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1969 Plymouth Valiant - Big Fat Steelies!

Behold Bob Schiller's '69 Valiant.

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Tech Notes
Who: Bob Schiller

What: It's a '69 Plymouth Valiant 100. Though it looks like a '68, it really is a '69. Bob replaced the hood, grille, and fenders with '68 parts. He says he always hated the '69 grille.

Hometown: Trabuco Canyon, California

Engine: The block is a '69 440 that was bored 0.030-over by Dan Benson, owner of Benson's Automotive Machine in Santa Ana, California. Dan performed all the machine work with torque plates installed and align-bored the cam and crank bearing journals. The rotating assembly was blueprinted and balanced to within 2.00 grams. The cam is a Mopar Performance 509, and it actuates Crane roller rocker arms and stainless steel valves. Legendary machinist Vic Roy of Irwindale, California, performed the port job on the cylinder heads and port-matched the intake manifold. Bob assembled the engine himself and sealed it in plastic while he waited for the car to be painted. Though he apologized for its being dirty, you could eat off the engine.

Transmission: Bob stumbled across the '68 A833 big-block trans at a Mopars on the Strip show in Las Vegas. It's an A-Body short-shaft trans that fits the Valiant's chassis. Otherwise, Bob would have been shifting gears from the back seat. Drivelines USA in Lake Forest, California, made the custom driveshaft.

Rearend: An 831/44 spans the rear wheel openings. It was narrowed 2 inches on each side by RJ at Munoa's in Temecula, California. Munoa's also made the minitubs, relocated the leaf springs 3 inches inboard, and welded in the subframe connectors. A Sure Grip differential with 3.55 gears turns the billet axles. Tire smoke can usually be seen when this happens.

Suspension and brakes: Here, the car is mostly stock with torsion bars up front, Mopar Performance Super Stock leaf springs out back, and KYB Gas-a-Just shocks at all four corners. Bob scrapped the front drums in favor of a set of 10.5-inch discs with stock calipers and swapped big 11-inch station wagon drums in place of the puny stockers.

Wheels: The hoops are big 'n' little steelies painted body color with chrome dog-dish caps-indicative of the car's humble origins. The rear wheels were widened to 10 inches. The front tires are Goodyears, and Bob runs 29x13 Hoosier Quick Time Pro slicks in back.

Exhaust: Giant TTI 2-inch, ceramic-coated headers snake their way through the engine bay and down into a full 3-inch dual-exhaust system. Bob said it took nine hours to fit the big 440 and its headers between the Valiant's shock towers. Flowmaster mufflers tame the roar somewhat, and a corner of the gas tank had to be cut twice to clear the driver-side tailpipe.

Interior: It's bargain-basement cool with no carpet, no heat, and no tunes. Auto Interiors in Mission Viejo, California, reupholstered the stock bench seats.

Paint: The paint and bodywork were done at Quigley's Auto Body in Lake Forest, California. This shade of maroon is a Dodge color from the '68 model year.

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