Working Class Heroes: Dart And Valiant Parts Cars

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Madison, Connecticut is a relatively prosperous suburban community about 20 miles east of New Haven, with frontage on Long Island Sound and woodlands dotted with homes north of I-95. This ad sounds more like it is from Vermont or New Hampshire than southern Connecticut: partly buried on a hill in the woods in an old sawmill and used in the operation of a maple sugaring operation! The owner doesn’t just have this one, but 3 more of various years and now they are for sale here on craigslist with no price, but the seller wants someone to come and make an offer and “take them away.”

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It looks like at least the 1973 Dart has a chance of being resurrected, but these were extremely common cars in their day and as a plain Jane four door sedan, with plenty of running driving examples still on the road at reasonable prices, it seems unlikely anyone would invest money to bring this car back to running condition.

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And the rest of these cars look so trashed it’s unlikely they are even worth the cost and time to part them out. We have a 1971 Scamp with no motor that a tree fell on but the seller thinks is savable (why?) And then there are two 1961 Valiant four doors who have both led very rough lives: “The trunk lids were pulled and the roofs cut and folded down into the interior and believe it or not, they have been used to haul the split firewood down from the mill and to the house, for over 30 years. One has broken in two and is probably not worth its scrap value, the other ran until just about a year ago. It has the 171 slant six and a custom low range crawler set up.. a manual 3 spd was bolted up to the rear flange of the auto trans. so it could creep through the woods and haul loads of cut wood.”

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Anyone see these four sad cases as anything more than scrap or, at best, worth salvaging for parts? I feel bad about junking any old car at this point, but at least three of these four seem too far gone. I have to admire the owner’s mechanical ingenuity, and the reputation for reliability these Darts and Valiants have as workhorses is further enhanced by this story. But it sure seems too late in their lives for resurrection, and perhaps better to wish them all a fond goodbye now that their working days are done. What do you think, anything worth saving here?

 

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Comments

  1. Dirty Dingus McGee

    Cost more to haul them away than they are worth.

  2. Steve

    Would make interesting yard art. And proves Mopar A and D bodies will be the last cars rolling in a post-apocalyptic Mad Max kinda world.

  3. Paul R

    The Slant 6 was a bulletproof engine.
    Solid lifters and a 4.125 inch stroke steel crank until the last few years of production. The engine “Slant” of 30° was a design so it would fit under the low hood of the Valiant. They did like to leak a little oil and access to the distributor was a pain.

    My neighbor towed a huge air-stream camper all over the country with a 225 equipped Plymouth Valiant. Something you would only see behind a 3/4 ton truck today.

  4. Mike D

    I looked at the pics before reading the ad, I was going to say that the red 73 could be used as parts for the yellow 73 , add me to saying in unison they aren’t worth the powder to blow them up

  5. Chebby

    I’ll make ya an offer: light a match!

  6. packrat

    Break ’em for trim and drivetrain spares. The ’60-61’s are getting rare-ish.

  7. Luke Fitzgerald

    Speechless

  8. Tundra/BMW Guy

    Is this gentleman saying he will make YOU an offer to take them away?!?! I mean, if he thinks someone is going to make HIM an offer, uuuummmm words defy me……..ashes to ashes, rust to dust………………. Wow! Just WOW!

  9. piper62j

    Couldn’t kill that slant 6.. Too bad those bodies were rust buckets..

    • brucrcolbert

      yeah… that ’72 Dart I bought brand new got rusty in two (2 ) years not to mention the ball joints wore out also.

  10. Charlie H

    I was hoping to see a flat belt to the rear wheel running the sawmill!

  11. Jason Houston

    Ah, but New England is a NASTY place to store a car. The only ones with any possible collector potential are the ones most reduced to useless junk. He’ll probably get bids to haul them off.

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