Sure, I know what you’re thinking, what’s so special about an early 60s Plymouth Valiant with a Slant Six? Well, to begin with, it brings back fond personal memories because I learned to drive in one, but wait, there’s more! It has to do with Pratt and Miller Engineering and a certain doctor who thought one of these little grocery getters, the exact same model you see here, would make a perfect platform for something very special, it had to do with a big Hemi engine, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The 225 Slant Six was a pretty sweet engine in its own right, popular with hot rodders and custom builders. It was built up for quarter mile duty, spruced up for custom car installations, nice engine all around. After writing elsewhere about one of these Valiants for sale, a comment from Australia mentioned how popular these were down under for years with quite a following in the motorhead community.
So what about Pratt and Miller Engineering? A few years ago, I was invited to Michigan for the unveiling of the Motus MST motorcycle. While wandering around the building before the event started, I spied this black Valiant sitting there with the hood up and tucked inside was a gorgeous Hemi looking just like it belonged there. The whole car had a great stance, just a perfect little resto-mod, would you expect anything less from Pratt and Miller?
I was 10 years old when my uncle Ray came home with a 62 Dodge Lancer, it must have been a sport model with the 4 on the floor and the hopped up 225 slant 6, that had a 4 barrel carb and headers that in my opinion made the car sound like a corvair with loud exhaust, he had the car when I joined the army in 69 but it was gone by the time I got my discharge and he had traded it to some car lot for a 70 AMX that seemed like a cool car but the lancer just seemed to have more soul maybe because it was the car I learned to drive in but never have seen another like it
Dave McElwain says
My brother in law had one around 1968 or 1970. I don’t recall much about it other than white and four doors and at the time it didn’t impress me. Now however I really like the design elements and the slant six is a great motor.
Olaf Larsen says
The SlantSix got it’s name from being slanted over at 30 degrees, allowing for a lower hood profile. The SlantSix engine was in production from 1960, powering all kind of cars, trucks, farm equipment, utility vehicles in airports and railway stations, and even in boats. The last one was produced in 2003, as an industrial engine in Mexico. I have the Super Six option for the SlantSix in my ’77 Dodge Aspen Wagon, with a 2-barrel intake and carb and larger exhaust, still purring along after 40 years on the road.
There is an extremely active forum at http://slantsix.org with more than one hundred thousand articles dedicated to the SlantSix engine, as well as the vehicles using the engine.
Olaf in Oslo, Norway
Paul Crowe says
These Slant Six engines are great and long lasting, too, as your own car testifies. Everyone thinks the only cars from the 60s worth any attention, were all V8 musclecars, but it’s not true, I remember lots of articles about drag racers and custom builders using it, it was all purpose.
I wrote elsewhere:
The concept was from a well known customizer of the day, I have a hunch it might have been Dean Jeffries. Wish I could find the drawing, it looked really sweet. I’m pretty sure it was in Car Craft magazine, though I may be wrong on that,
Anyway, I’m glad to see the Slant Six is still popular. Thanks, Olaf.
Olaf Larsen says
Paul, I believe many engine builders have played with all kind of concepts involving the SlantSix, and there were all sorts of starnge military versions built also. The guys in the Chrysler marine team were very creative, they also laid the SlantSix down to be a ‘FlatSix’ for use as a boat engine. They even mounted them in pairs in boats, where one engine had a reverse design camshaft, to allow it to run in the oppsite direction of the other engine. Those marine engines in pairs may have been the inspiration for a 12-cyl engine build. Photo here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/18510442@N02/4449168432/in/photostream/ (check the next two photos also)