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Denny's A Valiant Driver - On The Road To Lincoln Highway Conf.

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#1 Keep the Show on the Road!

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 11:17 PM


I'm not sure whether it was the Valiant, the studio, or Tom's, but I was impressed and envious of your first day on route to the Lincoln Highway Conference. Certainly the Valiant had something to do with it! I bought one new in about 1962 or 63, but it was green, not red, and a sedan, not a convertible. Your convertible is outstanding.

The Valiant was a very serviceable compact, and I bought it for my first job out of college. It wasn't a car to love or hate, just a pleasant drive. The most memorable item was the push button automatic transmission. As you know, if yours is an automatic, the push buttons were on the left of the dash. Had mine been red and a convertible there would have been a lot more memorable about it.

Happy top down travels!!

Here is a link to Denny's Lincoln Highway trip:



Keep the Show on the Road!

#2 mga707



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Posted 17 June 2012 - 11:45 AM


You came in right at the end of the push button automatic era at Chrysler Corp. Introduced for the '56 model year, I believe Chrysler abandoned them for the traditional control column stick for '64. Why, I don't know. Probably had something to do with the overall return to more GM/Ford-ish looking cars following the absolute sales debacle of the 'down-sized' 62-63 Plymouth/Dodge full-sized cars, and Virgil Exner being replaced as stytling chief by Elwood Engel, who came over from Ford (like Lee Iacocca after him, he had learned that you would never head the company if your last name was not "Ford"!).
Growing up in the '60s, our family's primary car was a yellow '60 Dodge Dart Phoenix (the Dart was a full-sized model through '62, albeit a bit smaller than the Polara/Matador). It had the push buttons, which i always thought were Cool and 'space-age'!
Tooling aaround Tucson yesterday, I saw a pretty '66/'67 Belvedere/Satellite (probably the latter, as it had plenty of chrome). Nice to live where old cars live on, rust-free!


#3 DennyG


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Posted 17 June 2012 - 08:53 PM

Do note my description of the Valiant as a "30 foot car". It is doing its job admirably, however. Also note that I was not the first old guy on this forum to buy a slightly used red Mopar convertible.

Regarding the demise of push button transmissions, I believe it was tied up with standardization in government and rental company fleet purchases. I even recall reading some details on the internet. The truth is out there.

#4 DaleS


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Posted 20 June 2012 - 11:23 AM

Hey Denny, I had a Dodge Lancer (same as Valiant) 4 door late in it's life with a standard transmission, around the early 80's. It was geared so low that you take off from a stop light in second and only shift once to high. My great uncle owned it and it had a small engine fire near where I lived and I towed it home and got it for $60. Last car I owned, vans & pickups ever since.

Dale S

#5 knightfan26917


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Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:16 AM

Sure looks like another awesome trip, Denny! Wish I could've attended. Canton is where some friends of mine live.

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