1974 Plymouth Valiant Brougham 4dr Sedan 225 CI Slant Six from North America
An all around well appointed and balanced car, that is reliable and adequate for most purposes
Driver's side front three point seat belt actuator failed, not allowing the belt to be drawn out of the retractors.
Fuel gauge failed at 27,000 miles; would not register any fuel level.
This year Valiant was built on the longer Dodge Dart platform, which with torsion bar suspension, allows the car to drive and ride like a much bigger car.
Interior space seems cramped, even with the seat moved all the way to the rear most position. The driver feels as though they are sitting too close to the steering wheel.
Visibility is good to excellent.
Interior appointments are almost luxurious, with the padded door panels and a sensible application of faux woodgrain appointments to the dash, steering wheel center, and insets on the door pulls.
The exterior has the right amount of bright work, and is accented with tape stripes and a very nice hood ornament and rear finish panel.
Wheel covers are boring, and are not in keeping with the other appearance upgrades.
As mentioned (Supra), the Valiant rides well, but is not as nimble as one would expect. The front suspension is soft and allows the car to dive into a turn, even with new shock absorbers. In comparison to modern automobiles, it handles like a porpoise with heartburn, but is as good as most cars of that era.
Fuel economy is fair to good for a 3600 lb car, with results of as much as 24 MPG on the highway, and as little as 15 in town, yielding an average of about 18 MPG.
Performance wise, it is adequate on power, so long as you are not trying to win any races.
The slant six is a wonderful power plant, and goes forever without major repair.
My Valiant is a 30,000 mile original with only general maintenance performed from new.
The only noticeable problem is evidence of oil getting past the valve seals when the engine is cold. One can detect the slight odor of burning oil until the engine reaches operating temperature.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 20th March, 2011
21st Mar 2011, 10:13
"The only noticeable problem is evidence of oil getting past the valve seals when the engine is cold. One can detect the slight odor of burning oil until the engine reaches operating temperature."
My '85 Suburban used to do that. The unfortunate thing is that no matter how well cared for a vehicle is, seals dry rot.
Your car sounds like a polished gem. Could you please post some photos of it somewhere? Thanks.
21st Mar 2011, 14:56
A little valve guide puff isn't nothing, hell most show cars do that because they're not driven enough to keep the guides from rotting. I would use a ZDDP additive in the oil to keep the cam from going flat in a car that old.
It was nice reading a review about something different than a 10 year old Toyota too.
21st Mar 2011, 18:08
Canadian Valiants suffered from the following... all because of accelerated rusting caused by road salt.
(1) No adjustment possible of the front end alignment.
(2) The torsion bar mount across the floor at the floor area under the driver/passenger seat would rust away, allowing the bar to twist to a non loaded position.
(3) The front fenders rust through above the headlights.
Unless you are in a dry climate with your car, you would be wise to have it oil sprayed to save your gem... or at least those areas before the rust gets in there.