Ultimately, Jon’s dream of building a 700hp beater didn’t come to fruition and he gets a kick out of calling the Valiant a bastard. Just like an illegitimate love child, however, it proved to be a heck of a lot more fun to make than a legitimate child. As this story is being written, Jon has just returned home from a weekend of autocrossing and 600 miles of street cruising. Not surprisingly, the car performed flawlessly while turning heads in the process. That’s not too shabby at all for what he considers an utter failure.

“The great thing about this car is that you can autocross it one day, then change the shock valving and take it to the dragstrip the next day. That wasn’t even possible 10 years ago.” —Matt Delaney

By The Numbers

1968 Plymouth Valiant

Jon Clark, 43 • Grosse Pointe Park, MI


Type: Chrysler 528ci big-block

Block: World Products aluminum bored to 4.500 inches

Oiling: Speed-Pro high-volume oil pump, Milodon pan

Rotating assembly: Barton 4.150-inch forged crank and billet rods; JE 10.0:1 forged pistons

Cylinder heads: ported Edelbrock Victor Max Wedge aluminum raised-runner castings with 2.20/1.81-inch valves

Camshaft: custom Barton hydraulic roller (specs classified)

Valvetrain: COMP Cams valvesprings, retainers, pushrods, and timing set; Crane 1.61:1 rockers

Induction: Edelbrock Super Victor Max Wedge intake manifold, Holley 2,000-cfm throttle-body

Ignition: MSD billet distributor, coil, plug wires, and ignition box

Fuel system: JAZ 32-gallon fuel cell, Holley HP EFI system and electric pump

Exhaust: TTI 2-inch headers, ARCA take-off side pipes

Built by: Ray Barton Racing Engines (Robesonia, PA)


Transmission: Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual, American Powertrain clutch

Rear axle: Chrysler 8¾-inch rearend with Moser aluminum centersection, 35-spline axles, 3.91:1 gears, and limited-slip differential


Front suspension: RMS AlterKtion K-member, control arms, coilovers, sway bar, and spindles

Rear suspension: RMS four-link and coilovers

Brakes: Wilwood 12-inch discs with four-piston calipers, front and rear

Wheels & Tires

Wheels: Forgeline ZX3P 18x7 (4.5-inch backspace), front; 18x9 (6-inch backspace), rear

Tires: Nitto 555; 225/40R18, front; 305/45R18, rear