I’ve always had a special place in my MM garage for a 1967 Valiant two-door sedan. The one I spec’ed for myself in 1967 from the brochure was a bit different than this ’68, shot on the streets of Vancouver by nifticus, but close enough to get my interest.
The one I mentally ordered up for myself was closer to this ’68 Signet two-door, with the chrome trim around the windows and the nicer interior, along with the four-barrel 273 V8 and four speed manual, and the optional handling package. A Barracuda Formula S in a box, in other words. Why I would spend the time on this mental exercise is another question, but that’s how I spent idle hours in my room instead of doing homework.
The irony is of course that one year later, in 1968, my father bought a similar Dart two-door, but of course totally stripped and with the small 170 inch slant six and three-on-the-tree. Its embarrassing story is here. But that hasn’t cooled my ardor for these A-Bodies, and this is a very fine example of the breed. Looks like those wheels are 15 inchers, but with the stock hubcaps.
In my adult imagination, the 273 V8 has given way to a Hyperpak slant six (or comparable, with aftermarket parts); just for the fun of it, let’s make it the 198 inch version (from a later car), because some folks in the know think it has the ideal bore/stroke ratio of the family (3.40″/3.64″), for the best balance of high-end power and torque. The 170 was the short stroke revver in the family, and the 225 was the long-stroke torquer, but the 198 hit the sweet spot. The 198 also has the longest connecting rod of all three engines, with a center-to-center distance of 7.006″. A long rod has a number of advantages, but I’ll let someone else explain them, as it gets a bit lengthy.
And the 198 is backed up by a T-5 five speed. Anything less than five gears just doesn’t cut it.
Back to reality. Given the dual exhausts, this Valiant is almost certainly packing V8 power, although duals for a hot six are quite acceptable too. I’m just being realistic. Well, that’s what I was wanting back in 1967, so I can’t really blame them, even if my wishes have changed.