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History of the 1974-1976 Plymouth Valiant / Scamp
The third-generation Plymouth Valiant was uniquely positioned to capitalize both on the muscle car craze as well as the early 1970s gas crisis, and enjoyed a wildly successful sales run. By 1974, tightening Federal regulations on both safety and emissions, as well as the buying public’s more towards ever smaller and more fuel efficient cars started to spell the end of the Valiant and Duster line.
Large, energy-absorbing bumpers changed the sheet metal at both end of the Valiant lineup in 1974, and creeping emissions restrictions meant that the 340 Duster became the 360 Duster, with floor shift controls. The Valiant sedan now shared the 111-inch wheelbase of the Scamp and Dodge Dart, and the fancy Brougham line was added with luxury touches. The Valiant group was still a sales success, accounting for nearly 500,000 units in 1974.
The entire car market took a serious drop in 1975, but Plymouth was sitting pretty with one of every four compacts sold in the U.S. coming from the Valiant group. The lines were expanded, with three Valiant sedans, three Dusters, and two Scamps. The 1976 model year would mark the end of the Plymouth Valiant line, though, which dated all the way back to 1960. It would be replaced mid-year by the Plymouth Volare.
Last gen Valiants, including Dusters and Scamps, remain very sound transportation despite their age. Parts are no problem, and cars from rust-free zones will likely remain serviceable for several more generations to come.
1974 Plymouth Valiant Info
6-cyl. 198cid/95hp 1bbl
6-cyl. Special Order
8-cyl. 318cid/150hp 2bbl
6-cyl. 225cid/105hp 1bbl
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