1964 Plymouth Valiant
As the 1960s moved along, cars slowly transformed from the “bubble” looking designs of the 1950s, and became more angular and elongated. Power under the hood increased, and so did speed. The Plymouth Valiant was no exception to this. Introduced in 1960, the Valiant was not considered to be a Plymouth model until 1961.
After a record year in sales in 1963, the changes for the 1964 model were more focused on performance and reliability than its outward appearance, though it did feature a restyled front end. Horizontal bars, a Valiant medallion, and a new grille gave the 1964 model a new look. Additionally, Taillights were rotated so that they were vertical rather than horizontal.
To help with performance, the Valiant got a 4-speed manual transmission with a flood shifter, and a block V8 roared. With a 180 horsepower rating, the Valiant was able to compete with the Ford Falcon, though it never outsold its competition. Several body styles were available, including a 2-door convertible, 2-door hardtop, 4-door sedan, and a 4-door two seat station wagon. In addition to the manual transmission, a 3-speed automatic transmission was available for those who preferred it.
The Plymouth Valiant was replaced midway through the 1976 model year, but the decision was unpopular as it left the production plant to design a much less desirable model, the F-body. Bankruptcy was a near miss for Chrysler in the late 1970s, and many believe this decision contributed to its financial woes.