Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: 1965 Plymouth Valiant V200 Convertible – Valiantly Sunburned

Coastal California has the perfect convertible climate: lots of sun, but it’s not too hot or humid. Folks just leave their tops down; or at least they used too, before convertibles became so tony and precious and air conditioned. None of that applies to this ’65 Valiant ragtop, it doesn’t even have a top anymore. It’s the kind of car one used to see a lot in certain locales, especially in beach towns, as they rather reflected a laid back life style, and not caring what other folks thought about the condition of your car, especially its interior.

William Garret found and shot this one in San Jose, and it so typifies the California lifestyle. The series of hundreds of stills on Sunset Boulevard shot in 1966 that we posted here showed how popular these compact Valiants and Darts were of the 1963 – 1966 vintage; they were clearly the forerunners of the Mustang, as buyers gravitated to something compact and sporty without giving up certain American car qualities. And convertibles were an unusually high percentage of all the cars seen in that series.

William noted that he’d driven by this car for months before he stopped, and it always had the top down. And when he shot it, it appeared that there apparently was no top anyway. It rather explains the sunburned interior.

Lacking a V8 emblem, we can be pretty sure that a 225 slant six has been leaning against the torque converter of the Torqueflite transmission for some 57 years now.

The California climate is a lot easier on paint and steel than it is on upholstery.