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Car and Driver: Aging Punx! Re-Live Your Fumbling Youth with this 1960 Valiant!


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1960 Plymouth Valiant


The mighty Road Toad! In the 1990s, Mopar A-bodies were a staple mode of transport in the Bay Area punk scene. Cheap-as-free, largely unrusted under the California sun, simple to work on, and boasting oodles of cred owing to a mention in the Circle Jerks’ cover of “Wild in the Streets”: “Got a ’64 Valiant, a handful of Valium, a couple of beers really do me right.” And really, what more did a misanthropic Gen-X’er need at that stage of his or her life?


1960 Plymouth Valiant


The Valiant was the first unibody Chrysler product of the modern era. It made extensive use of aluminum, including the case for the  TorqueFlite A904 automatic transmission. In 1961, 1962, and into ’63, its Slant Six engine was even available with an aluminum block. In fact, standing as the first application of that storied engine might be the Valiant’s most important contribution to Chrysler history. The Leaning Tower of Power was originally designed to be cast of the lightweight, nonferrous material, leaving it somewhat overbuilt when cast in iron.


1960 Plymouth Valiant


This one, however, isn’t exactly cheap, carrying an eBay Buy It Now price of $11,500. It’s a ’60 Valiant V200, from the sole year that Valiant existed as a standalone brand before being absorbed into the Plymouth lineup. For 1962, the Valiant abandoned its cateye taillights for round units mounted below the tailfins. In 1963, it, along with the newly-downsized Dart, saw a restyle that put it more in line with the slab-sided look of its mid-Sixties competition, the Chevy II and Ford Falcon.


As a V200, this example is the fanciest Valiant sold in its debut year. According to the seller, it’s equipped with an automatic transmission, power brakes, and air conditioning, and comes will all the parts to convert the little A-body to power steering. His reason for selling? His old bones are making it troublesome to get into the old girl. Perhaps some enterprising punker who made a few bucks in tech might buy it and motor down to Oakland’s Ruby Room for a beverage, and mutter about Neurosis. And neuroses. That’s the way nostalgia works, right?


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