The "Big Three" were quite a bit different in the early 1950s, but you can see that Plymouth was a player with this handsome 1954 Plymouth Belvedere hardtop. Believed to have just 52,172 original miles, it is the stylish alternative to the "been there, done that" Fords and Chevys.
With period-perfect colors, this Belvedere is a hit everywhere it goes. The Santa Rosa Coral paint is fairly fresh and looks right on the curvy early 50s shape. It doesnt use modern metallics, so it feels appropriate even though its modern urethane, and a quick cut and buff would easily take it to the next level. As a good, solid original car, the way it fits together is pretty much what you would have gotten in 1954 and theres a reassuring solidity to how the doors close and the way the hood latches shut. There are no replacement panels available for cars like this, so all the pieces you see on it are factory-issue and you can see how Chrysler was experimenting with tailfins and "jet-age" trim in the early days of the decade. Theres plenty of chrome, of course, most of which is original and in fair condition for being almost 60 years old (the front bumper is new), and the stainless has that soft shine that looks right. Curved glass makes a dramatic statement, particularly the rear window, which is probably irreplaceable at this point, so its a good thing its in great shape.
The interior has been freshened using coral-colored cloth and white vinyl on the original bench seats, as well as the door panels. Fresh carpets tie it together, and the color-matched dash and window sills should be coral overload, but somehow it all works just fine. A few well-chosen bits of stainless highlight the door panels and instrument panel, which is a simple affair with all the major gauges ahead of the driver and the original AM radio in the center of the dash. The big plastic steering wheel is original and holding up well considering the state of plastic technology in 1954, so you know someone kept this car out of the sun, and three-on-the-tree shifting is easy to master with the shifter at your fingertips. Theres plenty of room in the trunk, which has also been reupholstered in gray fabric and carries a full-sized spare tire, just in case.
Plymouth used a 217 cubic inch version of Chryslers erstwhile flathead six, which is one of the more durable powerplants in the companys history. And before you dismiss it as an underachiever, please come drive this Belvedere, where youll discover lively performance and plenty of smooth torque for around-town cruising. No, it wont win any races, but its delightful in traffic with great throttle response and well-chosen gears to make it easy to drive. The engine bay is fairly original, more proof of a good life, and the only modification seems to be a split manifold with a brand new dual exhaust system that gives the six a bit of an attitude. Ride, handling, and braking were some of the best of the era, and with modern 205/70/15 whitewall radials, it feels comfortable on the road.
For those of you looking for a good driver-quality 54 Plymouth, you know how hard they are to find. Finding one thats ready to drive too well, thats even that much harder. You may be very pleasantly surprised. Call today!