Original Survivor: 1972 Plymouth Valiant Scamp

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The third-generation Plymouth Valiant was a sedan-only compact from 1967-69 until the fastback Duster came along in 1970. A year later, they added the 2-door hardtop Scamp to the line-up – and for the most part – it was a rebadged Dodge Dart Swinger. This 1972 edition is located in Anaheim, California and titled as a one-owner family car. It looks to be in nice original condition and runs good, although it’s been off the road for a bit. This Scamp is available here on eBay where the bidding stands at $8,200 with the reserve still open.

To pull off the Scamp, Plymouth used the Dart Swinger 2-door hardtop body shell and applied Valiant front sheet metal and dual taillamps borrowed from the ‘70 Dodge Dart. Unlike the Duster, the Scamp targeted the more conservative buyer who wanted the sporty look of the 2-door without getting into a larger automobile. As such, it was offered only as a hardtop with no convertible option from 1971 through the end of the Valiant’s run in 1976. The name would be revived one time, and for just one year in 1983, as Plymouth’s version of the FWD mini pick-up, the Dodge Rampage.

The seller’s 1972 Scamp was purchased last year from the original owner’s family after seeing just 60,000 miles over five decades. While we’re told it runs and drives great, it’s classified in “non-op” status by the California DMV. So, if the next owner titles the car in that state, he or she will likely have to make some catch-up registration payments that the state requires. It’s also a “blue plate” car for those who find that important. The seller says the car spent the last 10 years untouched in a garage and, by the looks of the photos, the seller has an affinity for collecting cars.

This Scamp appears to be finished in Sunfire Yellow with a matching vinyl top and interior. We’ll go out on a limb and say this is the original paint and there’s not a sign of rust anywhere. The chrome, trim and glass all look to be perfect or close to it. Along the way, someone has added one of those back-window brake lights that were mandated by the NHTSA beginning in 1986. The vinyl roof looks to be good, but there are no close-ups to tell for sure.

Things inside the car look good as well, although the front seats and headrest have started to show their age, while the back seat looks fine. Perhaps a good upholsterer can find and install matching front covers for all to blend. The dash pad looks good and the glass is tinted. Under the dashboard is the factory A/C unit that Chrysler used on those cars in the ‘60s and ‘70s, but if you look under the hood, there is no sign of a compressor. So that must have been removed at some point. The seller doesn’t mention whether the unit is still around.

Chrysler’s venerable 225 Slant-Six resides under the hood, paired with a TorqueFLite automatic transmission. The car has front disc brakes, and the stopping system has been serviced in terms of new rear brake cylinders and master cylinder. The water pump and thermostat have also been replaced. So, it seems its ready to rock and roll again, especially if you sort out the A/C mystery.

The Scamp was quite popular during its six-year Valiant association with some 428,000 copies made, 38,000 in 1972 alone. Hagerty suggests these cars top out at $10,000 and we’re betting that’s where the seller has pegged his reserve price. But you won’t have to spend a lot to make this car a regular on the Cars & Coffee circuit. At today’s prices, 10 grand isn’t a lot for a “weekend” car. Thanks, to All Par, for the production data.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. HoA Howard AMember

    I know, but for me, it never gets old,,,”AL”, it really was a ground breaking show. For once, all us hen pecked husbands had a hero. It was called “Al’s Dodge”, but was really a ’72 Duster. Now, a raise of hands, who had an “Auntie” with a car like this? Great find.

    Like 11
    • Rabbit

      Not my auntie, but ME. I picked up a (then) 20 year old ’69 Valiant 100 coupe for $75. It’s only options were the 225 (rather than the 170) and an automatic. No radio, no P/S, no P/B, no nothing. Car had 149,000 on it then, & we drove it for three years & another (hard) 100K before the torsion mounts gave out. All the car needed in that time was a brake rebuild, a valve cover gasket & a new used alternator. Bulletproof little car.

      Like 12
      • Buffalo Bob

        You forgot about it’s appetite for point sets. Tough little car.

        Like 4
      • HoA Howard AMember

        Ballast resistor, BB, If you drove a 70’s Mopar, you better have a spare ballast resistor with ya’,,,

        Like 13
      • Tman

        We bought a used 73 forest service Valiant for $800. They painted it white and this one had an automatic transmission and no radio. Tough little car. Although this on had a water leak into the trunk I could never figure out even after replacing the trunk seal, this car was driven hard. It only had 40,000 mi on it when we got it, this car lasted us for years.

        Like 3
      • Dickie F.

        So true, Rabbit.
        I was lucky enough to buy a 11k mile car in 1982. It was used to tow our 3 motorcycles to bike rallies for years, rather than endless miles spent in the saddle. We were not real biker’s bikers, any trip over 300 miles were done in the comfort of the Valiant. It brought back many a friend’s smashed bike on the trailer from a rally, It was strong enough to tow and absolutely reliable.

        Like 0
    • Mike Brown

      Never had an aunt or grandparent with one but my elementary school custodian drove a green 4 door Valiant the whole time I went there and was still driving it after I graduated high school and he retired. I’m sure that both he and the car have passed on by now but Mr. Meyer was a sensible guy and he drove a sensible car. He also had an early 70s Dodge 3/4 ton 4×4 with a snow plow for winter driving.

      Like 1
      • Little_Cars

        Sounds like a helpful bloke, as most were. Principal at mine also had one in green, not a Valiant but a Dart Swinger HT. She would shovel snow in front of the school so we wouldn’t miss a day of “learnin” and had us team up to raise the flag every day. No truck with plow attachment.

        Like 0
  2. jimmyx

    Non-op in California means the car is not being operated so that registration fees are suspended until the owner decides to register for street use in the future. Only when non-op is not selected does the vehicle keep incuring fees once the current registration expires.

    Like 12
    • Johnny

      Other words its a rip off fee for the state. Glad I don,t live their. I wonder what each year would cost someone? I like it all EXCEPT for the vinyl top and uni-frame. These cars were good on gas mile-age and dependable. I think anyone who drove a Chrysler product back then kept a spare resistor in the glove box and the points were not hard to set. Nothing compared to a distributor at the back of the motor.$10,000 for a week-end coffee trip-I think to alot of people who do not make good money–that is alot of money. Maybe for someone who lives at home and don,t have to pay for anything its not. Trying keeping a family and you,ll see real quick.Still this is a better car then any new one coming off the assembly line today.Better built and less expense to maintain.

      Like 3
      • Steve R

        Registration on a car this old is around $100 a year,but can approach $1,000 a year for newer car, pick ups with commercial plates are even more. If you are late by a few weeks or less, it doubles. The same thing happens the following year and every year afterward. I have friends that have bought cars like this where back registration was close to $1,000. It’s important to make sure it’s up to date, especially if you are buying from a flipper since the registration has lapsed for many of those cars and often have incomplete paperwork which can be time consuming and expensive to rectify.

        Steve R

        Like 0
  3. Joe Haska

    I agree 100% ,10K not out of line for this car, it wouldn’t take much to get it to look like 6,000 miles. I had a 69 Dart with the slant 6, 3 speed, it was the striped down 2-door, a little old ladys car. I drove it for several years and then sold it to my son, yes sold it, not for allot ,but you have to start somewhere. He also drove it several years and sold it to a Mo-Par fanatic. they are just great driver cars, the slant 6 is bullet proof.

    Like 0
  4. Jost

    Thats a beautiful old car.. take out the third brakelight ( it does not belong there) and just enjoy it. My brother had a 70 Dart Swinger 225 slant 6 and three on the tree…great car just as it is.

    Like 3
    • Tony Primo

      With everyone paying more attention to texting nowadays than driving, that third brake light might save you from getting rear ended.

      Like 14
      • Jost

        Good point, I retract my statement…leave it as is and enjoy, and don’t get rear ended.

        Like 5
  5. Slantasaurus

    Looks like a nice car overall, but along with the missing a/c parts I see missing heater hoses. Expect to spend some time under the dash sorting that out too.

    Like 4
    • DON

      Yeah , but at least on these cars you CAN get under the dash to work on it !

      Like 11
  6. Joe Machado

    You do not pay extra fees here in calli with a non op. Only pay for the whole year you reopen the registration. Example, if reg expires on a May 5, and you decide to re register the vehicle May 3, you will pay for that entire year. I know, stupid. So, register it the day after. Problem solved.
    Grandson has a 72 Valiant with 33,000 original miles.

    Like 5
  7. Harry

    Limu and Doug need their car back😆

    Like 11
    • Johnny

      I tried to tell my cousin the same thing. I have $300,000 and now days the med-i-vac will cost close to $50,000 to fly you 100 miles away. Plus I told him it helps me keep the roof over my head.

      Like 2
    • Jost

      Buy what you need refers to a usage app or transponder that plugs into your obd port. It tracks your driving habits over a 3 to 6 month period, adding to your discount for low usage. Discount decreases if you have aggressive starts, sudden stops and drive between midnight and 5 am. Results vary, most from what I see ( I am an insurance agent) discount about 10%. Rates cannot go up. Ads for pay for only what you use are a bit of a stretch but what ads aren’t.

      Like 1
    • PRA4SNW

      When I see car insurance commercials, I always wonder how much “accident forgiveness” actually costs you.
      It’s like paying for an accident in advance, and expecting to get into one.
      And now, they reverse that idea by short selling you with minimal coverage.

      Like 1
      • Jost

        It does not cost much but in order to compete with the carriers that spend 100 million a year on tv advertising it is seldom included in a quote, offered if people are interested..but no, not expensive. It is usually part of a package with other perks like vanishing deductible. Its not something that a price sensitive person would do.

        Like 1
  8. DrillnFill

    I like it a lot. There was a dark brown Scamp on this page a few months ago that really piqued my interest in the non-Duster A-bodies, and since then I’m the new owner of a ‘70 Dart Swinger. Fun little cars

    Like 3
  9. bone

    I could do with out the A/C, this is a car I could drive for the rest of my life – Good size , adequate power , easy to work on . I need nothing else in a car

    Like 6
  10. Achman

    My friend had a 72 swinger in Sarasota when we were in grad school. It had the 318 in it and he put a 4 barrel on it and it moved pretty well. Same color as this. Seats were velour and not as nice as these. I would take this and put a 340 in it, dual exhaust, everything else visually stock. Love it.

    Like 2
  11. Wayne ThomasMember

    My Father in Law bought one of these when he worked temporary at a Plymouth Dealership. He thought he wanted to sell cars. He worked one day long enough to purchase the Scamp for cash, then went back to his Construction Job and never received the Title, but registered it in Alabama to get a License Tag. After he passed away I bought it. It had the smaller Slant Six and was worn out. I repainted the car, obtained a Title from Alabama and transferred it to Ga. I replace the 170 with a used 225. “Bullet Proof”. Drove it several years and sold it to a Preacher to get my money back. Buyer may still be driving it.

    Like 0
  12. George Louis

    In 1972 Dart Swingers offered a Hounds tooth cloth interior .I know because I had a 1972 Dart Swinger with the fold down center arm rest, The velour seats did not come out until 1975 with the Dart SE editions in both 2 Door and 4 Door versions. Valiant also offered the same option editions. This little 1972 is probably going to need a valve lash adjustment and could benefit from and Electronic Ignition Conversion. I would also invest in some new battery cables as I am not a fan of terminal ends on the car now.

    Like 0
  13. Maestro1

    It’s a nice find, well done. Joe Machado has it right. Don’t worry about Non Op.
    Fix the car, never mind big engines and enjoy.

    Like 1
  14. Little_Cars

    I’ll take the Lincoln or first gen Firebird in the background!

    Like 1
  15. Leo

    I had a swinger. Paid about $1,200.00 for her. Wasn’t that old at the time. She was sweet! 318 Auto and looked almost like this one. So calm looking, but, man would she go! That car was so agile I could’ve done stunts in it. Moved and left her at my house. Was doing so good where I was, when a friend called and needed an engine for his step van, I said go ahead. DOH!!! Never got paid either.

    Like 1
  16. S

    I had a 73 Scamp which was equipped exactly like this – 225 slant 6, power steering and brakes, disk brakes, and a/c. Different color scheme. I like this a bit better since it has vent windows (73s didn’t have them) as well as nicer seats. It was a good size car. I liked it a lot.

    Like 1
  17. S

    By the way I am pretty sure this is light tan, and the color was called “parchment”. If it’s yellow, they used a light non-metallic yellow called “honey gold”. It looks tan to me though, inside and out.

    Like 2
  18. Mike Adams

    Once again, no way this is a 60,000 mile car.

    Odds are the heater box is shot, and that’s why the a/c compressor and heater hoses are gone. The front seat wouldn’t get that much wear in 60,000 miles, and the engine room overall looks like it was at one point filthy, and has been treated to a pretty good cleaning, a cleaning that took a good bit of the paint off of the air cleaner.

    Cute little car, but I’m not seeing the money for the condition.

    Like 1
  19. George Louis

    The car did not leak from the trunk seal but more likely from the back window rubber surrounding the rear glass.

    Like 1

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