1966 Valiant Convert V8

The Early A-Body Forum » Members Area » 1966 Valiant Convert V8 users admin

Author Message
Post Number: 17
Registered: 11-2008

Monday, November 22, 2010 - 1:15 pm   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)   
Well, just brought my next summer beater home. Kinda distracting as I have a couple other cars I want to get going too, but when you get the right price you do not question.
It is a 1966 Valiant V8 Convertible. It is a little rough (that is the really nice way to put it) and it is missing some things. Main things I see missing are driver/pass windows, window fuzzies, most of the top (flaps in the breeze), and back window, radiator, etc...
I had to ride 5 hours one way to get it. I did not drive as the guy driving realllly like to drive and it was his truck (93 Dodge Cummins).
We checked it a couple times on the way home and everything stayed tight on the tow dolly. My GPS showed a max speed coming home of 110 mph, but Pauls GPS said 82. I think we are going with his GPS reading and not mine. (My GPS also told us to go from Lansing to Mackinaw and then to Flint to get home...)

One place we stopped to check the straps also provided a cool photo op...

Where else could you find a Barn Silo, Jet plane, and a classic Valiant all in one photo??? Maybe the same place that gives you a Helicoptor and a Valiant... Rural Indiana!
Post Number: 18
Registered: 11-2008

Monday, November 29, 2010 - 7:22 am   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)   
So I got to spend some time with the new project over the long weekend. Of course ADD was rampant so I actually worked on 4 different projects but I was able to jack up the front of the car and pull both front wheels off (found new looking brake drums with NO internals like shoes or wheel cylinders...?). I also pulled the driver door (can you say swiss cheese on the bottom?) and pulled the driver fender. Looks like this car was used as a driver education car as the back edge of the left fender had at least a 1/4 inch of bondo covering a section that reminded me of a 3D map of the Rockies. At the front edge I did not think there would be much hidden (see previous pictures of the Valiant and the helicopter) but there was. Looks like this car hit a fairly sharp edged truck bumper and the dent was also fixed with bondo. I am starting to think this car was carved from a generous layer of plastic... And I have not even gotten to the obvious rear quarter situation. I have picked up a can and a half of aircraft stripper and am wondering if I need to pick up some more ;-)
I left the poor fender lying on the garage floor and went back out to dig deeper into the main car. Still working on the left side I found that if someone had actually driven this car as it is, they would have either had road debris lodged in their left leg or would have been quite soaked after hitting a minor mud puddle. There is a hole directly behind the tire big enough to put both hands through and that is after someone cut a piece of tin and covered part of it. My oldest son and I used a torch (later bought a heat gun) and a scraper and started peeling off the generous undercoating. Moving our way up the firewall and in, we found more rust holes at the edge of the firewall to inner fender, and rotted hood torsion rod support.
When I was negotiating the purchase of this car I asked for pictures of the car and was told about the frame rail being rusted and was sent a picture of the inside edge showing some small holes in the frame. THAT was an understatement... The outside of the frame rail is missing... The hole is from the top of the rail to the bottom and proly 12 inches long, right where the rail curves around the edge of the body. The right side does not look as bad BUT I am pretty sure it is close.

Which finally brings me to my question... I am trying to make this a cheep build. AS cheep as a 40+ year old convertible can get at least. This is supposed to replace my 85 cavalier convert (see my avatar) as a summer beater, NOT be a concours show car competing for a Riddler... I have no problem using washing machine sheet metal for floor boards and splicing in 94 Dodge Shadow metal on fenders (previous driver, totaled). The question is the frame rails. Has anyone here made their own frame rails and if so was it really that big of project and what were the biggest issues you faced. What would be the advantages of making VS buying? At $275 per rail I would drastically eat into my out of pocket budget and am thinking that hand made rails may actually be stronger in the long run plus I can extend them all the way to the rear frame rails. The torque boxes are also rusted and it looks like there are "performance" versions of those available and believe there is nothing special about making those either.

I know I am starting out with a rust belt car and am already finding it rustier than I thought, I still think it is within realm of driving again. One thing is for certain, I will definitely learn about rust repair before I tackle a more expensive project.


p.s. If anyone has rust repair panels or good usable panels/frame off a parts car, let me know.

p.p.s Has anyone used an english wheel or metal stretchers/shrinkers for body work? Are they worth it for building this stuff?
Senior Member
Post Number: 298
Registered: 1-2006

Monday, December 13, 2010 - 11:35 pm   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)   
Hey, Stappy, I have a '66 valiant with better looking front fenders and bumper, grill and other front end stuff. But it's in Texas!

All I want out of it is the engine, trans, and accessories. I just haven't pulled them yet.

Any interest???
Given sufficient thrust, pigs fly quite well!

Add Your Message Here
Bold text Italics Underline Create a hyperlink Insert a clipart image

Username: Posting Information:
This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.
Options: Automatically activate URLs in message