1961 Plymouth Valiant: For 1961, new 2-door sedan and hardtop models were released, but no changes were made to the 4-door sedan and wagon sheetmetal. The interior and exterior trim were changed to provide model year differentiation, a mild form of planned obsolescence. The radiator grille stamping was the same as in 1960, but for 1961 it was painted with a pattern of black squares. The central grille ornament was still pulled from the bottom to release the hood, but it was now faced with an emblem having a white field with the blue-and-red stylized "V" Valiant logo, rather than 1960's red field with gold script "Valiant" callout. The side trim was changed; a 10 in (25 cm) stainless spear was placed at the rear of each tailfin crease, a hockey stick-shaped trim was applied to the lower break line, and the front fender/door crease was capped with a long stainless spear. The tailfins were each topped with three transverse chrome strips, and a large horizontal emblem containing a round plastic "V200" callout was centred in the deck lid's spare-tire stamping. Matching round "V200" callouts were placed in round housings at the midpoint of the front fender spears. Inside the car, the instrument cluster was largely carried over, but 1960's black gauges with white callouts gave way to 1961's white gauges with black callouts.
Mechanical revisions for 1961 included new carburetors, the availability of positive crankcase ventilation (which was newly mandated on cars sold in California), the availability of dealer-installed air conditioning, the relocation of the alternator from the left to the right side of the engine, and extensive revisions throughout most of the Valiant's systems and components. Late in the 1961 model year, the larger 225 cu in (3.7 L) Slant-6 engine became available in the Valiant, its use having been expanded earlier in the year from the larger Dodges and Plymouths to the Valiant-sized Dodge Lancer.
Source: Wikipedia, 2013