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The Valiant cars, including the Chrysler Valiant Charger, Drifter, Ute, and Pacer; Dodge Dart, Charger, 3700 GT, and Demon; and Plymouth Duster, Twister, Scamp, and Barr
The Valiant-Dart family - Plymouths, Dodges, and Chryslers
In its first year, the sporty Valiant by Chrysler took first through seventh place in NASCAR’s compact car races — and won the Mobil Fuel Economy Challenge.
While the two-door muscle versions, Plymouth Duster and Valiant Charger, were popular and hot, the Plymouth Valiant and Dodge Dart never lost their reputation for rock-solid engines, from slant-six to Hemi Six to 340 V8.
The Valiant was the basis of the Dodge Dart, Plymouth Duster, Demon, Dodge Lancer, Demon, Plymouth Scamp, Chrysler 3700, early Plymouth Barracudas, and Australian Charger, Pacer, Drifter, Utility, and others - economy and racing cars, panel vans and coupes. The third generation of the Valiant was renamed, and known as the Volare, Aspen, LeBaron, Diplomat, and Gran Fury.
"Rarely has a car with so little sex appeal been so popular for so long." - Author Known
"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
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. See the story.
Valiant history (and Dart, Duster, etc.)
The Valiant was launched in 1959. The car was European in nature, from its high-revving engine to its curvaceous body; it had an alternator (a Chrysler first), a pushbutton automatic, and a torsion bar suspension, once unique to expensive cars, for superior handling.
The last Plymouth Valiant was produced in 1976, when it was replaced by the Plymouth Volare. The Chrysler Valiant continued in Australia through 1980, and in South America through 1982 (as the Dodge Dart, Chrysler 3700, and Dodge Charger). The car continued in modified form, as the Dodge Diplomat / Plymouth Gran Fury, until 1989.
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 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
Valiant performance and racing cars
High-performance Plymouth Valiants included the early HyperPaks and Lotus racing Plymouth 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. That’s not to mention the infamous Mr. Norm’s Hemi-powered 1968 Dart - now once again available.
In 1976, the Valiant-derived Plymouth Duster and Dodge Dart Sport were the fastest sedans 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 numerous car races in New Zealand. The 36-mpg Plymouth Feather Duster had gas mileage that is admirable today.
Even owners of the entry-level cars upgrade their slant six engines.
"Chrysler passenger cars returned to Australia in 1996 to find Australian reverence for the beloved Valiant was still intact." - Chrysler Australia
Plymouth - Chrysler Valiant and other A-body cars
The Valiant and its siblings would change their shape and options, but their reliability would remain. We have specifications, stories, information, and photos covering a wide range of models and years.
Information for Plymouth Valiant, Dodge Dart, and related car owners
If you own a Plymouth Valiant, Plymouth Duster, Dodge Dart, Demon, etc., visit the repairs and parts page. Also visit:
valiant.org was first set up in 1998; it is based on a site that started in 1994.