Former Drag Car: 1964 Plymouth Valiant

Calling on Road Kill, I think I found your next project. This is definitely a car not seen often, in any form, anymore, 1964 Plymouth Valiant, two-door hardtop. As to the actual model, it appears to be a V-200 but it’s hard to tell with its race car transformation that appears to have happened long ago. There may be some history involved, let’s find out. Located in Enfield, New Hampshire, this Plymouth is available here on eBay for a classified price of $3,900; there is a “make an offer” option too.

Plymouth’s valiant was a compact market entry, designed to compete against the likes of the Dodge Dart, Ford Falcon, Chevrolet Corvair, and later, the Chevy II. Body styles included two-door hardtops and sedans, four-door sedans, a station wagon, and a convertible. Two notable things occurred to the Valiant in ’64, the spawning of the Barracuda sports version, introduced about a week before the new Ford Mustang, and the option of a 273 CI V8 engine, joining up with the existing six-cylinder powerplants. It was a good year, indeed, for the Plymouth Valiant with about 227K copies produced.

But why consider only a 273 CI engine when a Valiant can swallow a Hemi into its maw? At least that’s what the seller states was under the hood in this former hot rod’s race car days. Nowadays, a 383 CI “B” block Mopar engine calls this Valiant home. It is of undisclosed origin and is not stated as running or non-running but the image presents a non-operative motor. While the interior shot reveals this as a three-pedal car, it now houses an automatic transmission. Based on the slicks, there is an assumption that this Plymouth would have to have a substantial differential under its backside but there’s no reference.

The interior of this Valiant, while gutted, is a study in race car internals. The dash is still in place but the instrument panel is gone and a horizontal piece of the tubular roll cage passes in front of the dash, connecting to either side of the cage’s vertical posts. The floor has been cut away to allow room for the transmission to be positioned further back into the passenger compartment probably as a result of the engine swap. There is also what appears to be a safety hoop crossing over the top of the transmission. The roll cage actually looks more like a roll bar in terms of solidity and doesn’t present an image of strength. Curiously, the door cards are still in place, components that seem likely to been tossed early on. As is, the interior is not useable.

Outside is racecar rough. The body does not appear to have been cut but the rear wheel houses would have to have been tubbed to accommodate slicks of this size. Surface rust is everywhere but the body is not showing evidence of failing due to deterioration. Interestingly, most of the trim is still in place, though the front bumper has been removed. The hood is in possession of what looks like a Mopar factory scoop, perhaps from a Challenger, but it appears to be glued on and has the likelihood of blowing off. A thorough blasting and repainting would do this Valiant a world of good appearance-wise.

 

Well, I was hoping for some race car history but none was provided. Being this vintage Valiant and considering its current condition, returning this Plymouth to some semblance of its original condition is probably out of the question. It could be amped back up as a race car or unmodified slightly to present as a vintage street-racer. This car’s future direction seems a bit limited in scope but there are options; what would be your recommendation?

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Comments

  1. MattR Member

    My recommendation would be not to drive this on ice and snow.

    14
  2. Steve R

    It’s so far removed from being track legal that it doesn’t make any sense to try and bring it back as a race car. Someone might try and make it into some sort of retro, low bucks Gasser by working with what’s there as the foundation of a build.

    Steve R

    6
    • Dave

      More like a project that died before it could kill anyone. The engine looks like it was lifted from an air-conditioned Chrysler (the twin belt alternator was used on those) and never got any speed parts (it still has the stock air cleaner). Back then when the wheels stuck out from the fenders the rear shocks got replaced by solid steel links which killed the rear suspension, which turned it into a widowmaker. This was a backyard project that, if it ever went to the track, was perhaps capable of a low 13/high 12 second time thanks to the 270 horse (two barrel carb) 383. If the price is right partsing it out is the best option.

      4
  3. Robt

    Awesome yard art.
    Truthfully I think it’d make a great project. Don’t know if I’ve ever seen this body as a 2 dr hardtop before. With some milder rear rubber and a 4 spd it would even be steetable. Now I’ve got to go find 4 grand. And a garage.

    8
  4. David Zornig

    It is a `65 based on the Vin number, front fender hair pins and tail lights.
    Originally a 6 cylinder Signet car built in Detroit.

    5
    • Ron

      Correct, grille and taillights are ‘65 for sure…

      1
  5. Jay

    65

  6. Paolo

    This climate change is just crazy! Snow and ice in July, meanwhile we’re sweating it out here in California! It’s the end of the world, I tells ya’!
    OTOH I do like the idea of a B-383 in an early A-body. I would demand to know more of this heap’s history if I were serious about it. I definitely think someone should grab this and have fun with it.

    5
  7. bobhess bobhess Member

    Rear hasn’t been tubbed. These days you would tub the rear to get the slicks under the body metal and the rear closer to the ground. Correct comment on the roll cage. Would have to have triangulation tubes welded in to comply with any organization’s safety rules. Still, interesting car.

    2
  8. Will Irby

    The rear wheel houses have not been rubbed, but the restrictive edges of the outer fenderwells have been cut to eliminate the horizontal upper edge.

    p.s. It’s a ’65, not a ’66.

  9. Will Irby

    Oops, I meant “tubbed”, not “rubbed”.

    4
  10. TimM

    It’s July so when were these pictures taken????? It’s not a desirable car so I opt for parting it out!!! To much money to make it a street car and to much money to put it back on the track if it was ever there!!!

  11. Robt

    An additional thought to my post above.
    I’d find a small block to put in front of a 4 or 5spd. I would want this car to be able to hustle around curves as well as accelerate straight.
    Cool looking car.

  12. Mikey8

    Good name…Roadkill… couldn’t describe it any better than that….

    1
  13. Russell Ashley

    It’s sad that this car ever got into this condition. Those Valiants of the mid sixties were sweet drivers. They looked good and rode good with their torsion bar suspension, and performed good even with the slant six engine. I had a 65 Barracuda with slant six, automatic, and Montgomery Ward a/c. This car possibly could look good if someone like me who loves these Valiants got it and fixed it back to somewhat stock. The fact that it’s a two door hard top makes it more appealing. It would be interesting to see what eventually happens to it.

  14. John Oliveri

    Reminds me of the Fury in Thunderbolt and lightfoot, the red neck picks up Clint Eastwood and his pal Lightfoot and rolls it

    1
    • Troy s

      With the exhaust ran into the interior! That thing was nuts.

  15. David M. Sawdey

    I actually like this car. Looks like something from the Road Warrior

  16. Gary wayne

    Not that it really matters on this car but it’s a 1965 Valiant.

    • Jim ODonnell Jim ODonnell Staff

      Gary:

      Yes, thank you, others have noted that as well. Unless it is really obvious, we go with the description that the seller uses to describe their vehicle.

      JO

      1
  17. ACZ

    Take it to the crusher and make it into a paper weight.

    • Grumpyboy

      No Way Man!

      Back in the 70’s this would be a daily driver.

      4
      • ACZ

        This isn’t the 70s and this is a recipe for disaster.

        1

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