The two-tone blue interior played a major part in the exterior hue.
To say that Ron was obsessed with shedding weight is hardly an understatement. "I went through every piece of the car and thought about if it could be removed, replaced, or lightened," he says. The center shaft of the steering column was drilled including the centerlink and door hinges. The front bumper bolts and washers were replaced with aluminum, the hood pins and jam nuts-all aluminum. Even the steering wheel is aluminum. Then he moved onto titanium. The front bumper brackets bolt to the frame with titanium bolts, and the wheel studs, flange nuts, and a majority of the suspension bolts are lightweight titanium. As a firm believer in weight bias, this brought the car to be properly biased to the rear by approximately 100 pounds-with the driver in place. The total weight of the car comes out to 2,900 pounds, and that's with an iron-headed crate engine and rear weight ballast. Ron even took it so far to have the exhaust made from 16-gauge aluminized pipe and was even upset that he wasn't able to get the even thinner 18-gauge pipe.
Another area Ron obsessed over was the color selection. He was originally going to go with a green color but once he chose a blue interior, he knew that green wouldn't work. Then he saw a silver Jeep Wrangler and a 3/4 ton Ford Truck and liked the way they looked. He eventually decided on a generic PPG silver because it gives the car a modern-paint look.
Titanium lugs and lightweight Weld Alumistar II wheels are just the beginning of the massi
With the paint dry, Ron dropped in a Mopar Performance 406 crate engine. He didn't make any effort to lighten the engine because he plans to swap in a "good motor" sometime in the future. His Demon had a 474-inch engine that was fun to drive around, and made incredible power. It also had lightweight internals and aluminum heads, shaving off a clean 50 pounds. "I would like to go with something similar in this car and it would also bring the weight to around 2,850 pounds!"
In the meantime, Ron has been driving the car everywhere and entering shows. His attention to detail was really what caught our attention since it's always great to see a car that has more to it than meets the eye. Ron's obsession with weight and a modern spin on appearance make this A-Body a grand slam. Especially considering the performance. So far, it has run a best of 11.07 at 118 mph with an astonishing 1.49 60-foot. As the motor breaks in, Ron would like to see a 10.99. We think it can be done! Now he can concentrate on really enjoying his Valiant since he's gotten over his weight issues.
'67 Plymouth Valiant 100
Owned by: Ron Silva; Alta Loma, California
- Engine: A Mopar Performance 406 crate engine. The entire rotating assembly uses SCAT parts and features a Mopar .501/.513 230/234 hydraulic roller camshaft. Bolted to the block are Mopar Magnum RT big-valve heads, which receive air and fuel from an M-1 intake and Race Demon carb. The ignition has been converted to the popular MSD Digital 6 controller. The headers were made by Ron and are stepped. They flow into a 3-inch exhaust with Dynomax Super Turbo mufflers.
- Transmission: Dave Smith at Pro Trans in Lancaster, California, is a good friend of Ron's and he built the 904 to handle the future power upgrades. It uses an ATI converter with a Pro Trans shift kit and a B&M Pro Stick.
- Rearend: A Mark Williams 9-inch with an aluminum spool and 40-spline gun-drilled axles. The final drive comes from Richmond 4.10 gears.
- Suspension: Underneath the Valiant is an assortment of suspension and chassis goodies, starting with 2x3 frame ties. The front frame was boxed and fully welded for strength. Ron added Firm Feel adjustable strut rods and Mopar drag race torsion bars and polyurethane bushings up front. Out back, Tri City Launcher leaf springs were installed and all four corners have Strange double adjustable shocks. The steering box was also rebuilt by Firm Feel.
- Brakes: Mark Williams light weight disc brakes on both ends.
- Wheels and Tires: Weld Alumistar II wheels look incredible and they're also very light. Ron's wheels measure 15x3 1/2 up front and 15x10 rear. Massive Hoosier 28x11.5x15 QTP tires launch the car to short times in the high 1.40s while Mickey Thompson front runners help keep front weight down.
- Paint and Body: A VFN Fiberglass hood and front bumper are the only fiberglass parts. The front and rear wheelwell openings were stretched and the gas filler was shaved. All paint and body work was performed by George Hernandez at Pollo's Auto Body and Restorations. The paint is a PPG Base Clear called Mack Silver.
- Interior: Ron went with a two-tone blue interior and sourced his seats from Summit Racing. Paul's Auto Trim in Ontario, California, restored and reupholstered the interior. A Speedway Motors aluminum steering wheel was put on to save weight.