1950 Plymouth Deluxe

Illustration for article titled 1950 Plymouth Deluxe

Since I continue to get emails from readers expressing skepticism that all the DOTS cars were actually spotted while parked on the streets of Alameda (today's is #47), I'm going to say it again: Unless I state otherwise, every single car you see in this series was found street-parked on this one-by-five-mile island in the San Francisco Bay. So, let's get on with today's car, a very clean '50 Plymouth.

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Illustration for article titled 1950 Plymouth Deluxe


Not only is it very clean, it's very maroon.

Illustration for article titled 1950 Plymouth Deluxe
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Even though the '50 Plymouth had a list price of only $1551 (comparable to the cost of similar Ford or Chevrolet sedans), it came with snazzy touches like this weighty chrome license-plate light mount.

Illustration for article titled 1950 Plymouth Deluxe


The engine fitted in these cars was a 97-horsepower flathead six. Nothing spectacular, but enough to get the job done.

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Yes indeed, the Plymouth brand has quite a heritage for Chrysler to draw on for future cars. Oh, wait...

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The crystal doorknob on the three-on-the-tree shifter fits right in with the Victorians in this car's neighborhood. What, no great big tube radio?

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Like most sedans of its era, the '50 Plymouth packs some serious trunk volume. For some reason I'd thought that Richard Nixon used a '50 Plymouth sedan for campaigning during his first run at the Senate, but his car was actually a '49 Mercury wagon. So much for bringing up the Plymouth trunk's capacity for suitcases bulging with small-denomination currency (but if I find a '49 Merc I'm going to bring it up again).

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It's great that a 57-year-old car can still survive on the street, though I don't know how much regular driving duty this car sees.

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Ah, the days before Ralph Nader, when taillights could be small and pretty (and damn near impossible to see at night).

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Good as this car looks, I think it could benefit from losing a few inches of ride height and gaining a few inches of tire width, plus maybe a few other modifications. Nothing crazy, mind you... unless you consider dropping in a blown 331 Hemi crazy, that is.

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DISCUSSION

Do plenty of mods, but be subtle with all of them. Expand the tires just a little, drop it about two inches - you'll still be able to hop the curb without nasty scraping sounds - and upgrade the engine. More power, not necessarily lots of power.

Do it all without going overboard and anyone clapping eyes on it won't realize it isn't stock. They'll just think, "damn, that looks good." You won't (grossly) offend the purists, and garner ups from sleeperphile rodders.