1940 Plymouth and 1940 Buick

Illustration for article titled 1940 Plymouth and 1940 Buick

Welcome to Found Off The Street, our look at cars found on the cape that rust liked so much it decided to summer there; Cape Cod, MA. Today we have a 1940 Plymouth and a 1940 Buick Limo.

Last week's FOTS 1970 GMC Jimmy was in surprising shape after 41 years of use. We can't help but wonder what kind of condition the Jimmy will be in if and when it reaches the ripe old age of 71 like the 1940 Plymouth and the 1940 Buick we have this week. We aren't sure the Jimmy will age quite as well as this pair has.


This week in Found off the Street we have a rare and unlikely old pair of cars. When the two were sold in 1940 during the early stages of World War II, few could have predicted 71 years later they would end up side by side waiting out a long Massachusetts winter. A pedestrian Plymouth and a high class Buick Limited Series 91 certainly make an odd but spectacular pair.

For 1940 the Plymouth was a refined and redesigned version of the previous year's model. The updated body was lower, wider and longer. Although it was based upon the design of the 1939 model, only the trademark Plymouth sailing ship hood emblem interchanged between the two models. Available in two main model lines the more expensive "Deluxe" was complimented by the reasonably priced "Roadking". The top of the line Deluxe 7 passenger Sedan cost $1005 in 1940.

Regardless of what model line you opted for in 1940, your new Plymouth came equipped with the brand's "flat six" engine. Slightly updated from 1939, the six cylinder produced 84 horsepower. The improved styling and mechanics combined to produce a car that certainly lived up to Plymouth's self proclaimed title of "The low priced beauty with the luxury ride."

The 1940 Buick was not advertised as being low priced nor was the model year a massive redesign. That being said, few would doubt the true luxury of the upscale Buick models in 1940. More than 30 different vehicle styles were offered by the company that year, including the Limited series 91 seen here.

Sitting at the top of the Buick model hierarchy for 1940, the Series 91 did not sell that well. Although I wasn't able to locate the exact price of the model when new, I believe it is safe to say it was a lot more than the Plymouth that year. Perhaps because of the impending war or perhaps because of the high price only 417 1940 Buick Limited Series 91s were made.


Exactly how these two ended up sitting next to each other on the cape that rust remembered is unknown. When I stumbled across them in front of a small garage off the beaten path I couldn't believe it. Although produced to live very different lives when new over 70 years later the two cars look like two nearly identical refugees of a bygone era.

Not surprisingly, the Plymouth is a little rougher than its upscale companion. Both cars look pretty good for the age of 71, appearing to be in better shape than many cars half their age. The Plymouth needs a little help cosmetically but both cars run and drive. It doesn't appear that the Buick needs anything more than a thorough cleaning and a sunny day to return to road use. The two cars are owned by different people. The Buick is for sale in the $30-40,000 range and it's unclear exactly what it would take to buy the Plymouth. Although separation is inevitable, for now the two sit together reminding us of the past. We can only wonder what the next 71 years will bring for the two old cars.

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They do look in good shape, but it's too bad they aren't sitting inside somewhere. I'm wondering what's under the car covers.