1974 Plymouth Valiant 318 cu in V8


A fine vehicle designed to last!!!


Thus far the only mechanical issue I have experienced with the car was a dead battery, which occurred during a cold snap this past January... after accessing the shape of the original battery, I decided to purchase a new one and haven't had any issues since then.

There are small "annoyances" that occur... a couple of the dash lights illuminate "off and on"...

Water from rain and snow melt seem to enter the car through the trunk and glove box.

General Comments:

The 1974 Plymouth Valiant was a vehicle designed for the budget minded consumer who needed a reliable mid size sedan for local commutes, and is a car built simply enough for a novice mechanic (like myself!!!) to perform general repairs and maintenance.

The majority of the parts on this vehicle are easily accessible and can still be purchased through local auto parts stores... I haven't encountered any difficulties so far obtaining maintenance items --- spark plugs, filters, etc...

The overall functionality of the car is very good... I am impressed with the reliability and performance of the 318 V-8 engine in my Valiant... it has the power when you need it, but is also a good cruiser for day-to-day commuting.

If I had to make one negative comment about this engine I would have to say that the gas mileage is a bit disappointing... on average I have been getting 12 miles per gallon, which combines city and highway mileage... I have tuned up the vehicle and it still yields this subpar mileage.

As far as other specs on the car, I have been equally impressed. It handles well and seems to have very responsive steering ability; highway cruising is a breeze in this car -- not mushy or wandering all over the road... holds the road very nicely. I need to replace the rear shocks on the car for an even better ride... they have worn out.

Most of the other systems in the car... transmission, brakes, electrical --- are in good working order. I drained and refilled the radiator and backflushed the heater core earlier this year; this seemed to help the performance of the heater which previously blew cold air.

Overall... I have been pleased with this classic mopar product!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th July, 2009

13th Aug 2009, 16:07

That was a fun review to read --- glad that you are enjoying the car!

I've owned a few 318 vehicles ('73 Charger, '75 Charger, '85 Ram) and totally agree about the reliability of the 318. Cruising on the highway at 60-65, I think it's typical for a '70s era 318 car to get about 18-22 mpg, depending on terrain and driving habits. I typically get 22 mpg in my '73, with a maximum of 24 mpg, and get about 14 mpg in short trip and city driving. Remember, this was the era when it was really important to "drive like there is an egg under your foot" before computers adjusted fuel and acceleration. You might bring that mpg figure up if you're gentle on the throttle.

1974 Plymouth Valiant 318 cu in V8


A classic Chrysler product made to last and last


Worn seats and seat springs.

Otherwise haven't encountered any issues yet; it appears to be a durable, well built vehicle produced 35 years ago.

General Comments:

The 1974 Plymouth Valiant appears to be a well built, durable vehicle that was designed for economy and simplicity... no, this car doesn't have any of the "bells and whistles" that we have become quite accustomed to owning in 2008. My Valiant has heat and a radio (AM radio at that!!!)... no power anything. I think this is a desirable feature... such amenities almost certainly break over time and are normally quite expensive to fix.

This Valiant is powered by a 318 cu in V-8... quite snappy and responsive off the line, but I am told that the gas mileage is actually better than what might be imagined... maybe 16 to 18 miles per gallon... it seems to be a fast starter in cold weather, which was something that previous Chrysler products I've owned haven't necessarily excelled with. It has a simple two barrel carburetor, which is in good shape.

The car rides like a tank and is comfortable at highway speeds. It features an automatic transmission, which seems to be in good shape.

After owning this classic for a couple days I am sold...

I know that this car will eventually have its share of quirks and setbacks but somehow I believe they'll be minimal.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd December, 2008