computer Architect,smartest person I’ve ever met) managed to destroy a slant six by never checking the oil! ALLWAYS CHECK THE OIL!

      • Steve65

        Me too. 64 Belvedere sedan, three on the tree, traditional valve cover leak. Being young and stupid, instead of fixing it or keeping an eye on the oil, I’d just drive until I’d start to hear the valves run dry and clatter on a cloverleaf. Then I’d add two quarts. It put up with that for about 30k miles, and then threw the #6 rod. Still ran, but the oil leak out the side of the block was just too much…

  5. Rex Kahrs Member

    Finely polished?

  6. Greg Mason

    Would buy this car in a second but I’m already half way into the restoration of my wife,s 65 chevelle and you know what they say ( happy wife happy life ). OK.

    • Pa Tina

      Really? I thought what they say is “When are you going to finish that damn car”

    • 1st Gear Kevin

      Don’t forget the flip side of that term-Mellow dude,mellow ‘tude.Good look on your ’65.

  7. jw454

    Certain religious groups only drove black cars in the 1960s could have came from there.
    Most likely no power steering, or brakes.

    • Pa Tina

      They didn’t need them.

      Like 1
  8. Ken Carney

    I’d always heard stories about cars like this one, but never saw one up
    close and personal. My cousin drove a ’65 Valiant wagon that just wouldn’t die no matter what he did to it. He had it all the way through
    highschool and college, finally selling it when he got married. Seems
    like his new wife didn’t care for the tattered old wagon. The last time I
    saw him, he told me that he very much regretted selling it after buying
    a new Chevy Vega that had more problems than you could shake a
    wrench at. He should have disobeyed his wife and kept the Valiant.

  9. Ed P

    A mechanic in a forgotten magazine from years ago said the slant 6 was good for 250,000 miles. I don’t know if that is entirely true, but they did seem to run forever, as long as you checked the oil.

    • JunkFixer

      I personally have pushed an RG (225 Slant 6) past 770K miles in a D100 pickup. I once got 818K out of a LA (360) before it gave up.

      The only engine I’ve pushed further has said “Cummins” on it.

      • Neal

        Wow! That’s some serious mileage!

  10. Chebby

    An interesting story I read about slant six longevity said this was due to its original intent as an all-aluminum engine. The block castings, etc. were thicker to accommodate this lighter metal. Plymouth and Dodge did sell a number of aluminum slant sixes in the early 60’s, but Reynolds Metal apparently refused to sell Chrysler the quantity of aluminum they wanted, as it would monopolize the entire supply from their other customers. So the slant six was ultimately poured from stronger, heavier iron using the aluminum molds, resulting in an overbuilt engine.

    I don’t know if this is actually true, but it’s the explanation I like the best.

  11. Jay E.

    Folks had one of these new in 64. I was in it a lot and there are some things about this car that just don’t add up. It is just my opinion, but this is not an “original” car, too many things are not as new. For example, the paint in the trunk is not the same shine as the body paint. Back in the day, it was the same paint. Also the black sealing guck wasn’t painted, but is is on this car. A very nice restoration, but it should be advertised as such. No chassis photos or engine, I wonder why.

  12. john

    I believe the author means “finely polished”, not “finally polished”.

    No attention to detail, “wordsmith”.

  13. dan

    Barely broken in. What a find

  14. rob j Member

    1979 Plymouth Slant 6, used it for work so I really racked up the miles. At about 175,000 I towed a 16′ pop up tent camper from Baltimore to the Keys, pretty much non-stop, sharing the driving with a buddy. I think it used a quart of oil down and a quart back rolling at 70 [at least] the entire way. [we were young…]

    Finally sold to a guy I knew when it hit 225,000. And it still ran good although by that time you knew it had lifters! He drove for a few more years with no big engine issues I heard of. A pretty darn bullett-proof engine!

  15. gaspumpchas

    Great car when it was new, super car to enjoy now. Good luck to the new owner, its a beauty!!

  16. Gay Car Nut

    Beautiful looking 66 Valiant.

  17. TonyD

    Drove my parents’ 66 when I was a rookie driver. Would love to have one now (money and space, darn it!)

  18. Dave W.

    At 16 my first car was a 1960 Dodge Dart Seneca model with slant six and three on the tree. No power nothing. For a year and a half I drove the dog squeeze outta that poor car. Loved the crazy, not round steering wheel, shifter, and dash. It never left me on the side of the road. Had pegged the speedometer many times only it would jump from about 110 to past 120. Was sad when it traded it in for a year old 1967 mustang. Good times!

  19. Patty

    My dad had a 59 Ford that was black and later he acquired a Chrysler that was a black beauty too. Other than those two I don’t remember a lot of black cars back in the day.

  20. W9BAG

    I’m somewhat incredulous that is the original upholstery on the front seat. It looks like corduroy. Nonetheless, a very nice car !

  21. Bruce Fischer

    My mom had a 67 Valiant and dad had a Duster. Both had the bullet proof 6 cylinders in them. The only draw back were the winters back in N.J. when it really got cold. In the mornings when they would try and start them is would sound like I don’t want to, I don’t want to, I don’t want to.LOL. Bruce.

  22. Miguel

    These engines are bullet proof until you get one that isn’t.

    I bought a 1975 Dart thinking the same thing, that the engine is bullet proof. It started and ran fine when I was testing it, but on the way home it bent a few valves and I had to rebuild the whole engine.

    At lease it is now good for the 200K that everybody says it can do.

    The latest 6 cylinders I have bought have solidified me as a V8 man all the way.

  23. Rustytech Member

    All I can say is WOW!

  24. Dt 1

    If that was a two door with a 440 oh my God

  25. chad

    Brian (or seller) does not say what motor.
    CL listing sez”6″.

    I had 2 wagons – ’64, ’66. When the engine in the ’64 went swapped into ’66. Same upholstry as in this 1. 2nd vehicle took me 2 yrs, around the permiter states of this nation, loaded down w/cast iron pots’n pans, skiis, etc – 300,000 mi at end. All 170 motors…

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