It could have been the Falcon, given its code name during development, but Henry Ford II called dips on the bird. So, Chrysler settled on Valiant for its all new entry into the compact car market dominated by the VW Beetle at the end of the 1950s. As headlights illuminated the end of days for tail fins and excess chrome, Chrysler produced its first Valiant on this day in 1959.
It would debut as a stand alone model for 1960, before receiving Plymouth script for 1961. In ’62 and ’63 it returned to lone wolf status, but it’s Plymouth badge became permanent the next year. It would survive for four generations, with Plymouth Valiant production ending in 1976.