based on early '60's Mopar Logo

Works in Progress

1963 Plymouth Valiant 200 Convertible

Fritz Pleier writes:


After being referred to your site by my brother, I had to tell you about my Mopar.

My brother Dan purchased this 1963 Plymouth Valiant 200 in about 1975. It was powered by the 225 six and had a three on the tree trans. After four or five years carting us siblings back and forth to school, the engine got so anemic it could hardly move.

I bought it from my brother in the summer of 1979 to replace my mint '66 Barracuda that got rearended by a semi on icy I-5 near Weed, CA on Christmas Eve, 1979.

The 'Cuda had a 340 and 727 in it and naturally everything fit in the Valiant.

The build up continued, eventually ending up with a stripped out car, 800hp supercharged, nitrous oxide 340, manual shift 727, 3.91 geared 8 3/4, M-50-14 Mickey Thompson tired grocery getter. I had some custom body work done, changed the grill, removed chrome trim, large rear fender flares to fit 295/50/R15 tires and primer grey.

Realizing I had reached the limit with this car, I started searching for something else for the drive train, I located a straight '76 Dart Lite (which is another story).

'63 Valiant 'vert
1981 or so picture taken after I had painted the car as a wedding present for my brother.

Wanting to have a streetable convertible again, I put in a 318, stock 727 and 2.72 gears.

In 1981 the same brother I had originally bought the car from painted it bright red with silver, green and blue stripes and some red pearl in the 5 coats of clear. After running a few times at Portland International Raceway in Oregon (10.49 sec. in the 1/8th) I put in a 360 and a D.C. Purple shaft cam, 4bbl and 3.23 Sure Grip 8 1/4 rear axle. I still had the fenderwell headers and large dual exhaust from the 340 and ran a 9.24 sec. 1/8th mile at 79.9 mph.(3 seconds faster than new '83 Corvettes) Sometime around when swapping rear axles I also put the disc brakes and front suspension from a '74 Duster under it. I put in comfortable seats, heater and radio back to make it more enjoyable to drive.

It sat in storage for ten years until 1998 when I drove it up to Alaska where I live and now get to drive it about 4 times a year when the weather is warm enough.

'63 Valiant 'vert
Another 1981 or so picture taken after I had painted the car as a wedding present for my brother.

I'm planning to reupholster and re carpet it sometime, but don't know when.

It is a very fun car to drive and always gets thumbs up.


Update May 2001

Here are some recent photos of my '63 Valiant convertible, 20 years after the pictures posted above!

'63 Valiant 'vert front '63 Valiant 'vert front qtr
'63 Valiant 'vert engine '63 Valiant 'vert front


You guys have good taste in Mopars!

And you keep them a while too. Good!

That's a great story and I can see you put lots of work and effort in your '63.

There's not many "top down" weather days in Alaska, but driving the car on one must still produce much fun! :-)

Thanks for keeping us posted!

Gary H.

December 2, 2000; December 19, 2000; May 13, 2001

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