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Hyper-Pak Needed: 1962 Plymouth Valiant Signet

1962 Plymouth Valiant Signet

The shape of these cars is really starting to grow on me. There may have been a time when they looked homely, but with so many cookie cutter cars running around today, this thing just looks so dang unique! These were good cars too in their day. The Valiant was built to be a competitor to all the foreign compacts that were starting to hit our shores. Of course, they didn’t want to make it too small, but with an inline-six, unibody construction, and extensive use of aluminum it was considerably lighter and more fuel efficient than the typical American car. This particular one is located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and is listed here on craigslist for $6,200.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must worth a thousand pictures?

Mini Fins

If the 62k mileage claim is true, then this might be a good buy at $6k. The engine does run, but the brakes and tranny still need work. The body doesn’t appear to have any serious rust problems though so this could probably be turned into a decent driver without too much effort. As soon as I had it back on the road though, I’d be tempted to buy a long ram intake so I could start building a Hyper-Pak wannabe…


  1. roger

    I had a chance to buy one of these back in 05 for $300.00,but windshield was cracked so I passed.Wish I had bought it.

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  2. Rick

    Styling looked bizarre back then, still looks bizarre now

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  3. Steve B

    These slant 6 road toads, like the mid-sixies Imperials, will be some of the last cars still driving after a nuclear/alien/zombie apocalypse. One of my retirement projects will be to find a 60-62 too far gone to restore and build a HyperPak clone for LeMons.

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  4. hhaleblian

    yah heydare!

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  5. Roselandpete

    I agree with your comment about the styling. Back then they were ho-hum but now I consider them to be highly styled compared to the boring stuff they put out now.

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  6. Andrew

    I agree with all of the above too. But I also liked the Dodge Dart 440 of the same period.

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  7. Dwomby

    I always liked these. I first saw one, believe it or not, as kid growing up in mid-1960s Yorkshire, England where our neighbour had one. I have no idea how he acquired it and he traded it in on a boring Ford Corsair soon after moving in. To UK eyes, it was huge – well, remmber we were used to Anglias, Minis, etc.

    Anyway, I always liked the styling and still do.

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  8. Paul Bellefeuille

    My uncle who lived next door to a wrecking yard had one of these in 1968 in green… He sold it later that year and bought a ’57 BelAir… also from the wrecking yard.. the ’57 was gorgeous..

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  9. Al

    Don’t think I’ve ever seen a 2-door hardtop! Every Valient I can recall was a 4-door. This is a very cool car and I’d bet it’s pretty rare. Wish it was closer.

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  10. Keith Kintner

    The designer of this car, Virgil Exner, won a styling award for this model in 1961: “In October 1961, the Society of Illustrators presented Exner the 1962 Styling Award for outstanding design of the 1962 Signet 200; the award lauded Exner’s ‘creative sculpted design’ of the Valiant, ‘an automobile of outstanding originality, restraint and spirited beauty.’ There were a smaller number of the 2-door Signet hardtops produced than the 4-door models.

    Here’s more about the changes for 1962: For 1962 the Valiant received an extensive facelift that included the radiator grille flattened and made shorter. The hood release was relocated to a knob at the top of the grille frame. The central grille emblem was removed except on the top of the line Signet 200 2-door hardtop model which received a black-painted grille with a round central emblem incorporating the red-and-blue stylized ‘V’ Valiant emblem. The Signet 200 featured pleated, leather-like buck seats, custom tailored interior trim, unique trunk lid emblem, deep-pile carpeting, different headlamp frames and special side moldings. The 1962 Valiant was America’s lowest-priced hardtop with bucket seats.

    The fender and hood stampings remained very similar to the 1960 and 1961 models, and the cat’s-eye tail lamps were deleted at the rear. A wraparound stainless trim was added to the tailfins and below this were new round tail lamps set into stamped aluminum bezels. These took the place of optional reversing lamps, which for 1962 flanked the license plate below the rear bumper. The spare-tire stamping was deleted from the deck lid and now featured a smooth stamping with a small central ridge at its trailing edge. A large round emblem surrounding an oblong block-letter ‘VALIANT’ callout on a black field was added on V200 deck lids. Similar block-letter/black-field callouts were now placed on each front fender. On the Signet, the deck lid featured a smaller round emblem surrounding the red-and-blue stylized-V Valiant logo.

    The V200 side trim returned to the 1960 concept, following the tailfin crease and lower body break crease. The 1962 trim was more massive and contained an oblong triple window effect at the rear of the body break crease. The front fenders on the Signets featured an open-centered double spear connected at the front and back, within which was a secondary body paint color.

    The Valiants for this year received a brand new instrument cluster. Similar to the larger 1962 Plymouth models, the new Valiant cluster was highly touted for its clean design and easy legibility. Placed to the left of the luster was a large round speedometer with separate round gauges for fuel level, engine temperature and charging system condition in a row to the right of the speedometer. A brand new shallower-dish steering wheel was introduced this year. Automatic transmission pushbuttons were placed in a column at the left edge of the panel, and heater pushbuttons were in a column at the right edge.

    The 1962 Valiant underwent massive mechanical updates which included the electrical system being heavily upgraded with a new starter, new alternator, more fuses, and printed circuit boards instead of individual wires for the instrument cluster. The carburetors were improved yet again and the manual transmission gearshift was moved from the floor to the steering column. New 45° shear engine mounts replaced the earlier vertical-sheer items, exhaust systems were made of more corrosion-resistance materials, and the axle ratios were altered for better fuel economy. Manual steering ratio was changed from 20:1 to 24:1, and both power and manual steering gearboxes were all new, and the manual was now housed in aluminum rather than iron. Since they needed lubrication only ever 32,000 miles, most of the front suspension components were redesigned.

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  11. TracyE

    First car I owned was a 61 Plymouth Valiant – I paid $40 for it in 1971. 4 door, 3 speed on the floor and (I believe) – the 170 ci slant 6. Great car for a junior in high school.

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  12. Tony L

    My grandfather had a ’62 Belvedere which has some of the same styling cues as this Valiant. Us kids would call it the “Batmobile”. Chrysler Corp. had some daring styling back in the day!

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  13. Prowler

    Never understood this body style…..I could never find an angle that looked good
    I think Virgil Exner. Should be punished

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  14. Katie

    I confess, the car pictured belongs to me and my husband. We love it–it’s so ugly it’s beautiful. It is no longer for sale as people in Oshkosh area have no imagination for turning it back into its former stylishly bizarre beautyness, so it is in storage until we can move it to our new home in Arizona, where classic cars are daily drivers. Route 66, look out for this handsome old hunk of US steel!

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  15. Gm126

    My 1st car was ’63 Valient 100 silver on blue. I had a fantastic time with it. Taught my wife how to drive, on her 1st attempt she hit her former boyfriend in leg. I still think she did it on purpose.LOL

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