Tag: Plymouth

Is It Nuts to Restore a Slant-Six Barracuda? – Jim Black @Hemmings

Is It Nuts to Restore a Slant-Six Barracuda? – Jim Black @Hemmings

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Plum crazy

The Mopar faithful will quickly recognize that this featured Plymouth Barracuda is painted in FC7 “In-Violet” for Plymouth, and not the perhaps-better-known “Plum Crazy” offered by Dodge. The paint hue and its code may be the same for both, but the paint names are unique to each of the brands. The Plum Crazy story title, in this case, may be appropriate to describe not the color of the car, but instead the owner, who chose to do a high-end and costly restoration on this, a six-cylinder-equipped Barracuda. Missing are the billboard stripes, front fender gills, Shaker hood, and a 440 Six Barrel or Hemi beneath the hood, items commonly found on Plymouth E-body models receiving such detailed attention.

This six-cylinder-equipped and heavily optioned Barracuda took eight years to restore. Restoration photography by Doug Peterson

By 1970, every major American automaker was pulling out all the stops in the horsepower wars. Chrysler was no different when it launched the E-body platform for the all-new Plymouth Barracuda and sibling Dodge Challenger. With the Barracuda, this go-big-or-stay-home approach created arguably one of the most beautiful cars ever produced. This sort of shared component engineering was brilliant. Chrysler engineers created a new platform using the B-body cowl, and simply shortened the B-body’s wheelbase. The result was a newer, wider pony car that could easily handle every engine in Chrysler’s arsenal, from the 225 Slant-Six to the fire-breathing Hemi, without compromise or additional components. Had the original Barracuda looked this good, perhaps the pony car segment would have been named for a fish.

Wayne Wacker, a retired federal credit union manager from Davey, Nebraska, is the proud owner of this seemingly rare and eye-popping 1971 Plymouth Barracuda, complete with a pedestrian 225-cu.in. Slant-Six. Wayne has owned the car since 1974, when he found it on an Oldsmobile dealership lot where his wife Georgia worked. As soon as the car came in on trade, Georgia wasted no time giving Wayne the heads up. At the time, the Barracuda showed just 52,000 original miles, and $1,850 was the asking price.

Since purple was Wayne’s favorite color, the deal was done. For the next 14 years, the Barracuda served Wayne and his family as a daily driver and grocery-getter, adding another 75,000 miles, but eventually it was pushed aside in favor of more modern transportation. It was not long before the car moved outside, next to the garage with just a car cover protecting it from the harsh Nebraska winters and hot summers. Once the rust started to set in, it never let up, and eventually took its toll.

Still languishing beside the garage through most of the ’90s, the E-body’s distinctive styling was unmistakable, even under a car cover, so it wasn’t long before rubberneckers and other interested parties started coming around. Word began to spread.

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1953 was big year for American cars. Which of these four would you choose for your dream garage? – Matt Litwin @Hemmings

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As it happened, 1953 turned out to be a pretty big year for the domestic auto industry. Material shortages initiated by the Korean war had ceased to be a problem, 50th-anniversary celebrations spawned special models, and several manufacturers were in the process of, or had just introduced, a new line of V-8 engines. In our latest edition of This or That, we’re celebrating the domestic class of 1953. Let’s take a closer look at four fun examples for you to ponder, all of which are currently available in the Hemmings classifieds.

Chevrolet wasn’t on the anniversary list this year, but it did make a mark for itself by introducing the Bel Air into its own line of top-tier cars. Simultaneously, the entry-level 150 designation effectively replaced the Special, while the 210 Series – like this four-door sedan – supplanted the mid-priced Deluxe line. With the exception of the station wagon, this would be the only four-door passenger car in the 210 series this year. Costing $1,761 (or $17,180 today), it came standard with a 108-hp straight-six engine and manual transmission. It was also the biggest seller in the series, attaining 332,497 buyers. According to portions of the seller’s listing:

It underwent a complete frame off restoration by Skyline restorations in 2010/2011 where it was totally gone through. It features a two tone Horizon Blue and Regatta Blue combo which works well on a 50s car like this. The body is all rust free and the steel panels all straight. All of the chrome and trim pieces are in good condition with a nice shine. The glass is all new, in good condition and is tinted. It has 70,920 miles on the odometer and based on its condition these are believed to be original. The inline 6 cylinder motor runs well and still utilizes its original 6 volt system but an 8 volt battery was added for extra starting power. It is combined with a column shifted 3 speed manual transmission that moves through the gears smoothly. The brakes, hoses, wheel bearings, gas tank, sending unit, exhaust, etc., were all replaced during the rebuild. The interior is done in a two tone to match the body. The upholstery is in excellent condition and it has a bench in front and rear. The dash has the stock layout and keeps with the two tone Blue theme which looks very clean. Even the steering wheel has the two tone look which looks really sharp.

Conversely, Ford was honoring its 50 years in the business of building and selling cars. But other than a little levity, not much was made of the anniversary except for special steering wheel trim. This meant the lineup remained unchanged from the previous year, with the entry-level Mainline and upscale Crestline series book-ending the Customline, such as this two-door Club Coupe. It was offered in six-cylinder guise starting at $1,743 (or $17,004 today), or with the famed “flathead” V-8 at $1,820 (or $17,755 today) without options. Our featured example contains the V-8, making it one of 43,999 built during the year. According to portions of the seller’s listing:

Inside is a tasteful gray interior. The comfortable velour-like cloth has the fresh feeling of a more recent investment, but this design has a great ’50s look that will keep you loving this vintage ride. In fact, this one really likes to keep the classic attitude going, right down to details like the working AM radio. And don’t forget to check out the steering wheel. 1953 was Ford’s 50th anniversary, and so these have a special center cap commemorating it. Ford’s flathead V8 is a legend all on its own for the power it provides, and the 239 cubic-inch displacement would be the largest installed in the Ford cars. It presents well in the engine bay with the tall oil bath air cleaner and copper-colored block/heads. This is a well-maintained package that fires up readily. You get proper control from the column-shifted three-speed manual transmission and the manually engaged overdrive adds to the cruising versatility.

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Which one of these four business coupes would you choose for your dream garage? – Matt Litwin @Hemmings

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There was a time when making a living for a mass-market business involved a door-to-door regional beat from the comfort of your vehicle. The catch was that the roving salesman – who either purveyed immediately usable items, or carried with him “salesman samplers” to demonstrate – needed storage. A common, everyday trunk wasn’t satisfactory enough, while a half-ton truck was ill-suited for cruising endless miles of the countryside several days on end. Detroit’s solution: the business coupe. These two-door cars had all the creature comfort of the ordinary family ride, but without a conventional rear seat (or none at all) for added capacity. In our latest edition of This or That, we’re tipping a hat to the nearly forgotten profession by taking a closer look at just four examples from the immediate prewar era, each of which is currently available in the Hemmings classifieds.

Let’s begin this niche market round-up with this attractive 1939 Plymouth. By the start of the model year, Plymouth had a decade of business coupe history to tout, and during the year the model was available in both the entry-level P7 Road King series, or the P8 Deluxe series, as seen here. Affordability was the name of the game, and the P8 version started at $725 (or $13,489 today). Standard equipment included an 82-hp, 201.3-cu.in. six-cylinder engine, backed by a column-shifted three-speed manual transmission, supported by a 114-inch-wheelbase chassis. It was a banner year for Plymouth’s business coupe production, which jumped from a combined 1938 output of 43,113 units to 64,461. Of those, 41,924 were P8 examples. According to the seller of this one:

Part of a private collection, absolutely gorgeous, black with gray interior. AACA Senior winner in 2007 with multiple repeat preservation awards, the latest from the May 2014 AACA meet in Buffalo NY. Car has an Inline 6 motor with a three-speed transmission on the column. I purchased this car from a man who had owned it since 1962, I had intentions of keeping it for myself, but my plans have changed and am offering it for sale after owning it for seven years. I have put about 600 miles on it in the last two years, it runs, drives, starts and stops excellently and I would not hesitate to drive it anywhere. All of the gauges work properly as do the speedometer and odometer. The horn works and all of the lights in both high and low beam work excellently. The Plymouth has seatbelts and a third taillight added for safety, done to AACA acceptable standards.

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This unrestored 1966 Dodge Charger offers a unique experience – David Conwill @Hemmings

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Plymouth folks are fond of telling you that Dodge stole every good thing Plymouth ever had. Whether that’s a fair assessment or not, it does put an interesting spin on the 1966 Dodge Charger.
In 1964, a few months before the Ford Mustang debuted, Plymouth brought out its own sporty compact. As the Mustang had its roots in the Falcon, Plymouth’s new Barracuda was based on the brand’s compact Valiant. While the Mustang used radically different bodywork from the Falcon, the Barracuda was essentially a new body style of Valiant, with a large glass fastback.
When Dodge dealers saw the success of the Barracuda, they clamored for their own sporty compact based on the Dart. In a rare act of defiance, the Chrysler board said no. Dodge would get a sporty, two-door fastback, but instead of being based on the Dart, it would use the midsize Coronet platform.

1999 Plymouth Prowler – @BringaTrailer

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This 1999 Plymouth Prowler is one of 1,134 examples finished in Prowler Purple Metallic for the model year was reportedly acquired by the seller in June 2019 from the family of the original owner. It shows 34k miles and is powered by a 3.5-liter 24-valve V6 paired with a rear-mounted four-speed Autostick automatic transaxle. Equipment includes a gray leather interior, a manually-operated convertible top, cycle fenders, a rear-hinged trunk, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, air conditioning, cruise control, and a cassette stereo. This Prowler is now offered with service manuals, a car cover, a clean Carfax report, and a clean Georgia title

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To get an idea of how big a deal the Neon was, consider all the concept cars Chrysler based on it – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings

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The Neon was a big deal!

Automakers rarely build concept cars for the heck of it. The paper that designers draw on is cheap; the real-life versions, even the non-working ones, aren’t. So concept cars typically arise from a purpose, sometimes clearly stated, sometimes befuddling, and sometimes misguided. Chrysler needed the Neon to succeed for multiple reasons, and that necessity was reflected in the many varied concept cars based on the friendly little compact car.

The Plymouth brand had, by the early 1990s, become largely redundant. Little differentiated the brand’s offerings from the models that it shared with Dodge and Eagle, it had no truck line other than the Voyager minivan, and Dodge had outsold Plymouth for the prior decade or so. It was high time for a revamp, one that would play an integral part in keeping Chrysler’s value/volume brand around

The Neon was a big deal!

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Related– Lee Iacocca could have saved American automakers—again

This ’49 Plymouth coupe pulls along a camp trailer – Larry Edsall @ClassicCars.com

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Pick of the Day is a vintage coupe, and for $5,000 more, you get the UHaul trailer as well

Pick of the Day is a vintage coupe

If the Pick of the Day captures your attention, you need to know that it comes with more than just the usual challenge of the price its owner expects. The car is a 1949 Plymouth Business Coupe that its private owner is offering for sale on ClassicCars.com for $32,500.

But if you’re willing to cough up another 5 grand, for $37,500 you get not only the Plymouth but a vintage UHaul camping trailer in a matching shade of Solar Yellow paint.

Pick of the Day is a vintage coupe

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Related – Salesman’s 1939 Ford coupe

Lee Iacocca could have saved American automakers—again – Jack Baruth @Hagerty

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Almost 38 years ago, a bare-bones Plymouth Reliant “K” sedan rolled up into our driveway and my father stepped out of the thing with a look of unconcealed disdain on his face. I was there before he applied the parking brake, anxious to see the car that was going to save Chrysler. His brokerage had just taken a fleet delivery of a half-dozen or so Reliants, largely on the strength of my recommendation as his company’s “auto expert,” and I’d begged him to bring one home as soon as he could.

Crawling through the rectilinear vinyl interior, running my fingers along the back of every plastic trim piece, popping the hood and gazing in wonder at the all-American 2.2-liter four-cylinder and its mighty 84 horsepower. As a late-’81 build, it carried the ultra-modern Chrysler Pentastar instead of a Plymouth badge.

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