1961 Valiant Wagon

Members Restorations

  1. shimos

    shimos Member

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    I thought I would join up and share. My main area of interest with Mopars is the 1960-62 Valiants and 61-62 Lancers.
    I do have a couple of other vehicles with big block motors from another manufacturer but they aren't suited to this forum.
    Over time I will share images of what I have stashed away...For now I would like to share images of my 1961 Plymouth Valiant Wagon.

    I first purchased a 61 V200 Valiant wagon in 1996 and dragged it home. It was pretty rough. Needed replacement guards and a whole new floor pan. The tailgate was shot and what was left of the interior was pretty sad at best. But I was pretty "bright eyed" at the time and thought I can tackle this. Seven years later I havent started any restoration on it yet. (Mainly because I was working on a 61 Valiant Hardtop)

    In 2003 on the way to Portland airport I came across another 61 Wagon. It was running, but it ran rough. In fairly good condition and the owner wanted to sell. She was looking for a mid 80's Mercedes wagon to buy and needed to sell. I was out of town for a while but called her a few times to discuss the wagon. After a while and $500 later it was mine. I sold off the wagon I had and I organized the recent purchase to be delivered to my place.

    It still took me a few years to getting around to start restoring it. I wanted to collect a few oddball parts and bits for it. Work got in the way some years. Other cars got in the way. Family health got in the way. Life got in the way.. But I kept at the small things where I could. In November 2017, I got it painted. Now a lot of things are finished. But I need to start putting it all back together.

    I hope to show images of putting it back together (along with other pictures of interest).
    My main goal with this wagon is to a period correct (Where possible) restoration. Something most people would never bother with, with a Valiant. But hey I have always been a bit oddball myself.

    valiant.jpg
     
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    • shimos

      shimos Member

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      After a few years of having the wagon I was pulling bits off. Repairing those bits and trial fitting them back on. The roof rack came off a Dart from a Mopar yard in Montana and was trial fitted to roof. It was lined up and holes were drilled. An Australian S-Series sunvisor was fitted and looked good. But at this stage the roof holes have not been drilled. I am forever deciding if I should fit this item. In this image the unibody was blasted and epoxy primed. The front guards had the headlight buckets replaced. Then front fender spear holes were drilled into the top of the guards. Luckily my sister has a 1960 Valiant wagon with these on them so I took measurements from her wagon

      Shimewag001.jpg
       
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      • memike

        memike Super Moderator Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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        That visor would be a must if I had it, love this long top Plymouth you are building.
        Keep us updated on every move :thumbsup:
         
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        • searcher1990

          searcher1990 Well-Known Member

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          it looks like you know what your doing to me. I'm not sure I would keep the visor but you see them on cars all the time so what do I know. if you like it keep it. What part of Oregon are you in? I'm in Saint Helens.
           
        • shimos

          shimos Member

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          Here is a picture of my sisters 1960 wagon with the chrome front fender spears. In the parts books the spears were offered for 60/61 Valiants. And a image I found on the net with a similar roof rack as mine. As far as I can tell two styles of roof rack were offered for the 1961 Valiants.

          v200 wagon AB.jpg

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          Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
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          • shimos

            shimos Member

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            At the moment I am on the west coast of Australia. When I am in Oregon I am in SE Portland.
             
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            • Alaskan_TA

              Alaskan_TA Well-Known Member

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              I'd skip the visor myself, it looks goofy & out of place to me?

              There is also a 4-door Mopar forum on Facebook if you use it?

              If so, here is a link;

              4-Door Mopar Drivers Only
               
            • 69conv

              69conv leaky gasket FABO Gold Member

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              Absolutely love the character of the body lines. I can see why it snagged your attention. BTW welcome, you will fit in nicely with us other oddballs!
               
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              • MOPAROFFICIAL

                MOPAROFFICIAL Well-Known Member

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                I love the wagons, wish I could find one.

                I have a white '62 valiant 200 with an aluminum 225 though... red interior. I still have to restore it.
                 
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                • 65dartcharger

                  65dartcharger FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  I used to go parts hunting on Swedetown road in Longview back in the late 90ies/early 2000.
                   
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                  • Hyper_pak

                    Hyper_pak Old School Chrysler Fan

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                    Shimos, thanks for sharing these images. Is your sisters wagon an early 60? I see bright trim around the front window. That was early 60, I have never seen one in person. The roof racks are cool, but I could never drill my roof! Good luck with your 61 project, there are so many 60 and 61 only parts that are very hard to get. I am kinda glad I got a 62 and made it look like a 61!
                     
                  • shimos

                    shimos Member

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                    It does look like it has the stainless on the front windshield. But its just a really bright piece of the mylar strip. I know the pieces your talking about. I have a full set for a rear sedan/Hardtop and 5 of the 6 front pieces. But I dont have the front or rear rubber seal.... Yet !!! one day it will show up... I hope..
                    I question my sanity sometimes about doing this 61 Valiant the way I am doing it. Even the bolts have a different stamping on them to a 62 Valiant. But that was the goal for this car. As much as possible 60-61 period correct. Except for the front brakes. They will be disc brakes off a 66 Valiant.
                     
                    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
                  • shimos

                    shimos Member

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                    Motor looks Great! A couple of questions, why the high alternator mount? Is the strap running from the intake to the motor mount stock?

                    Hyper_pak, I thought I would answer your question on this thread as I didnt want to steer away from the thread it was in as it was more related to my wagon.

                    The high Alternator mount is because the wagon has the 1960 power steering option.
                    My wagon was built in early November 1960. But is the 1961 model. So I am allowing the tale end of 1960 parts to go on it. It did mean I had to find the Power steering thermostat housing and brackets to go with it all. Then once I bolted up the alternator I learnt that the 1960 water pump pulley was slightly different for 1960 only. Yikes you change one thing and a stack of other little things need changing as well.

                    The Strap on the intake to engine mount was used from this picture. I have the early engine mounts so it was alot easier to bolt it in.
                    Their is a guy in NY state running a original Hyperpak in his 61 Valiant hardtop. Beautiful car. When I drove it it didnt feel like a Valiant and it drove so well. He also used the Manifold to engine mount strap.

                    HP strap.jpg
                     
                  • shimos

                    shimos Member

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                    Just sitting in the corner. Checking bits that fit or dont fit.

                    61 wagon early.jpg
                     
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                    • shimos

                      shimos Member

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                      At some stage I got the wagon blasted and really only found a few areas of issue. The passenger side floor and the rear tailgate area on the body were the worst. The front guard headlight buckets were also shot.

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                      • shimos

                        shimos Member

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                        Once while cruising down in Georgia looking for parts (I actually got a very early Aluminium block and a 1961 Dealer installed underdash Mopar A/c unit on that trip !!) I came across a brightly yellow painted, rusty as, falling apart 1960 V200 Suburban Valiant. While it was pretty much a hunk of junk...I stopped and had a look. AND BANG !!! it was a 9 seater model...with all the bits still inside. AND I dont know why but the hard 9 seater parts were all in tack and in very usable shape. The soft trim was rubbish... but the rest was good. So after making a deal with the owner who was using the wagon to advertise his business the rest of afternoon was used to get all the 9 seater related parts out of the rust-bucket. It even had the R knob on the dash for the electric tailgate control. And it had the rare rear roof light that at the back of the wagon near the tailgate. It was a great find. I ended up using a photo of the wagon on the cover of a book I made 10 odd years ago. I learnt that day to double check any car that could have potential parts on it, no matter what it looks like on the outside.

                        yardtours 1 book.png
                         
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                        • Hyper_pak

                          Hyper_pak Old School Chrysler Fan

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                          Tell us about the book? I have never seen the 9 passenger wagon, how did they do the bask seat? And the light, any pictures of that? Thanks for the story.
                           
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                          • shimos

                            shimos Member

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                            The yard tours book.

                            I am based in Australia but have been going back and forth to the USA since the late 80’s.

                            It was always for work that I travelled to the US in the early days. I was in the spray painting game at that time and I would always tact on my 4 weeks a year annual leave at the end of whatever work I was doing. So I used to visit as many NOS warehouses or wrecking yards as I could each year. And I would always take a stack of photos on my journey. Guys Stateside were into the Late 60s-early 70s muscle cars. When I turned up looking for the 60-62 Valiant and Lancer stuff they mostly laughed and said all that stuff is over there and go for it.. Take as much as you want. As cheap as you want. So I did.

                            I got myself parts books for each year (59,60,61,62,63) from the USA and Canada editions and when through them page by page… Part number by part number… Made a super long list…and over the decades with each visit ticked off all the bits I was looking for. Getting some parts was by pure luck… Right place at the right time. Others was following leads to dead ends. Other times it was just lots of research and the slug to find parts in the middle of nowhere.

                            But while all that was happening I still took lots of pictures. Then in 2009 I brought out my first book. Yard Tours… A journey of almost forgotten Valiant’s and Lancers. Pictures from the various US wrecking yards of beat up Valiant’s and Lancers’s and NOS parts places. It was 120 pages. Here are some images below.


                            In 2012 I did a second book called PushButton Matic Deluxe. 240 pages. That was all the Ads, Promos, Toys, Models, Brochures and info about the 60-62 Valiants that I could find at the time. Photos below of some pages below.

                            Then I had the 1960, 1961 and 1962 USA Technical Service Bulletin books with all the Tech Bulletins I could find. Over 400 plus pages in those 3 editions.

                            I recently (But not released) have finished the Australia version of the Tech and Service bulletin book (138 pages) for the R and S series (1962 Australian Valiant’s)


                            And at the moment I am working on the Early Valiant Advertisement book with about 250 plus pages of ads for 60-62 Valiant’s. Ads from all over the world in that one.




                            The 9-seater.
                            In 1960 the 9 seater was a factory option. In 1961 it was a dealer option. The parts to install them for the different years was pretty different. Dare I say the 61 version was pretty crap. And a little bit of work to do. Where as the 1960 version was pretty nifty.

                            I decided to use 1960 hardware in my wagon but 1961 fabric. Access to my set up is limited just now but I can put a few images up to give you the idea. When I dig it out to install I will put up good photos of it all.

                            Another good thing about the 1960 version is that almost all the pieces are there in a regular wagon. You do need to modified a few little things here and there. That’s what I have learnt about Chrysler from that time period… if they can use the same little parts across most models they did.
                            The photo is the 3rd seat when I got it and then when I recovered it with the 61 valiant fabric.


                            The Rear light.

                            The plastic cover that is found between the front and rear seat that sits on the headliner is the same for the rear light. But you get a small on/off switch. And the plate that holds it up between the underside of the roof and above the headlining. The plate hooks onto the rear inside roof on one end and the headlining bow on the other end. I will get a photo in the next few days of it.


                            Sorry for the long answer.

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                            • Hyper_pak

                              Hyper_pak Old School Chrysler Fan

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                              Answer was great! Thanks for sharing all that info with us. I was only 50 years late in starting my Lancer. Only thing that saved me was a really nice wagon to start with. Again, great stuff thanks for sharing.
                               
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                              • shimos

                                shimos Member

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                                Quirky Fact about Valiant 3 seater wagons ... They didnt come standard with a spare tire. Cause they had Captive Air tires. Which really all that was, was a smaller inner tube inside the tire. But If you didnt like this then you could order the spare tire option. Which included what is in every other Valiant or Lancer anyway. And as per the Valiant Service Information Bulletin (Issued Nov 11 1959) .. VALIANT UNDERHOOD JACK STOWAGE... the Jack actually went in the engine bay. The Tech Bulletin gave instructions on how to make the brackets and where to drill the holes and mount the jack. The Spare tire still went in the tire well at the back of the wagon. I guess just a little less room for those 3 (little) people (kids) to sit.

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                                • barbee6043

                                  barbee6043 barbee 6043 FABO Gold Member

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                                  Thanks for the cool info. I love the different-ness of these cars, wagon or not.

                                  Hard to find any projects or parts as you well know. Best part is my wife loves our 62 Lancer project, 2 door 170 car. It was a pace car for a dirt track way back in the 60's and so!!!!!!
                                   
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                                  • Hyper_pak

                                    Hyper_pak Old School Chrysler Fan

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                                    This is crazy about the jack under the hood! I was wondering about the spare tire. So I guess it a six adult wagon and 3 kids.
                                     
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                                    • shimos

                                      shimos Member

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                                      On Stans amazing rebuild of his 62 Lancer wagon (Make a coffee, Sit down and relax and check Lancersaurus if you havent already) I am doing a similar build of sorts but with the 1961 Valiant wagon. In one of Stans recent posts it shows the Hyperpak intake with the brake master cylinder set up. I am wanting to use the factory master and booster together with my Hyperpak intake. I was unfortunately too dumb to check if there was any issues while the motor was in the car... So I am hoping in a few months time when I drop the 170 back into the wagon and bolt up the booster there with be a faction of clearance. Hopefully !!! It depends on the high or low the manifold sits at I think at the moment. If its too close I think I will need to be making some custom offset brackets.
                                      (Hope you dont mind Stan I used one of your pictures as referance)

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                                    • shimos

                                      shimos Member

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                                      I do have the install instructions for the 1960/61 Power Booster... somewhere in the bookcase of information. The difference is the 60/61 vacuum tank sits in the engine bay next to the battery. Whereas the 62 mounts under the left guard.

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                                    • Hyper_pak

                                      Hyper_pak Old School Chrysler Fan

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                                      Great information, I will be following your build, thanks for the kind words on my build.
                                       
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