I surely agree... my daily driver is a 1968 Valiant with a slant six. People often ask me why I don't get another, newer car - what can I say? Nothing rides/performs like a Mopar to me - it's just got soul!
You ever hear a slant six run? Sounds like a combination of a bunch of anemic bees flying and ball bearings rolling around in a shoe box! Yes, that's what I WANT TO HEAR!
Obviously yes, they have heard a Slant 6 run, since they have been driving one every day for years. That's the key: driving it every day for years. They hear it every day because it's not in the shop getting the transmission's computer replaced, or rebuilding a sludged out engine, or having the ball joints that fell off replaced, or getting the remote keyless entry fixed. Way to go on driving those old Mopars, guys!
I just love the sound of a slant six exhaust. It is a drawling burble sound with a no-nonsense quality to it. I owned a 1968 Valiant Regal sedan in Australia from 1980 to 1983, and it had the 160 HP version of the Slant Six, with a Torque-Flite transmission. For an old car, it had a mile of power and it ran as smoothly as a turbine. I also had a beat-up 1970 Valiant utility, (that's what we call a sedan-based pickup in Australia), for part of that same period, and it had a slant six that ran on five cylinders most of the time I had it, but it just ran and ran. You can't kill one with an axe.
Not sure where the ball bearing and bumble bee thing comes from. Like any car that's as old as any Valiant must be by now, the person owning it has more to do with it's condition than the people that built it.
Just a few ideas on older cars. Since you're not making payment, think about setting aside a fund for when thing do wear out. On the older slant sixes, check the valve lash every so often. These are not hydraulic lifter engines untill about the time the Volare came out (mid seventies). If your good with electrics, think about changing the alternator and electronic ignition from a later Dart or Valiant.
Don't let the little things become big things, and you will have a good car for years. I'm a Mopar fan myself, but this is true for any American car from that era.
I wrote back in 2005 about my '68 Valiant. It's still going strong - aside from regular maintenance (tune-up) and new tires - hasn't been in the shop for a breakdown. Unfortunately, the exterior/interior isn't as nice as it used to be (when I used to have a garage back in NY, where I'm from/car was first purchased). Now it's out in the CA sun all day (covers always get filthy or blow off it, so I don't bother anymore). The dash is cracked, too. The original upholstery was beautiful, but the car was in a flood years ago (submerged almost half way! Mechanic couldn't believe it still worked) ; insurance paid for new upholstery, but it was substandard and nothing like the shiny original and began to crack in spots in less than 10 years. Also, it was hit a few times (always when I was in a parking lot by people not looking in front of them). So, the paint jobs have never matched, bubbled within a year, and the rear panel and front panel are different colors. But the body is still straight and someday, I tell myself that I'll have it restored. Until then, I just continue to drive it everyday without fail. It's such a smooth, enjoyable ride! I get offers to sell a lot (usually young men at car washes), but I can't do it. What else would be as reliable?
UPDATE: Now that my Valiant has hit '40', I've decided to fix it up. I've had the interior re-upholstered (using original vinyl grade and cloth pattern - it's looks great!). And now... it's going to be painted. Very excited!
My Old Man's 68' Valiant (225) had a quite few "fails" at DEQ. Just barely missing a passing grade. It's O.K. to drive a huge SUV really fast, achieving miserable fuel economy, but old Plymouths that puff a little smoke are bad for the environment? My Dad could get 18-22 mpg in his (250,000+ miles on the motor) greenhouse eating machine.
I'm kind of surprised that such an old car would fail an emissions test. When I lived in Denver, which has a very stringent emissions testing program, my '73 Charger would pass with no problem. Basically, if it had the original emissions control equipment in place, it would pass, and all it had was a charcoal canister and a PCV valve! It seems that if you change oil, maybe put in some thick stuff, and give it a tune-up and change the PCV valve before the test, it ought to pass.
I'm driving a 67 Dart 225 slant 6 recently converted over to the super 6. This car is still on the road today and very reliable. May sound like a truck, but has more life then some of the newer cars of today. Not sitting in a service center having engine dinosaurs. Or major breakdown in ele and computer ignitions. Under frame of this 67 Dart has more frame to what's on the road today. Gotta love my 67 Dart. Great slant 6. Need this engine to be manufactured again today.
"Not sitting in a service center having engine dinosaurs"
What is an "engine dinosaur". I work for one of those "service centers" and we offer no maintenance plans that include giant lizards as far as I know. Just curious, help me out. LOL.
I drive a '61 Dodge Lancer, with a 225 slant. The car has about 70,000 miles on and no rebuilds and the motor just hums along. Also my motor doesn't sound like anemic bees. I have True 2.25 duals running out to flow master mufflers, most people think I have a 273 V8 in it. I'm only 17 and I love my slant.
Driving a 66 Valiant Regal in Australia. Inherited it from my grandfather who passed just before he turned 100. He was planning on driving it at 100mph over the Harbour Bridge on his birthday.. What a legend. Since owning it Nov 09, I have had it up to 90mph and believe he would have done it too.
Love the Slant 6, 225.
I was the second owner of a '68 Valiant Signet with the slant six. Overall a great car. I got rid of it when it was 17 years old and still running.
The only annoying things about that car were the choke sticking when the engine was cold (typical Mopar problem at the time), and they designed the lower radiator hose too close to the fan belt. No matter what I tried to do to remedy the problem, the belt would vibrate and eventually wear a hole in the hose. This happened whether I used a molded hose made for the car or a flex hose.
Otherwise a very reliable car, great MPG for its day, etc. I wish I had another one!