• Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan

Bynewsmagzines

Feb 20, 2023
Junkyard Gem: 1954 Plymouth Savoy Sedan

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American auto buyers purchased many millions of the four-doorway sedans that flew off Detroit’s assembly strains in the 10 years after World War II, and so a great deal of them nevertheless stay in barns, garages, driveways and yards currently, awaiting loving owners who will set them back on the road. Regretably, individuals with the time and money to take on difficult vintage automotive initiatives tend to like coupes and convertibles, particularly these manufactured by the better-prestige marques. That implies that a lot of of these vehicles continue on to run out of time with every passing working day, getting that closing tow-truck ride to their quite last parking areas. Present day Junkyard Gem is 1 of all those vehicles: a 1954 Plymouth Savoy 4-doorway painted in Piedmont Maroon, located in a Denver self-provider lawn lately.

As an instance of how several of these autos continue to get crushed each calendar year, here is a partial listing of some of the 1946-1956 American 4-door sedans I have personally documented in automobile graveyards in excess of the very last decade or so: 1947 Dodge Tailor made, 1947 Frazer Manhattan, 1948 Plymouth Unique Deluxe, 1949 Dodge Coronet, 1949 Kaiser Exclusive, 1949 Oldsmobile 88, 1949 Plymouth Exclusive Deluxe, 1950 Cadillac Sixty-A person, 1950 Chrysler Royal, 1950 Studebaker Commander, 1951 Chevrolet Styleline, 1951 Frazer, 1951 Lincoln Cosmopolitan, 1951 Plymouth Cranbrook, a further 1951 Plymouth Cranbrook, 1952 Kaiser, 1952 Buick Specific, 1952 Mercury Personalized, 1953 Packard Clipper, 1953 Plymouth Unique, 1953 Pontiac Chieftain, 1955 Studebaker Commander, 1956 DeSoto Fireflite and a 1956 Mercury Montclair.

It really is specifically difficult for the 1946-1954 Plymouths, mainly because those people vehicles have been witnessed as stodgy transportation appliances for cheapskates when they ended up new. As the 1940s grew to become the 1950s, most American cars and trucks became for a longer time, sleeker and flashier-looking, but Plymouths appeared to remain the identical.

For the 1955 product 12 months, Plymouths received a clean up-sheet redesign and caught up with present-day styling tendencies effectively plenty of (almost certainly not coincidentally, Plymouths eventually received their very own dealerships in late 1954, rather than just staying offered out of Chrysler, DeSoto and Dodge showrooms). But for 1954, the finest Chrysler could do with the appears to be of the ever more aged-looking Plymouth was give it a new grille and some body chrome. Bumpers were manufactured to stick out a several more inches to cheat on the total length a bit.

Chrysler’s Plymouth Division entered 1954 in 3rd spot for product sales (guiding 1st-area Chevrolet and second-location Ford) and had dropped to fifth by the close of the yr, many thanks to Buick and Oldsmobile grabbing the 3rd and fourth places, respectively.

Items looked really old-fashioned below the ’54 Plymouth’s hood. This is a Chrysler flathead straight-6, a straightforward and reputable engine with ancestry stretching back again to the 1920s if this 1 is this car’s primary plant, it can be a 217- or 230-cubic-incher rated at 100 or 110 horsepower. Whilst Chrysler commenced setting up cars with modern-day overhead-valve V8s as early as the 1951 product calendar year, it was not until eventually the Slant-6 debuted for 1959 that the aged flathead was retired from vehicles (although it soldiered on, virtually, in armed service vans for lots of more years).

A great deal of new American autos continue to experienced flathead engines in 1954, of course you could acquire a new American vehicle with a valve-in-block motor design all the way by means of 1964. However, valve-in-head designs ended up shoving the previous flatheads apart in a hurry by the center 1950s. Ford launched an overhead valve straight-six for 1952 and a pushrod-equipped V8 for 1954. Chevrolets experienced overhead valves in their sixes going all the way back again to 1929, and we all know what occurred in the Chevrolet motor environment in 1955.

Even the Plymouth sailing-ship hood ornament (positioned atop the engine by a junkyard shopper) appeared outdated-fashioned in 1954. Nevertheless Plymouth had been named soon after a model of twine popular with American farmers, the ship topic was an attempt to link the brand with Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower.

Plymouths did get an optional completely automatic transmission for 1954, nevertheless this automobile has the three-speed column-change handbook that went into most Detroit devices at the time.

The 1954 Plymouth could be obtained with an optional Hy-Push semi-computerized transmission as well as the foundation 3-on-the-tree or two-velocity PowerFlite automatic. With the Hy-Travel, you bought a clutch pedal, the use of which was only necessary for setting up out from a useless prevent. Once underway, you could shift in between ahead equipment ranges with out touching the clutch.

Even however this vehicle won’t have Hy-Drive, this ad is value a view.

Although we are at it, this is how Chrysler’s Dodge Division pitched the PowerFlite a bit later on.

So this auto was considered hopelessly guiding the periods when it was new, but that really should make it even cooler to a person currently who desires to do the job on and travel a classic Detroit device. The overall body on this ’54 is great and sound, with no rust-by way of that I could obtain, and the inside is just not the nightmare of powdered horsehair and hantavirus-laden rodent poop that you see in so quite a few High Plains autos remaining outside for decades. I feel it used most of the very last several many years in a garage, awaiting a revival that in no way came.

Someone beloved this vehicle and took care of it for at minimum the to start with handful of many years of its lifetime. I’m guessing the checkered-flag decals day back again to the early 1970s.

The part that truly hurts is the airbrushed mural on the decklid. At very first I thought the 1970s-Los Angeles-style lowrider depicted in this article with a chop position and Dayton wheels was an idealized representation of this ’54 as it would sometime be in actual life, but even more assessment reveals that the illustration appears to be centered on a mid-to-late-1940s Chrysler or maybe Pontiac. In any situation, this auto deserved a improved fate.

The authentic vacuum-tube radio (which experienced to heat up for a whilst ahead of operating) is still in the dash. The truth that nobody put in a additional modern day sound technique indicates that this automobile hardly ever obtained transformed to a 12-volt electrical method (Plymouths experienced 6-volt electrics right until 1956). Note the CONELRAD nuclear-assault triangle-in-a-circle symbols at 640 and 1240 kHz 1953 was the first 12 months for necessary CONELRAD symbols in vehicle radios, not coincidentally next the to start with exam of a operating entirely thermonuclear weapon the 12 months before. The notorious Castle Bravo H-bomb exam was in the information when this vehicle was model-new.

Smokey the Bear has a information for you.

Consider to visualize this automobile back again in 1954, when the interior awaited a perfectly-dressed woman after a visit to the jewellery retailer. In point, the Savoy (which was the mid-grade Plymouth trim level for 1954) outlined at just $1,853 for 1954, which quantities to anything like $20,555 in 2023 bucks. Which is a lot of motor vehicle for the dough!

These uncomplicated bench seats would not have expense so substantially to get re-stuffed and re-skinned, by the expectations of this sort of work.

As I frequently do, I carried an previous movie digital camera with me on this boneyard check out. This photograph was taken with an Ansco Shur-Shot, a New York-made reasonably priced box camera that would have been favored by the Plymouth-getting demographic in 1954.

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