1964 Plymouth Valiant Convertible: Fun To Drive?

1964 Plymouth Valiant Convertible

Unlike some car guys, I actually like inline-sixes – especially when they are sitting behind a good gearbox. That could explain why this 1964 Plymouth Valiant that Jim S. sent in caught my eye. Up until 1964 all Valiants only came with one of two slant-sixes. The larger of the two, the 225, was even cast in aluminum until ’63 when it switched to steel. That proves that Plymouth looked at this engine as more than just a cheap base engine. It put out a decent amount of power and made the Valiant a successful seller. This particular project has supposedly been parked since 1975. It’s dirty and will probably end up needing a full restoration, but the $1,000 starting bid here on eBay does make it tempting…

Hurst Shifter

This Valiant is a top of the line Signet 200 model, but the thing that surprised me most about this little convertible is the transmission. You would assume that it might have a sloppy 3-speed, but that is actually a 4-speed with a Hurst floor shifter! I have a feeling that this thing was probably more fun to drive than the looks first lead you to believe. They weren’t as heavy as many American cars, so I bet the handling wasn’t too bad either. You don’t hear much about Valiants today though, so can anyone here confirm or disprove my fun-to-drive theory?

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Comments

  1. John D

    Indeed fun to drive. There are several facebook pages and groups dedicated to these great little cars. They did spawn the first Barracuda and later the Duster.

  2. David Frank David Member

    These were indeed fun to drive as well as easy to work on. I was able to replace the clutch on mine by driving one side on the curb and crawling under. My roommates friend had a convertible like this. I always assumed the 4speed was aftermarket. Up to about 35 it was really quick and loads of fun

    • Ed P

      Chrysler introduced the A-833 4 speed tranny for the 1964 models and it was available on slant 6’s as well as v8’s. The gear box accommodated several gear ratios and tail shaft extensions according to use. I have driven Valiants with three on the tree, but the four speed would make this car so much more fun.

  3. Barry T

    Nothing wrong with a six cylinder, I fail to understand the obsession with replacing them with a V-8.

  4. JW454

    That cement trowel must be for slathering on more Bondo. LOL Handy.

  5. Rick

    I had a ’64 dodge Dart with the 225 slant six and factory 4-speed (and factory Hurst linkage) anyhow was fun rowing through the gears in that car, was peppy and fun to drive, would even chirp second gear!

  6. Lynne

    Love my old girl. 64 Valiant slant 6 with the push button trans. She’s not in it to win it, but cruising is fun. And everyone has a story to tell about growing up with a Valiant.

  7. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    That’s the Signet – the top of the line with buckets and fancy door trim….the 273 V8 came out late in the 1964 model year and lucky my V200 convet has it along with the push button auto. Have had loads of fun with mine and as it needs a little floor work – looking to add that 4 speed hump.

  8. Ranco Racing

    Since when did a 1964 Valiant, or any front engine/ rear drive vehicle of that vintage, come with an engine “behind” the gear box?

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