Live Auctions

Best in the World? 1962 Chrysler Valiant Signet 200

Ok before we get going here, let’s take a vote: Who likes this styling and who doesn’t? Vote below in the comments section, but I would love to hear more than a “yay” or a “nay”.  What’s to like? Or not? No doubt that today, the melange of styling cues sported by the Valiant and its close sister the Dart prompt divisive opinions, but back in the day the Valiant was one of Chrysler’s best-selling marques. This was a Virgil Exner design, originally code-named the Falcon after a concept car that Exner designed in 1955. Designed as a compact car, the Valiant hit the road in 1959 as a 1960 model. Over time, several body styles and trim levels became available. The Signet 200 was a top-of-the-line trim package that delivered pleated seats (still vinyl), deep pile carpet, better trim, and a fancier grille. Here on eBay is what must be one of the best Chrysler Valiants around, a 1962 Signet 200, bid to $6,256, reserve not met. This car is located in Churubusco, Indiana. According to the seller, it has only 17,300 documented miles from new.

Whatever you think of the styling, the new motors Chrysler furnished with the Valiant had plenty of advantages. This is the 170 cu. in. slant-six, with a great balance between economy and performance – thanks to some special tweaks. The motor was installed at a 30-degree angle to allow for a lower hood line. It came equipped with an individual-branch intake manifold, and many of the ancillary parts were cast aluminum. A few upgrades have been installed, including finned valve and air cleaners, a Mini reduction starter, and FiTech fuel injection. The intake manifold has been replaced with an Aussie Speed version, and there are new split exhaust manifolds along with a larger diameter exhaust. By itself, the 170 slant-six put out about 101 bhp, but these driveability and performance upgrades might add 5 hp to the total. The transmission is the venerable Torque-Flight three-speed automatic.

The car is sporting its original blue paint and most of the interior is from the factory as well; only the headliner has been replaced. This is a bench seat version – a bit of a bummer since the bucket seats in the Valiant were good-looking. We’re told all the gauges work as they should. The car has new Coker radials. The trunk even contains the original jack and jacking instructions.

This car comes with its original parts in case you’re inclined to revert to stock, as well as a service manual, receipts, and original sales documents. This car ticks all the boxes with me: original documents, original parts, tasteful upgrades, great condition, not all the money in the world – and I love the looks. What do you say?

Comments

  1. Cadmanls Member

    The design was that of the big Chrysler products have to give it a yay as there were many on the roadways when I was growing up. The slant six is very durable engine. Chrysler even had a special versions that didn’t draw too much attention at the time.
    Remember reading of the Hyper Pak and also an aluminum block that dropped about 75 or 80 lbs off the weight. These were work horses and were produced many years. Have seen a few that ran pretty well as I imagine this one does as well. Nice car and with that milage somebody should enjoy the upgrades as well.

    Like 9
    • Howard A Member

      I’ve had several Slantys, and what I remember most about them, is they leaked oil, profusely. And some have the nerve to rip on the British, also “oil dispensers”. Problem was, they used a spark plug tube, like the hemi, and oil would pour out, if not properly sealed. I remember it was time to add oil when the valves started to clack. Those oil strips in vintage highway photos? Slant 6, in part, did that. The distributor was in a funky place too, a chore when replacing points. What are “points”, grandpa? Mmm-hmmm,,for the sake of the new owner, I hope it has electronic ignition. I don’t think I even have feeler gauges in my toolbox anymore.

      Like 12
      • Russ Ashley

        Howard, did you actually own a slant six or are you just repeating something someone said. I have owned a 61, 64, 65, and two 76’s and an 81, and mine didn’t leak. The spark plug tubes were gone in the 76 and 81’s but the seal at the top of the tubes in the earlier ones cost about a dime and if they were changed when the plugs were changed they wouldn’t leak. Yes, the distributor was on the lower side of the engine but I never found it more difficult to work on than a V8 where the distributor is in the rear of the engine.

        Like 7
      • Rw

        That’s the reason British don’t make computers, they haven’t figured out how to make them leak oil.

        Like 11
      • DON

        None of mine ever leaked profusely , or any more than any other car I’ve owned. You complain about the points, not that hard to change- But on the plus side, they have the easiest starter to remove ….. although they aren’t known for going bad

        Like 1
  2. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    For me, Seeing one of these is akin to seeing a Citroen DS. In both cases I can’t say for certain whether I love it or hate it, but it’s refreshingly unique.

    Like 11
    • Kurt Member

      Took the words out of my mouth. Well stated.

      Like 2
    • John D

      Perfect statement I don’t really like these but I do find them a little interesting as far as the body design. I’m not a huge mopar fan but the slant 6 and 318 are good engines that go the distance if maintained. Not so sure I’d spend much money on one as there are many other cars I prefer.

  3. Howard A Member

    Absotively, posilutely love it. My 3rd( a ’63) and 4th( a ’64) cars were Valiants. While mine were the next gen and not near as flashy, same guts. Torqueflites could be put behind hemis, I believe Valiant was the 1st car with an alternator, they were good cars. Naturally, as a punk kid, I beat the crap out of those cars, I don’t ever recall them breaking. I get a kick out of folks that mock AMCs wacky designs, yet Chrysler in the early 60s was pretty far out there too. I also chuckle about trying to make the “Slanty” something it wasn’t really designed for. Oh sure, the Hyper Paks did well, but any 6 could be made to run, and just be happy with it chugging away, mile after mile. Far as I’m concerned, automobile progression could have stopped right here. Amazing this was good enough, eh?

    Like 12
    • Terrry

      The Slant 6 was the first engine with a gear reduction starter too, and Chrysler would eventually use those on all their engines.

      Like 1
      • Greg Gustafson

        My “Chevy” friends used to rank on Chrysler products because their starters sounded funny. I have to laugh now because is lot of if not most GM cars went to gear reduction starters.

  4. alphasud Member

    I know I have said this before on this forum that I was 8 years old when I saw my first Virgil Exner Valiant in San Antonio. It’s not often a vehicle can make an impression on a young kid who remembers that day like it was yesterday almost 50 years later. Cool car. Drive this to be different and yes I have a Citroen. Life is too interesting to be driving a boring car.

    Like 10
  5. Rex Kahrs Member

    No element of the design seems to relate to any other element of the design. It is rumored that Exner created these abominations as retaliation, when he found out that Chrysler was soon going to give him the boot.

    Well played, Mr. E.

    Like 5
    • Gerard Frederick

      True story. Exner was drunk on cheap wine, Red Mountain comes to mind.

  6. Rixx56 Member

    Rear: ’61 Fury, which I like, but its front…old
    Studebaker-ish elements. How was this an
    acceptable design; in total!? Both yay & nay,
    I suppose.

    Like 2
    • PaulG

      Kind of like a Mullet!
      Business in the front, party in the back…

      Like 4
  7. Bick Banter

    H— nay. Sorry. These just look terrible. They did back then and they certainly didn’t improve with time.

    Like 4
    • Howard A Member

      Now, now, Bick, “terrible” is such an ugly word, I prefer,,,unusual, that way, nobody gets offended. It may not be what you like, but I read, 146,000 Valiants were sold in 1960, almost doubling the Furys output,(not that the Fury was a style leader) so clearly, it was what people wanted then.

      Like 5
      • Jace F.

        Over 2 million Chevettes were sold over the course of its span, but did people truly want them?

        Like 6
  8. Fin guy

    Never saw a Chrysler Valiant. Saw plenty Plymouth Valiants.
    Yes, first with Alternator, 1960.
    Aluminum trans before full size Mopars.
    Full size were iron trans thru 1961.
    Plymouth Valiants finished 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 out of 7 in a road course race at Daytona for 6 cylinder compacts.

    Like 9
    • Arfeeto

      My aunt and uncle bought a new valiant in 1960. I know it was called a Chrysler Valiant at the time because my relatives were a bit miffed when, in ’61, they were renamed Plymouth Valiants.

      Like 3
      • DON

        In 1960 they were just Valiant’s , not Plymouth Valiant . They originally were going to be a marque by themselves , like Imperial

        Like 1
  9. Jerry Bramlett

    Is that the prototype of the Pontiac Aztek? That thing makes a Checker cab look sporty. It would sell quickly in Russia or France. Both of those countries make some really fonky looking 4-doors.

    Like 4
  10. David Zornig

    The seller is incorrect.
    Valiant was it’s own make by Chrysler it’s introductory year in 1960.
    It became a Plymouth model in `61, and remained as such until it’s demise after the `76 model year.
    `62 and some `63 models did not have Plymouth badges, but remained Plymouths sold by Plymouth dealers.
    Some `63s had “By Plymouth” badges.
    In Canada, Australia and other countries, Valiant remained a Chrysler until varying years, up to `67.
    They also shared US Dodge Dart rear sheet metal beginning in `64.
    I have a `61 Valiant V200 two door hardtop with a Plymouth badge on the back, built in Newark Delaware.
    My late friend had the exact same model but a Canadian built one.
    His had a “Valiant by Chrysler” badge on the back.
    Barracuda was originally a Valiant model, with a round V medallion beneath the rear window above the trunk `64-`65.
    It became it’s own model in `66.
    Some Barracudas had Plymouth across the deck lid.

    Like 13
    • David Zornig

      I should add that the marketing during those un-badged years is a different story. Depending on what one reads,
      `63 print ads had Plymouth Division and Chrysler on them.
      Some dealerships supposedly played up the exclusiveness of them as their own make. But they were still Plymouths.

      Like 5
    • CCFisher

      You are correct, sir. The Valiant was stand-alone in 1960, and a Plymouth beginning in 1961, regardless of how it was marketed. The key reason was that Chevrolet and Ford included Corvair and Falcon in their total sales, leaving Plymouth at a considerable disadvantage, at least on paper.

      Like 4
      • David Zornig

        I delivered a new Buick to a former DeSoto dealer at our Cadillac-Buick dealership in Chicago in the `80s.
        Our owner had turned him over to me for the delivery.
        I was introduced to him as a friend of our owner, and DeSoto was mentioned.
        Even 25 years later he was still pissed about how it all went down.
        He said they “were forced to take delivery of hideous inbound inventory, after the news of DeSoto’s demise had already gone public.”
        He said he and other dealers felt that if the compact Valiant had been introduced as a DeSoto model instead of it’s own make it’s introductory year in `60, it would have brought hundreds of people into their showrooms.
        Making Valiant a Plymouth model in `61 just poured salt on the wound.
        Ironically the first gen `61 Dodge Lancer body was marketed as DeSoto Rebel outside of the US.
        It was sister car to the Valiant `61/`62.
        Which pissed him off even more.
        He was part of those who sued Chrysler and said he was in and out of court for years.

        Like 5
    • RNT

      And my ’64 Barracuda has “Plymouth” across the deck lid (same letters as on the hood of my ’66 Satellite) and a “Valiant” script next to the passenger side tail light (same part number as the badges on the front fenders of the ’60 Valiant, one of which my father bought new and I kept an emblem from it).

    • Psychofish2

      `62 and some `63 models did not have Plymouth badges, but remained

      True. My 63 Signet doesn’t say “Plymouth” anywhere on it

      Like 3
    • Solosolo Solosolo Member

      In South Africa all Valiants were Chrysler Valiants.

      Like 2
    • Terrry

      ’64 Dart did not share any sheet metal with the Valiant. Starting in ’67 they did.

    • Bob Bandfield

      Thank you. I always thought this was a Plymouth and the Chrysler type was called Lancer..remember it’s saying..Lancer is your answer..

  11. Jay E. Member

    My gosh these are ugly cars and time has not improved them. There are elements that could be attractive, but the whole is awful. Kindigit reworked one some years ago and it was amazing that he could re-design the ugly out of it, but he did.

    Like 3
  12. Bob C.

    I used to think this design was a bit polarizing, not for everyone. However, I’ve learned to like them over the years. Technically, they were a better car than most of the competition at the time.

    Like 6
  13. Palandi

    I shouldn’t like this design… but I do

    Like 5
  14. Car Nut Tacoma

    Beautiful car. I’ve always loved the 1960 to 1962 Plymouth Valiant. It’s even better when that Valiant has a 225 Slant six engine powering it.

    Like 4
  15. jrmedsel

    I love the look of these cars – like a compact Batmobile!
    However its “close sister the Dart” was really a Lancer. Up through 1962 the Dart was on Dodge’s full-size chassis. Lancers were compacts.
    Darts weren’t compacts until the 1963 redesign.
    Hmmm, more trivial information than you probably needed to hear…

    Like 6
  16. Walt

    Personally, when it comes to styling, I’ve always been more interested in the overall shape of the car and its proportions. The details, a bit of chrome here or there, etc., are rarely that important to me. So I think this car is quite handsome, that is, the odd detail does not ruin the fine shape. Quite a unique shape for the time too.

    Like 3
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      I agree. I find it more attractive than later Valiants, at least until the 1967-72 Plymouth Valiant.

      Like 2
  17. Eric

    Absolutely hated them when they came out when I was a kid (I’m now 67) and it seemed the few in our neighborhood were all owned by little old widows and spinsters (there’s a word you don’t hear anymore). I’ve grown to appreciate nearly everything about them and now own a 62 Signet with one of the rare aluminum block 225 slant six engines. Not sure where the reserve is set but bidding right now is about where I think it’s value is.

    Like 4
  18. jim

    I like it because its different not the same ol same ol A friend of mine stooped in with his high miles short bed Dodge slant six truck it had a loud screeching noise under the hood and he thought the alternator was going we opened the hood to look and I checked the oil none on the stick I put a few quarts in and he started it up no noise anymore and he drove it a few years after that with no problems that was hard for me to believe but it happened

    Like 3
  19. Kim

    In those days as the fins disappeared the car designs became boxy (except for the Riviera) and boring. The Plymouth and Dodge Dart offered styling cues such as this that distracted from the mundane. I particularly liked the station wagon version and thought that as a hotrodder it had great potential.

    Like 4
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      I love the 1963-64 Buick Riviera. I find it way more attractive than later Rivieras except the 1966-67 Riviera.

      Like 3
  20. Richard

    I loved the design. I was 12 and riding shotgun in one with a friend’s dad. We were at a stop light and when it turned green we went. A drunk from the right hit the doors on the passenger side at about 45 mph. Damage the outer side bad, but the inside was barely moved in. In my opinion very well constructed car. The only thing I disliked about it was the color as it was a company car and the would buy red cars and paint roof in yellow. I would gladly drive one of these if I could afford one!

    Like 4
  21. David Nelson

    I LOVE the first Valiants, esp with the top trim and engines! It’s difference is what attracts me. Only thing better would be a hardtop! I SO wish I could buy it, but not in the stars!

    Like 3
  22. glen

    I was 9 years old and my Dad came home with a brand new 1960 Plymouth Valiant. . . Slant six 3 on the floor, no radio and no carpet, 4 door white just like this one. Far cry from the mid 50s Pontiac he traded in on it. Not a fan of the looks at all but it never let us down on many road trips.

    Like 1
  23. Stan

    Slant 6 leaking oil?
    My 62 Town wagon with 4000,000+ mi has never leaked a drop, nor have any of the several Darts I owned in the past.
    Tough as naiuls!

    Like 4
    • bone

      4 million miles ? lol I know, its a typo , but that would be a world record for sure

  24. Robert

    I always preferred the Dodge Lancer to the Valiant. Even though there are styling differences, the two are almost exact in the appearance. Same drive trains and, probably, interiors too.

    Like 3
  25. Ralphie

    Love it? That’s a loaded question. My first car was a ’61 Valiant V200 4 door with the base 107 Slant Six and a 3 on the floor. So yes, I kind of love it. But I’d rather have the cute ugliness of the 1959 and 1960 Studebaker Lark than another Valiant.

    Like 2
    • David Zornig

      170 /6 with 101 HP was the standard engine.
      The 225 /6 with 145 HP became optional mid year `61 for Valiant.
      The 225 /6 was standard in the full size Plymouths beginning in `60.
      I have a `61 V200 two door hardtop, which also has the 170 /6.

      Like 3
      • Car Nut Tacoma

        I’d buy my Plymouth (Chrysler) Valiant if I can get it with the 3.7 litre (225 cu. in.) slant six engine.

  26. Pastor Ron

    I always quite liked them. The only thing I objected to was the stamped “spare tire” in the trunk lids of some models. Personally though, if it had AC. I’d make this car a daily driver without hesitation. I had a 1964 Dodge 330 wagon wagon with a slant 6 automatic, and it got 27mpg on the highway, and I knew a guy with a ’64 Valiant with over a half-million miles on the 225 (unrebuilt). Yes, you either liked these or you didn’t – to each his own. Keep ij mind though, that this was an early attempt at applying “European design” to American cars.

    Like 4
    • Solosolo Solosolo Member

      Back in the mid sixties I was a taxi driver in South Africa and the cars we drove were these same RHD Chrysler Valiants with the slant six engine. They did 100’s of thousands of miles before being pensioned off. Most of them were bought by the Black Taxi Association where they did 100’s of thousands more rural miles before finally reaching the knackers yards. They were virtually indestructible. I bought a 1968 Valiant Rebel in 1971 with 185,000 miles on the clock, sold it to help with the deposit on our first house, and the Indian guy that I sold it to had a trucking business and the Valiant was used to rush spares to any of his trucks that had broken down anywhere in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe etc. I bought a 1971 Valiant VIP later in life which was also an excellent motor car. By the way, I don’t remember any of them leaking, or burning oil. If ever there was a South African built car that couldn’t be killed, it was the Chrysler Valiant.

      Like 5
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      I’ve always loved overall styling of the 1960-62 Plymouth (Chrysler) Valiant. I’ve never liked the “spare tire” on the trunk lid. There was a time when I found the front end styling ugly. I don’t know why.

  27. Psychofish2

    Fuel injection? I dream of that for my 63 Signet. Electronic ignition makes start ups almost instant though, and a useful improvement.

    The split exhaust solves the problem of them cracking.

    “The Signet 200 was a top-of-the-line trim package that delivered pleated seats (still vinyl),”. Nothing wrong with vinyl. It lasted forever. It was an upgrade not a penalty.

    Washable, durable, good looking. Seems to be making a small comeback these days. A feature of the top line compacts back then.

    Leather is played out. It’s become as common as cloth and no longer special.

    Great article. I used to find these “busy” looking, seeing them on my walk to elementary school. They looked bizarre.

    But then I thought the Mopar ’57s looked sinister and menacing when I was 9 or 10 years old.

    They all look much better in retrospect.

    I always thought the new ’63 Dart 270 wagon my parents had was very futuristic looking. And it still looks good.

    Much less Bizarro World than the Lancer/Valiant wagons.

    Like 2
  28. Steve

    Yay. When they were introduced in 1960 as the Plymouth Valiant, at the ripe old age of 9, I thought they (and the Dodge Lancer) were ugly. Now, I’ve learned to like them.

  29. Burton Pierce Member

    Ive owned three Valiants in the first body style and currently have a 62 V200. I hav also woned a 63, 67, 70, 75 and 76. I think there was not a Signet version in a four door, anyone know for sure?

  30. Greg Gustafson

    Back in 1962, I went with my mom and dad to go car shopping to replace their 57 Pontiac Chiefton. They looked at a Plymouth Valient (Slant 6) and a Pontiac Tempest with the “half V8”, and the trans in the rear. They were pre disposed to buying another Pontiac, and my dad said he didn’t like the idea of the car having an Alternator on it. I liked the Valient but they bought the 4dr Tempest and used it to lug our 5 member family which included two teens and one pre-teen. I’m sure we met or exceeded the weight capacity of the car, then my dad bought a small camping trailer and doubled it’s weight with all of our camping gear. The poor transmission that only had cooling fins spot welded to the outside of an exposed torque converter would frequently overheat and puke trans oil out the dipstick tube which you could only access from a panel in the (stuffed to capacity) trunk floor. In retrospect, my dad admitted he should have bought the Valient.

    Like 3
  31. Jack

    Ugly but dependable. I had a 63 and just loved to try and kill it. Reved it to the max and hit the push button, and it squealed the tires. Never really did harm anything 😕 it’s possible it still lives somewhere today.

    Like 2
  32. John Newell

    The Citroen shaped like a hat box on wheels was and still is the ugliest car ever made. Number two is a tie featuring the 61 and 62 Valients followed closely by their full size relatives. These cars demonstrate clearly that sometimes people who seemed to be brilliant designers, revealed themselves to have a black hole where their sense of design used to be.

    These vehicles were probably victims of committee thinking. Too many styling cues working at cross purposes. They were an insult their drive trains. We have to remember that Chrysler boards of directors and other bigwigs had to approve these horror stories on wheels.

    The people who bought them showed just as clearly they were not born with a sense of proportion any more than the idiots who designed them.

    Some cars grow on you with exposure. These just keep looking uglier.

    There. I managed to vent without profanity.

    Like 1
  33. Solosolo Solosolo Member

    @Rw. Contrary to your statement that the English don’t make computers because they haven’t worked out how to make them leak oil, there are currently at least FOURTEEN computer manufacturers in UK.

  34. Dave

    I always thought they were ugly. Seeing this one re-affirms my opinion. Kind of like Phyllis Diller with tires.

    Like 1
    • Tman

      Phyllis Diller was the funniest female comedian! Couldn’t help but to like her making fun of her husband “Fang”!

      Like 1
  35. scottymac

    I can’t believe I got to the bottom of comments, and no one mentioned the Hyper-Pak on this engine! All the bids so far have to be for those parts, they’re so rare! Michelle, if you talk about the Valiant’s close sister, you might be thinking of the Dodge Lancer, not the Dart. Although the e-Bay ad doesn’t mention it, Chrysler, as well as GM and AMC were dabbling with aluminum blocks in their economy cars. So, though I despise the styling of the Valiant and Lancer, just to be different, give me a Lancer GT with the aluminum block and Hyper-Pak. NASCAR tried to run a series of the new compacts, Valiant spanked the Falcon and Corvair bad!

    Like 1
    • jwaltb

      Look again. Hyper-Pacs mentioned numerous times.

  36. chrlsful

    they shipped these new, 2 dor only – into Oz.

    Some alu slant6s too (only ’60 as it was all attempts in new directions, copy the alu Buick. This 1 INJECTION molded tho, buick cast). Iron head (with 2 gaskets! one for each, to ‘slip past’ each other due to different expansion rates).

    Beautiful class mate (I tought so anyway) got one of these cast off & did as I (w/2 nxt gen dart waggys) & put 300K on the clock. As soon as she got the car (1st gen ’60/2) she painted Prince Valient (Sunday comic pages cartoon) on the space above the glovie, to the R of the dash grill (speaker space?) with a sceen/his face. Boy, never realized she could draw (exact copy) or paint (excellent use of color, choices). I never knew to look at her or the fine painting when she let me in fora beer and jont run or skip into the Boston late ’60s teen twenty-something adventures ~

    Like 1
  37. Steve Gee have them here in australia

    We had them here in australia, brilliant car ,was called the S valiant
    By Chrysler,,, that was the second type ! The first one was called the R ,
    With the tyre impression in the boot ,,push button auto or three on the tree
    One in exalient condition could sell for $20 thousand and more ,
    That’s $30 thousand and more in American $s,,,
    A great car that could easily be fiberglass ,so no more rusting ,
    We did it no one even knew it had been done !

    Like 1
  38. Cam Usher

    Love these Valiants , seems cheap too , that’d be $40k minimum in Australia. There’s a guy here that turned one into a ute (pickup) & it looks fantastic !

    Like 1
  39. normadesmond

    Wonderfully goofy!

  40. RNR

    This may be the most often posted car I’ve ever followed the comments on here!

  41. Roland Schoenke

    My first car was a ’64 Valiant 273 v8 push button automatic, when I saw the earlier ones I thanked my lucky stars I missed that generation. Thought they were fugly.

  42. Jwaltb

    Superb. Ly ugly.

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