William Oliver just posted these shots at the Cohort that are just terrific. I could gaze at this one for…to long. There’s something so elemental and timeless about this Valaint, which I peg to be a ’75 or ’76 by its grille. That would make it the last year or so, before it got replaced by the star-crossed Volare, which stumbled so badly out of the gate.
Who bought this stripper Valiant in 1975, by which time that concept was largely extinct? And who posed it so perfectly in 2019?
Given the reputation it developed, it’s easy to forget that the Valiant was only around for sixteen years. It came to stand for the best reliable cheap new car, as well as the best reliable cheap used car for the following fifteen years or so. Or in other words, it and its Dodge Dart twin were the Toyota Corolla of its time. That’s the best way to describe these to someone who didn’t live through the Dariant era.
The steady gently-ticking thrumm of its slant six engine (thanks to its mechanical valve lifters) inspired confidence to its owners after the distinctive nayrr-nayrr-nayrr reduction starter invariably brought it to life. And the solid but gentl surge felt against its brakes when the gear lever brought the TorqueFlite into Drive. “Drive”? Yes, always ready to drive. In 1975, and in 2019.
It was Valiant right to the end.