Classic Auto Mall
6180 Morgantown Road
1946 Plymouth Coupe
While Plymouth manufactured munitions and military engines during the war, stylists like A. B. "Buzz" Grisinger, John Chika, and Herb Weissinger worked on postwar ideas whenever they could. Typical of Chrysler thinking at the time, these involved smooth, flush-fender bodies with thin door pillars and wraparound grilles. But like most everyone else, Plymouth resumed civilian operations with mildly modified '42s, which the booming seller's market happily consumed into model-year '49. The first all-new postwar Plymouths bowed in March '49 as squarer and more upright than any wartime study.
For consignment, a blank canvas, or an open palette if you will with this mostly original 1946 Plymouth coupe. Sporting its original steel panels, the original 6-cylinder engine, which runs just great, and an older interior restoration, this car is begging to be rodded, or a really cool head turner as a business coupe. Flared rockers, rounded fenders and hood, and plenty of rounded chrome trimmings, she's a natural to be spiced up and restored as an investment.
Bathed in a yellow respray, the Briggs bodied steel is straight, and gaps are good. Some cracking and crazing of an earlier paint spray are evident, as are some areas of chip off and slight rust underneath. All chrome is still nicely polished, and not much fault can be found with it. Noted the front bumper is missing, but all else remains steadfast. Speaking of the front, there is plenty of chrome trim interacting to form the curvaceous grille, front of the fenders with single headlights, and a trim spear which curves around the hood line, through the doors, and to the rear quarter panel where it dies mid fender. The passenger cabin design with its 5 windows, has a forward canter, and gracefully rounded rear trunk and C pillar, which makes its way downward to the simple shaved handle trunk and curved rear bumper. Some deep dish wheels, chromed, and with moon caps are wrapped in raised white lettered tires all around.
The beneficiary of an older restoration, nice gray square tweed fuzzy broadcloth panels cover the doors and have a tasteful peppering of chromed and bakelite handles and knobs. Slight intermixing of some dark gray vinyl and lower gray speckled carpet complete the doors with a touch of bent chrome trim to add to the panels. Inside a gray tweed broadcloth bench which splits at the back, has silver piping as edging, and is nicely preserved with no stains or tears. Upfront, a gray sprayed metal deco style dash with rectangular gauges and a central speedo, has nice chromed bezels surrounding and is also dotted with bakelite knobs and pulls. A wonderful mass of centrally chromed and ribbed highlighting makes up the speaker covers and has the fold out cigarette ash "receivers", ignition port, and heater knobs. This art deco menagerie is fronted by the original steering wheel in deep brown bakelite, with a central horn ring which has been broken off at mid point. Gray carpet in good condition covers the floors, and the headliner is still under construction with a fireproof liner shown and no covering as of yet be left up to the new owner's devices.
A 95 Hp 217.8 inline 6-cylinder sits in the unrestored engine bay. A 3-speed manual transmission is on back, and the engine is topped with a 1-barrel carburetor.
All rust free, solid frame and floorpans, as well as inner fenders. Hydraulic drum brakes for the rear, and an upgrade to disc brakes are now up front. Independent of each other, coil springs and shocks work together to provide the ride for the front, and leaf springs are on the back, with some extra support from shock absorbers.
This car with its original engine started right up and idled smoothly. Off at the test track, it accelerated with ease, and held a decent cruising speed. Brakes were good, and car stopped in a straight line with an un-held steering wheel line. Functions were good, and I noticed the speedometer was jumpy.
Plymouth built solid cars to last, in the day, and this car upholds that theory. Some crazing and chipping of the paint, but not a whole lot of work to bring her back to snuff, as the interior remains nice, needs a headliner, and the underpinnings are certainly solid. Engine runs great and could be upgraded or kept as is. As noted, a blank canvas for a snazzy design car from 1946, cue the Chattanooga Choo Choo!
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