Greetings/??s from a new member

I'm new to this site, though I've owned a 1963 Valiant convertible since 1987. I'm interested in talking to someone or ones who might be particularly astute/knowledgeable/obsessed with the 63 Valiant, its particular merits and weaknesses. I'd also be interested if there is anyone out there who actually worked making the car or its parts. It was made at the Chrysler plant that was recently shut down in Newark, Delaware.

I think the sequence number of the VIN should disclose more about where the parts come from (at least I've been told). Does anyone know how to decode that part of the VIN? Weren't all the Slant 6 engines made at the Trenton Engine plant outside Detroit?

As you can tell, I'm not an expert the way most (all?) of you are, so forgive the tyro nature of this post. I am a writer embarking on a journey around the country with this car. The general objective of the journey is to document social and economic changes in the country, particularly as relates to the shift over the decades away from making things. The car's history (my father had the same car when I was growing up) and survival are part of the story. Anyone with any thoughts/stories about the history of the Valiant/slant 6/A body - I'd love to hear from you.

Also, it would be great to have leads on mechanics around the country. I had some trouble with my car recently. It stalled at a Stop sign and then would go only in Reverse. Everytime I tried to put it in Drive (D, 2 or 1) it stalled. By the time AAA came, it didn't do that, and hasn't done it since (touch wood), but has anyone ever heard of such a thing? I've polled my car pals and none had. It had a few other difficulties (pitted points, a cracked distributor cap, a screw loose on the accelerator pump, all of which have been fixed), but no one thought those could explain the curious refusal to go forward.

I'm currently in Buffalo, NY, headed to the Midwest and then South before the snow flies.

thanks, jwyp
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