CC Outtake: 1961 Valiant Diesel • Clattered When Parked?

I don’t recall the asking price, but I do remember thinking it seemed very high when this ’61 Valiant was advertised repeatedly over several years, I think out of somewhere in New York. Going by the rust we see—up to and including the rearview mirror—it’s easy to imagine there’s a lot more rust we don’t see; probably not much left of the floors, the torsion bar anchors, and everything else in the lower 25 per cent of the car.

It’s still interesting, though, because that ain’t no Slant-6. Also, take a careful look through the windshield and see what you don’t see: no instrument cluster or steering wheel, because they’re hidden behind the hood; this car is a right-hooker.

Squack? A right-hand drive diesel ’61 Valiant, what even is this? There aren’t a whole lot of threads to tug at. This car was built many years before Chrysler experimented with diesel Slant-Sixes Given who was making what kinds of engines at that time, Perkins comes to mind as a reasonable guess as the source of this car’s engine. An old expired auction tracker provides a few images—only at stingily small size, sorry about that:

It’s apparently a brochure printed in the UK by Chrysler International to promote the 1962 diesel Valiant. This what’s shown here is a left-drive model.

Ah, yep, there we go—it’s a Finest Ever Perkins Diesel in the brochure car.

There’s the brochure engine, and here’s the only other pic I have of that flat-tired ’61:

I think that’s a match, judging by the area where the upper radiator hose connects to the engine. I imagine these cars were noisy, slow, smoky stinkpots, but they probably got relatively terrific mileage. They weren’t the only factory-built diesel-powered A-body Mopars, but they’re the only ones in this post; the others deserve one of their own.