You may say that Ron Silva got lucky that he painted his Valiant silver. It allows him to give his car a cool nickname, such as "Silva Valiant" or "Silvaliant." But what would a cool nickname be if the car couldn't back it up? Well luckily, Ron brought it all to the plate and called his shot to the fence. He put the car on an extreme diet, added the appropriate power, and then painted it in a fancy shade of silver. When it comes down to it, he hit this one out of the park.
Ron isn't new to the Mopar game. He learned about them from a very young age and pledged his allegiance to the A-Body for their superior power-to-weight ratio. That brought him to his '71 Demon. That car earned a lot of respect in its own right for Ron's attention to detail and his well-put-together combination. He owned it for 11 years and sold it in 2005. He was foolish to believe that he wouldn't have the motivation to build another and he couldn't ignore it.
"I really like the Valiant two-door sedan body style from '67 to '69," he says. "After selling my Demon, I had the desire to build an all around driver car, something I liked to call a street touring car."
This Mopar crate engine is...
This Mopar crate engine is soon to be tossed in favor of something a little more muscular. The car already went 11.07 with this combo; we wonder what it will do with even more power.
In order to get this project off the ground, that meant he would have to find a car. With the resource of eBay Motors, it didn't take long for Ron to narrow his selection down to a '69 Valiant that was located in Florida. "It was a '69, which meant it had the one-year grille. I love that grille because it looks so ahead of its time!" Dealing with the seller was cake, too. He answered all his phone calls and questions right up until Ron took delivery. Ron tells us, "Once I got the car, he wouldn't pick up the phone because he knew he was lying through his teeth!"
When the car arrived, he found out that he received a Slant-Six powered, rusted out unusable shell of a Valiant. This drove him through the roof. While stripping the shell, he kept finding rust all over the body and frame of the car. It was nothing like the seller said it was and the pictures were deceitful. "I fixed it up as much as I could and then stuck it back on eBay for a $1,000 loss," he admits. It was a tough pill to swallow but he moved forward.
While he was back on eBay, he found this '67 that you see here. He vowed to never buy another car on that site again without seeing it in person first. Thankfully, this one was only about an hour south of his home in Alta Loma, California, so Ron drove down to take a look. Everything added up. Ron discussed the '67 with the seller and he was kind enough to reveal his reserve on the auction. After some thought, he decided to bid the reserve in the last 20 seconds of the auction, and won. It was a running and driving car that was in very poor mechanical shape, but the body was a rust free desert car and that's exactly what he wanted. Well, almost exactly what he wanted. He still held hopes for a '69.
After about a year of the Valiant sitting, he gave up on the dream of finding a '69, and since he had an excellent '67 sitting in his garage he decided to get started. Ron tore the car apart and worked hand over fist to get the car finished. "I worked on the car every single day for 23 months, maybe taking a break from the car four or five days," he says. "I was determined to build the car and make it into something that could win car shows but also lay down a good number at the track."
Before he knew it, the car was down to a bare shell. He borrowed a dolly from his friends Doug and Bryan Sloan so that he could move the car around, and he sent it off to paint. This is when his meticulous attention to detail began on the car. This car may hide it well, but Ron has carefully modified nearly every item on it. From the body to the interior and wiring, this A-Body has been gone over thoroughly.