Roy Alati’s show-stopping 1962 S-Series Valiant – flashback

Six years of hard slog created this S-series stunner


It’s hard to look away – even for a moment – from Roy Alati’s 1962 S-series Val’s gorgeous curves, full billet detailing and ground-scraping Pro Stock stance. And it runs every bit as good as it looks.

First published in the January 1997 issue of Street Machine

It really hammers. We’ve got the sore neck muscles to prove it. Stamp on the loud pedal and this triple Dellorto-fed slant six pins you to the seat with acceleration that would leave a lot of would-be-if-they-could-be street V8s gasping. Honest.

First gear on the Charger four-speed, clutch out and throttle flat to the firewall, the shove in your back is like being hit by a truck. Slam the stick through to second and the rear boots acknowledge the torque dump with a loud chirp, the tail squirms under load and the forward motion is unrelenting.

Third gear, fourth gear, the effect is the same. This supposedly outdated six-pot, famous for sitting a few degrees out of plumb, is cranking some serious numbers but you never twig from the outside. No hole in the bonnet, no giggle gas in the boot – just a lumpy idle and occasional cough from a trio of Italian two-barrels gives any hint of what’s hiding inside.

“I just love old cars, particularly these S-series Valiants,” Roy says with unmistakable pride, after only recently completing his thorough six-year rebuild of the car. “The S-series is the most shapely sedan ever made – I just love ’em because they’re so different to everything else on the roads.” You quickly get the message this guy is an individual, not content to follow the GM and Ford flocks – and not a V8 engine in sight. To compensate, Roy gave the original 225ci six a serious workout. Running 10:1 compression, the triple 45mm carbs, heavily worked head and 60-thou over flat top pistons make a potent combination, matched to a Waggott solid cam, Pacemaker extractors and raspy 2½-inch exhaust.

In case you haven’t twigged, Roy is into Valiants. Big time. His dad started his addiction to Pentastars at an early age, owning a string of ’em when young Roy was at his most impressionable. Dad even went as far as buying the S-series as a present for his son’s 18th birthday but the dream soon turned to a nightmare. After just two days behind the wheel, Roy head-butted a Gemini when the old Valiant’s brake pedal suddenly went to the floor, but the experience only intensified his Mopar addiction.

“I had six people in the car at the time and we all walked away unhurt,” Roy recalls. Ahead lay six years of sweat and dedication in his parent’s home garage, turning the slightly-bent Valiant into a show stopper.

The rust-free shell was stripped naked and hauled down to Sydney’s Corona Bros Bodyworks for a full physical, including a pair of neat mini-tubs to house the fat 10 x 15″ billet-style Dragways. There was never any doubt over what to do with the elaborate chromework either. Every S-series Roy had seen wore masses of it, so he had every piece dechromed instead. And we mean every piece, from bumpers to taillight surrounds, door handles and even instruments. He then had them sprayed with a 2-pak mix of straight silver tinter with just a splash of purple pearl.

The choice of body colour was much tougher. Roy drove Charlie Corona crazy for months, tossing and turning over the perfect choice. Finally, he picked True Blue out of the FoMoCo book and the overall effect puts a big smile on Roy’s face. It should do, because it looks fantastic.

Take a look around a great cabin. The six-point Bond rollcage, took an awful lot of work to make it fit neatly and remain completely removable. The surgical quality of the stitching and overall fit of the cloth trim was the work of a guy Roy referred to only as Mick, who learned his craft building Recaro interiors. The front seats are Stratos buckets while the rear bench is the original item with major re-bolstering work. All neat, all quality and a real kick to cruise in.

On the streets, this car turns heads and prompts plenty of questions. It handles too. Roy has made sure all that slant six grunt isn’t wasted. There’s a significant drop in ride height with the narrowed 3.7:1 Borg Warner LSD riding in beefed rear springs. Fatter torsion bars off a V8 Val were installed up front. Nolathane bushes tighten the whole package, with big Charger front discs and rear drums responding quickly any time Roy stabs the middle pedal.

Roy’s Val picked up trophies for Top Engine Bay and Judges Choice at his first show and it’s debut at the All Chrysler Day in Sydney late last year blew everyone away. Roy says he’s actually been a bit surprised by all the attention the car has attracted. Needless to say, we’re not surprised at all.


Circa 2024, the S-Series has a new owner, Paul Willock. We’re pleased to report that the Val has had a V8 conversion, but otherwise looks very much like it did back in the Jan/Feb 1997 issue. We’ll have a full update in our Time Machine column soon!