Valiant-based cars, including the Dodge Dart; Chrysler Valiant Charger and Pacer; and Plymouth
Duster, Scamp, and Barracuda.
Valiant: Plymouth, Dodge, and Chrysler Cars Around the World
In its first year, the sporty Valiant took first through
seventh place in NASCAR’s compact car races and
won the Mobil Fuel Economy Challenge.
The Plymouth Duster and Valiant Charger had hot performance, but the Plymouth Valiant and Dodge Dart never lost their
reputation for rock-solid engines. (The Valiant was the basis of the Dodge Dart, early Plymouth Barracudas,
and the Australian Pacer — economy and racing cars, panel vans and coupes.)
All Duster Demon Chrysler 3700Barracuda Pacer Drifter Police
“Darts and Valiants were the Energizer bunnies of
compact cars, and many are still on the roads, their reputation for
longevity intact.” — The New York Times
Valiant history (and Dart, Duster, etc.)
The Valiant was
launched in 1959. European in feel, with its high-revving engine and torsion-bar suspension, it had an alternator — a Chrysler first for standard production cars. The last Plymouth Valiant was produced in 1976; the Chrysler
Valiant continued in Australia through 1980. In South America,
the car stayed until 1982. (See launch notes from Chrysler’s executives and styling leader, and from the engineering project leader.)
“Rarely has a car with so little sex
appeal been so popular for so long.” — Author Known
Related: Creating the Valiant Chronology Models Duster
development Dodge Dart
Valiant performance and racing cars
High-performance Plymouth Valiants included the early Hyper-Paks and Lotus racing
Valiant, big-block-eating 340s, the 383
Dodge Dart GTS, 440-powered Dodge Dart GSS, supercharged 1972 Gran
Spaulding Dodge Demons, and Hurst-prepared
426 Dodge Darts. Owners of the entry-level cars can upgrade their slant six engines.
In 1976, the Valiant-derived Plymouth Duster and Dodge Dart
Sport were the fastest four-passenger cars in America,
with a top speed of 121.8 mph (2.7 mph behind the Corvette). Australia’s Valiant Charger and Pacer set records and won car races in New Zealand. The Plymouth Feather
Duster achieved a 36 mpg rating.
Sean Renteria took a supercharged 1965 Valiant up to 209 mph in 6.63 seconds
in 2007, setting a new world record quarter-mile time.
New Zealand racing Lotus
Valiant V8 engines Hemi Six Pacer Chargers vs. Mustangs
Australia, Europe, South America
The most impressive Valiants were made in Australia, where a Hemi-head six-cylinder
engine, fed by Weber carburetors, set a speed record which
(arguably) still holds. Chrysler Valiant
Chargers became New Zealand's most
successful racing car.
The compact car was also popular in Spain, a sales leader in South Africa, and available in numerous forms in South America.
“The Swedish Valiant had a very good reputation for reliability, they said that it was so good even a cop couldn't break it.” — Mattias Johansson
New Zealand Canada South Africa South America Spain
Plymouth - Chrysler Valiant and other A-body cars
“The Dart and Valiant ran forever, and they should never have been dropped.” — Lee Iacocca
The Valiant and its siblings would change their shape and
options, but their reliability would remain. See...
Specs Engines Transmissions Valiant StoriesRepairs/parts Forum
Ranger, Safari, and Regal
valiant.org was first set up in 1998, the continuation of a site started in 1994.