Reliable but thirsty
New radiator cap.
Tightened up loose radiator hose.
I bought this car from the original owner. It had been sitting in a garage since 1996. I bought the car late December of 2011. Amazingly the car started right up after replacing the dead battery. I filled up the gas tank, aired up the tires, topped off all the fluids, and drove it 45 miles home. A tune up and some general tinkering brought the car up to snuff. Mechanical parts are very cheap and readily available, which is a huge plus.
It rides and handles about as well as I'd expect for a 70s car sitting on ancient bias ply tires. The manual steering takes very little effort, even at a dead stop. The car accelerates adequately, although it won't win any races. Brakes are good for all drum manual units, although there is some pull.
It has been reliable, although for a small six cylinder, the fuel mileage has not been very good. I expected 20-22 mpg, but the car averages 15-17 mpg in country driving. Also it pings badly on anything but premium fuel, which makes driving the car any sort of distance costly. I've retarded the timing, which has helped. Also mildly annoying is the lack of hydraulic lifters. I'm baffled why Mopar went with mechanical lifters, when all the other major manufacturers had hydraulic lifters. As such, it's a loud engine; perhaps a valve adjustment will quiet it down.
The interior is plain, which I like. The bench seats are comfortable. Generally the quality seems to be pretty good. Underneath the hood, the Valiant is very easy to work on.
Generally I like the car, but the fuel mileage means that it'll be up for sale before too long. I have to go long distances to work that doesn't pay very much. It really hurts the wallet when my car guzzles up a third to half a day's wages.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 6th February, 2012