Cohort Outtake: Lustworthy 1968 Plymouth Valiant Two-Door Sedan – Hot Slant Six Or V8?

Plymouth Valiant 1968 fq

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.

CC 164 002 1200 crop

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.

Plymouth Valiant 1968 side

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.

Plymouth Valiant 1968 valiant rear

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.