Exclusive: 1961 Plymouth Valiant

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

We have previously featured this 1961 Plymouth Valiant here at Barn Finds, but it failed to sell on that occasion. The owner is keen for it to find a new home because he has made a substantial price drop. Potential buyers will have some choices with this classic, and none of them seem bad. The Valiant represents a rare opportunity for someone to allow their imagination to run riot to create something genuinely unique. If you are intrigued by that prospect, you will find the Plymouth located in Taylor, Missouri, and listed for sale here on Barn Finds Classifieds. The owner has knocked nearly 30% off his original asking price, meaning you could take it away for a mere $2,500.

We’ve previously seen this Valiant featured in this excellent article by our Russ Dixon. Little has changed since then beyond a dramatic price decrease. It appears that someone intended to create a drag racer of some description, which explains the lack of floors and some additional fabricated frame components. Most of the original frame seems intact, so removing the additions and welding in replacement floor pans would be easy and relatively inexpensive. The buyer won’t need to spend a fortune on the panels because they look remarkably clean and free from significant rust. The Blue paint isn’t original, and as Russ rightly noted, there’s evidence to suggest that Regal Red may have graced its panels in 1961. The exterior trim, much of which is aluminum, seems really nice. There are no issues with the glass, while items like taillight lenses are also suitable for reuse. While pursuing the existing path or performing a refurbishment to a road-going state are possible, there is a third option worth considering. With so much of this classic in good condition, it could serve as a perfect source of parts for another project build. Considering reproduction rear quarter panels sell for around $270 each, and decent secondhand bumpers regularly fetch $300, that is the story’s beginning. A grille will lighten a buyer’s wallet by $350, and with doors selling for a similar figure, parting out this Valiant could prove a profitable activity.

Plymouth offered buyers in 1961 three versions of the iconic slant-six motor to slot under the hood of their new Valiant. The entry-level unit was the 170ci version that produced 101hp in standard form or 148hp if the buyer selected the Hyper Pack option. The other was the venerable 225ci powerplant producing 145hp. None of these engines was a dud, and all endowed the Valiant with class-leading performance. The original owner backed their engine of choice with a TorqueFlite transmission, meaning that the car would have achieved a ¼ mile ET of between a neat 18 and 20.3 seconds. As part of the transformation, the original engine and transmission are gone, although the rear end remains intact. Somebody has performed some suspension changes, including installing front leaf springs. However, these modifications would appear reversible if that’s the buyer’s aim.

There’s not much to say about the Valiant’s interior because it has been stripped of almost everything. The wheel looks restorable, as is the machine-turned gauge cluster. There are no signs of upholstery or essential components like seat frames. Depending on the buyer’s selected path, custom trim could feature prominently in their vision. One of the primary attractions of the Valiant as a project car is the relatively high production total. That means locating interior hardware would not be difficult, with many pick-a-parts proving an affordable goldmine.

Now that you’ve seen all this 1961 Plymouth Valiant offers, what would be your approach? Thanks to its inherent low weight, it would make an ideal candidate for a drag car. It hasn’t reached the point of no return, so reverting to street duty in some form is possible. As you’ve seen, it could also serve as a valuable source of parts for another project build. There could be other options that we haven’t considered, so let your mind off its leash. You might devise another path that makes this classic impossible to resist. I hope someone does something because it is too nice to leave exposed to the elements. What do you say?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. HoA Howard AMember

    Hmm, must have missed it. Probably during one of my “BF’s pixxes me off” periods. A 2 door ’61 Valiant is just one of the most obscure cars you will ever find. This is too far gone to do anything with. Such a shame, I mean, this was one of Chryslers most influential cars, it signaled the beginning of the compact car age, and to see one like this, just a shame, is all.

    Like 19
  2. Nolan Brandsma

    What he said 👍

    Like 4
  3. That AMC Guy

    Sheesh, what a waste of what was probably a perfectly good Valiant.

    Like 11
  4. David Zornig

    `61 Valiant V100 2 door sedan.
    1 of 22,230 built.
    170 /6 was standard, 225 /6 became optional mid year `61.

    Like 1
  5. benjy58

    With enough time and money you can fix anything. I cant see putting 10,000 into a 5000. car.

    Like 0
    • Psychofish2

      Upvote…. but that only means you’re not doing it right. ;-}

      Like 0
  6. CraigR

    Just because something can be done doesn’t mean it should be.

    Like 2
  7. Rigor Mortis

    Such a shame. The interior trim is gone. Is that made today? That alone might sink a decent restoration. If I could get this at a more reasonable price (Asking is too much, maybe a third of that) and I were a younger man, it would be in my garage to slowly bring back to life. An hour after supper nightly and some weekend afternoons would not only give me a nice car, it would sooth my troubled soul. That is what working on cars used to do for me.

    Like 5
    • Mike Brown

      That’s what it still does for my wife and me. We’re both in our mid 50s and our garage/shop is never without some sort of automotive project.

      Like 0
  8. KC JohnMember

    Come on. Are we missing the forest for the trees here? Restore this thing? Go ahead, Gasser this thing! Then all that ugliness becomes in your face Nastiness. It’s cheap, it’d be fun. Having fun is why I’m still in the hobby. Sorry to whoever I ticked off. It’s just my opinion.

    Like 23
    • Ross

      Yep! I think you got the right plan. Never was as collectible as it was unique. Make a cool drag week car!

      Like 6
      • Steve RM

        Might as well rod, gasser, whatever, because a stock restotation just makes no sense. Even in mint cindition it’a still ugly. Not every car past a certain age has to be saved. Parts car.

        Like 1
    • HoA Howard AMember

      I don’t think your opinion ticked anyone off, it’s why we’re here. Besides, I tick people off the most. I think, MAYBE 30 ( 40?) years ago, when there still might have been Valiants a plenty, and gassers were the thing, yes, this would be exactly what one would see at the strip. However, cars like this are unobtainium today, drag racing is fizzling fast( and don’t give me that “no it isn’t crap”,,it’s over, or will be soon, face it) and someone trying to relive that era by creating a gasser today, is living in the past. A restored ’61 2 door Valiant, with it’s swoopy styling, and a slanty, would be a hit today.

      Like 4
      • RNR

        Howard, this readership relives the past with every BF post.

        Like 4
  9. BoatmanMember

    Is that the Scenicruiser recently featured here in the background?

    Like 1
  10. Kenneth Carney

    I built one of these into a street machine
    in the early ’70s just for something to do. It ran a 392 that made 750 HP on
    pump gas. The hemi was built by following along with Rod & Custom’s
    Project 200 series of articles that began in 1971. The tranny was a beefed up
    727 with B&M HD parts including the
    torque converter. And while I don’t
    recall what kind of rear end I used, but
    it was strong enough to take what the
    elephant motor up front could dish out
    and that was fine with me. When it was all said and done, my future BIL and I
    took it out for it’s maiden voyage where
    we got into trouble with the local
    constabulary! My Dad talked to the judge who said he’d throw out the charges if I sold my car to someone who would drive it at the dragstrip instead of on the street. As of 2014,
    my car was still running high twelves
    at the Assumption dragwsy in assumption, Illinois. Seeing this car makes me wanna build another one.
    Oh to be young again!

    Like 0
  11. Rw

    Er mi gurd

    Like 2
  12. flynndawg

    is it 1 April… ???

    Like 2
  13. Bunky

    1) Anyone who says that a 170 slant six is not a dud, has never experienced one.
    2) This is a parts car, unless someone else shares the “Gasser” delusion.
    3) My choice? Next listing…

    Like 1
  14. Steve

    Dimple the firewall plus 413, tall tires in back ditch the front springs, traction bars in back and go.

    Like 0
  15. Steve

    Add a Chrysler or dodge truck 413.

    Like 0
  16. Carmanic CarmanicMember

    I see the cheapest entrée into the Southeast Gassers Association w/o inciting the restoration community. https://www.southeastgassers.com/

    That, or a parts car.

    Like 2
  17. Troy

    There is a 4 door one listed for sale on Hemmings that apparently was featured in Mopar magazine in 94 asking price is $43,900 so I guess you could have some fun and make some money

    Like 0
  18. Steve Clinton

    “it failed to sell on that occasion.”
    I can understand why. This is one car that’s NOT outstanding in its field!

    Like 0
  19. jim

    This looks like good sheetmetal and a lot of good parts for someone doing a restoration on a rusted out one with good drive train and interior if I was doing one I sure would buy it. Most of them went to the scrapyard because of rustout in this area of Pa

    Like 0
  20. scottymac

    This was part of the ChryCo/Exner dud period, the toilet seat deck lid was a highlight. I don’t think there’s one vehicle from their 1961-63 lineup I’d park in my garage. I saw one exception some years back, a 1962 Dodge Lancer GT, the Valiant’s cousin for a year or two. It had an aluminum block, wasn’t there a 198c.i. version of the slant six, too? The head was already missing, and the block was an open deck design. All I could see was blown head gaskets in the future, and walked away.

    Like 1
  21. Tony S.

    $2,500 and it’s barely a roller?!?! This world has gone Krazy.

    Like 0
  22. Dave

    Not worth restoring, but seems to have good bones. If I were 50 years younger, I’d put in a 340 with whatever transmission came with the 340, or something deceptive like possibly a 3 on the tree (to give it a more stock look), disc brakes all around, a comfortable modern interior, and a subdued paint scheme suitable for the times. Then I would drive it everywhere. I imagine a rusted out Duster, Demon, Valiant, Dart, or even a Volare or Aspen with a good power train could be picked up cheap and would provide a lot of go parts. Add in AC and a good stereo and I’d be set. I would still have more in the car than what it’s worth, but it would be a fun driver.

    Like 0
  23. chrlsful

    now that was weird even in the day. And this guy has accented it w/the tires (o0OP, I see, no driveline, a lill higher).

    “…three versions of the iconic slant-six motor…”
    170/225 and the 3rd? Not made…

    Being such an odd ball I;d say restore, but certainly isa candidate for strip or oval. Depends on ur respect for the car, $ and interests.

    Thnx for da write-up Adam~

    Like 0
    • Jim

      There was also a slant 6 with 198 cubes

      Like 0
  24. Glenn SchwassMember

    My parents had a black 61 . Slant 6 with 3 on the tree. This is interesting but I can’t weld so would not take it on. The wagons are really cool looking but even more rare. They rusted away here in Philadelphia in only 8-10 years. They all went to the bone yard with fine running towers of power like an Energizer Bunny.
    Hope someone saves it. Slam a 340 in it and have a blast.

    Like 0
  25. Glenn ReynoldsMember

    I’m probably mistaken, but I don’t remember any 2 door Valiant’s until the second generation came out.

    Like 0
    • Claudio

      Toilet seat trunk lid describes it very well and the rest of it is ugly …

      Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds