Ed's '67 Valiant still has the original paint, interior, engine, and wheels. He's proud th
21 year-old Ed Lara Jr. may have started his car passion with a bowtie, but before you turn the page or begin a rabble-rousing session, this story has an excellent ending. Not everyone knows where the cool club is immediately; otherwise those other guys wouldn't have such a strong following. For Ed, his decision to jump ship came when fate smacked his Chevy where it hurt.
When he first started driving, he owned a '62 Bel Air and eventually a Chevy truck. One day, Ed got into a nasty accident with the truck and it was a total loss. Ed tells us, "After the accident and the settlement, I was looking into getting another Chevy, but my girlfriend owned a '68 Dart GT and started bringing me around Mopar people." Sure enough, he began to really like Mopars, to the point that he didn't care about getting anything other than a Mopar of some shape and size.
He started to look for a Mopar to buy, and he drove to the Desert and Northern California, scouring the quake-prone state for a car. "I didn't have any luck and I almost gave up until I spied an ad on Craigslist about a '67 Plymouth Valiant Signet with a 273 V-8." (Editor's note-good choice). The guy wanted $4,500, which was a bit much, so Ed made an offer for $3,900 and he accepted it. He drove down to Long Beach to take a look at it, and it was love at first site. "I was surprised at how good of shape the car was in and it still had the original white paint with only a few minor dings. The original 273 had never been rebuilt and the A/C still worked!"
The odometer read 52,305 miles, which would soon change. The interior was in good shape but did need some upholstery work. Ed was jumping for joy about his first Mopar and picked the owner's brain about some of the car's history. "He told me that his father got it from an old lady who kept it in a garage and rarely drove it. He didn't go into too much more detail because I think he didn't want to get rid of the car."
He immediately dove into the Mopar hobby and found that he was warmly received. "I really enjoy the Mopar community. All of the people are extremely nice and the cars are amazing." We can't argue with that statement. His future plans hold a 360 block and an upgrade to a stronger rear. Once some performance stuff is taken care of, he plans to take care of those seats and paint it white again. Best of luck to you, Ed.
Restoration Specialties & Supply of Windber, Pennsylvania, is one of the world's largest and well-known mail-order suppliers of finishing hardware, clips, screws, fasteners, and weatherstripping for cars, trucks, street rods, and muscle machines. Started in 1974 as a small antique auto parts supplier, Restoration Specialties & Supply manufactures and markets a large variety of replacement window channel and belt weatherstrip kits under the brand name Topcat Whiskers. They also manufacture and carry a full line of weatherstrip packages for the Mopar enthusiast. For more information, to order a catalog, or place an order, call 814/467-9842, or visit their website, www.restorationspecialties.com.
Do You Feel Lucky? Do you want to see your Mopar here? Do you want to be immortalized as a Mopar Muscle Young Gun? Is your car the nastiest thing on four wheels at your high school or college? Then send in your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org, or to Mopar Muscle, Young Guns, 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619. Here's all you need to do: Send us some photos of you and your car, a description of your car, what you have done to it, and future plans for it. Be sure to include contact information and current e-mail address. Good luck!