Valiant and related cars, including the Dodge Dart, Charger, 3700 GT, and Demon; Chrysler Valiant Charger, Drifter, Ute, and Pacer; and Plymouth Duster, Twister, Scamp, and Barracuda. Mobile-friendly adaptations, April 2015
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.
Muscle cars, like 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.
“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), and an optional pushbutton automatic. The last Plymouth Valiant was produced in 1976; the Chrysler Valiant continued in Australia through 1980. In South America, the car lasted until 1982 as the Dodge Dart, Chrysler 3700, and Dodge Charger.
“Rarely has a car with so little sex appeal been so popular for so long.” — Author Known
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 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.
Plymouth - Chrysler Valiant and other A-body cars
The Valiant and its siblings would change their shape and options, but their reliability would remain. See...
valiant.org was first set up in 1998; it is based on a site that started in 1994.