1969 Chrysler Valiant VF 3.7L 225ci slant 6 from Australia and New Zealand
The Leaning Tower of Power is something special
Usual problems with these types of cars.
Ball joints all worn and replaced.
Alternator and regulator failed.
Paint is badly worn.
Carburetor float got a hole in it, so it kept floating the engine.
Radiator got a hole in it.
Tyres wearing on the inside of tread.
Rust spots appearing on bottom of the rear quarter panels.
I absolutely love this car. Yes it has flaws, but it has something that modern cars don't have. It has character. My daily drive is a Verada, and it's a great car; it handles well and is very comfy, but when I drive my Val, I always have a smile on my face.
The brakes are woeful by today's standards, and probably back then too (drums all round), but they work well enough when cruising.
The steering is woolly and not direct. But again, works well enough when cruising around.
The interior space is tiny. Considering the size of the car, one would think it would have more room in the backseat. But I'm in the front so space isn't an issue.
Suspension is hard to explain. It can be a hard ride at times, but sometimes it's soft so it leans in the corners.
Then there is the engine. The "Leaning Tower of Power" is an absolute gem. In my eyes, one of the greatest engines to be put into production. Not perfect, but it has soul. It needs to be warmed up on cold days. Its fuel economy is not the best. But they are indestructible, and takes a lot of abuse and it doesn't worry it one bit.
Just got a set of extractors with a 2.25 inch Lukey sports exhaust installed, and now it sounds as well as it goes. Amazing.
Currently have a single barrel Stromberg installed. Just need a 2 barrel 350 Holley for it to be perfect.
Yes, the Valiant is flawed if you look at it as a car. When your driving it, you're not just driving a car. You're driving an experience that very few people get to feel, because you actually have to drive this car, not just sit there and tell the car what to do.
At the moment, the car is far from show room condition, but when I get behind the wheel, I know I'm driving something special, and that's all that matters to me.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 7th May, 2011
Agreed! The 225 slant six is (was) indestructible, and remains not only a gem, but something others can only aspire to. You would have to go way out of your way to destroy one of these marvels.
The slant six in the Plymouth Duster for 1976 was tuned to give 36 MPG U.S. Highway. Read up on this on the Mopar page. That's less than 7 litres per 100 km highway. It had a 4 speed manual, some aluminium components for lightness, and various small engine mods to achieve this.
I am currently planning a shopping trip to the U.S. to source these engine mod parts.
Wouldn't it be nice to cruise the Aussie highways in an old Valiant, whilst using less fuel than most other newer cars of the same size?