Curbside Classic: 1976 Plymouth Valiant Brougham – Least Likely Brougham

(First posted 5/28/2012)   Jason Shafer recently had a post on a 1975-76 Plymouth Valiant, the sturdy, stalwart compact Ma Mopar wisely produced for most of the ’70s, then sadly replaced with a less than wonderful successor. But could Jason’s find have been an elusive Valiant Brougham? That reminded me that frequent Cohort contributor davo located an example a while back. So let’s continue today’s theme of green and white cars. A Valiant Brougham may seem like something of a contradiction in terms, but during the Great Brougham Era, anything was game.

The Valiant Brougham came out in 1974, as a mid-year addition I believe. It included a plush velour interior with upgraded carpet, additional sound proofing and other details. Brougham identification graced the C-pillars, of course. They also received the deluxe woodgrained and chrome-festooned instrument panel, and an attractive steering wheel with what has to be one of the last horn rings ever installed on a car.

The Great Brougham Epoch was clearly in swing. I mean, the Valiant? That plain-Jane, oh so practical compact, preferred by accountants, librarians and little old ladies across the country, available as a Brougham? Well, a lot of weird stuff happened in the ’70s.

Other standard features included a color-keyed vinyl roof, stand-up hood ornament, seat back pockets, and – oh, the luxury – an inside hood release and AM radio! Bucket seats were standard in both the sedan and two door hardtop, but bench seating was a no charge option. You also had a choice of the 225 Slant Six or 318 V8 with standard Torqueflite automatic. The V8 was, surprisingly, also a no cost option, so why not have a little power underhood?

Of course there was a Dodge version. The line between Dodge and Plymouth blurred quite a bit in the Seventies, and the Dart/Valiant twins became virtual twins starting in 1974, when the Valiant sedan lost its boxier sheetmetal and gained the Dart’s slightly shapelier four door body – and longer wheelbase. While I’ve never seen a Valiant Brougham in the metal, I did spot this ’75-’76 Dart Special Edition back in 1999. It was equipped in much the same fashion as the Valiant Brougham, and available in the same two body styles.

While the Volare/Aspen duo were supposed to replace the Valiant/Dart in 1976, the A-bodies continued for one more year. The Brougham was still available, though it was now an option package instead of a full-fledged model. After ’76, the Valiant, Dart and Duster, one of Mopar’s toughest little cars, would be gone.

Our featured car appears to be painted in the same colors as the brochure picture above, Frosty Green Metallic with a White vinyl roof. There has been some griping recently about Broughams, but just think – you could put factory buckets, a warmed-up 360 or 440 V8 with stock-appearing air cleaner and valve covers (don’t forget to keep the luxury wheel covers and whitewalls) and go embarrass much sportier looking vintage iron. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Thanks are in order to davo, for spotting this vintage Valiant and sharing it with us!