Totally Floored
Eight months ago we introduced our Valiant project car. We tried to come up with a catchy name, like Cheap Thrills (too cheesy) or Valiant Attempt (did we fail?) In the end, we decided on Valiant Effort (even if we screwed up, it was a valiant effort). The premise behind this undertaking was to build an inexpensive, overlooked mode of transportation that even high-school students-or anybody on a limited budget with a willingness to do a little work-could accomplish alone. A lot of late nights were spent in the garage with the grinder and welder, making things fit, but it was an enjoyable task. There were times when the kids went to the garage with me, and I must admit that should happen more often.

Of course, we could have sent the Valiant to a competent body or restoration shop and built a fantastic ride. The problem, however, is that most people can't afford to take that route (I know I can't). With that in mind, we wanted to build a car the way everybody else does-with our own sweat and bloody knuckles. We initially wanted to keep the budget at $4,000 or less. Did we make it? Well, almost. Now we'll give you a breakdown of the parts we used and the cost of our work.

Engine Swapping 101
In August 2001 we let you know how to change your ride from a world-famous Slant Six engine to a V8. This swap took us a little over a week. Again, that included weekends as well as nights after work. The plus is that it can be accomplished in any home garage. Hey, we did it, so we know you can. Parts for this swap were the initial engine purchase, Schumacher Creative Services motor mounts, the U.S. Radiator, a used bellhousing and tranny, the Holley carb, headers, and a different driveshaft from a donor car.

For the exhaust we chose Hedman Hedders. We also installed one of their X-pipes.
Engine (Buddy's Stash)
$200.00
Mounts (Schumacher Creative Services)
$135.00
Radiator (U.S. Radiator)
$385.00
Used bellhousing (Buddy's Stash)
$40.00
Driveshaft (Buddy's Stash)
$100.00
Tranny (Buddy's Stash)
$200.00
Headers (Hedman Hedders)
$294.00
Carburetor (Holley)
$580.00

While we were at it, we rebuilt the rear suspension with new spring bushings and shocks.
Disc Brake Kit (Master Power Brakes)
$795.00
Rear springs (Springs 'n' Things)
$150.00
Torsion bars (Mancini Racing)
$135.00
14-inch Rallye wheels (Buddy's Stash)
Freebies Tires (Firestone)
$224.00
Shocks (Summit Racing)
$26.95 x 4

The Cost

1 '67 Valiant $700.00
1 Set floors $284.00
1 Salvage yard engine  
and rearend $200.00
1 650 cfm HP Holley carb $580.00
1 Set headers $294.00
1 Set motor mounts $135.00
1 Radiator $385.00
1 Used bellhousing $40.00
1 Driveshaft $100.00
1 Used tranny $200.00
Power Trax unit and gears $510.00
Steel for frame connectors $12.50
Disc brake kit $795.00
Rear springs $150.00
Shocks $107.80
Torsion bars $135.00
14-inch Rallye wheels FREEBIE
Tires $224.00
  $4,717.30

Costs were tallied at the time the parts were acquired. We do not guarantee that they have not changed since then. - Legal disclaimer to keep our butts out of trouble.

Well, we blew it; we are 717 big ones over the budget. I know, it usually happens this way, but it would have been nice to stay under the line. (Note to self-maybe Dulcich won't mind if I don't pay him this month). There's no doubt that we could have built this car for under $4,000, but we would have had to skimp and compromise in places where we didn't want to. The bottom line is this: It's a good idea to have a budget and to try to stay within it. I have yet to build a car without underestimating the cost. I bet I'm not alone, am I?

SOURCE
Year One
PO Box 129
Tucker
GA  30085
800-932-7663
770-496-1949
www.nextgenparts.com/mustang
Master Power Brakes
254-1 Rolling Hills Rd.
Mooresville
NC  28117
704-664-8866
www.mpbrakes.com
Schumacher Creative Services
Seattle
WA
2-06/-364-7151
engine-swaps.com
Springs 'n' Things
8-00/-903-9019
espo.com
U.S. Radiator
3-23/-826-0965
usradiator.com
Mancini Racing
Clinton Township
MI
8-00/-843-2821
manciniracing.com
Hedman Hedders
16410 Manning Way
Cerritos
CA  90701
310-921-0404
www.hedman.com
Firestone Tires
bridgestone-firestone.com
Holley Summit Racing
P.O. Box 909
Akron
OH  44309-0909
800-230-3030
www.summitracing.com
National Drivetrain
8-00/-507-4327
nationaldrivetrain.com
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