See This Restored 1934 Plymouth Business Coupe

Things ere tough for the automakers during the 1930's. One solid performer however was Plymouth, an automobile produced by the Chrysler Corporation.

1934 plymouth coupe

1934 Plymouth Business Coupe

Plymouth pulled off a great sales year during 1933. The company had a 25% share of the new car market.  That's saying a lot. As if that wasn't enough, Chrysler decided to add another model to their 1934 lineup.

This would be a Plymouth model with many more luxury appointments.This was for an automobile that cost about $100 more than a Ford but was a heavier and better equipped vehicle. In other   words, the 1934 Plymouth was considered a good buy.

The automobile featured in this article is a 1934 Plymouth Coupe. The 1934 Plymouth coupe was considered the best engineered vehicle in its class. It's all steel body along with stock options ranging from 4 wheel hydraulic brakes to floating engine mounts the Plymouth was definitely ahead of its time.

34 plymouth business coupe

34 Plymouth Coupe rear view

An Engineering Change From 1933 to 1934

Plymouth made some  engineering changes for the 1934 model year. Plymouth replaced the successful PD and PCXX models with the PE and PFXX models. The new models had mechanical differences. They came with an advanced independent front suspension that used unequal A arms. Overall engine power was increased by 10% over the 1933 models by increasing the engine stroke. In ways other than these the PE and PF were mechanically very similar to the 1933 models.

The Plymouth PE models had a 114.0 inch wheelbase. The PFXX models had a 108.0 inch wheelbase.

1934 plymouth nameplate Design and Models

Compared to the 1933 Plymouth, the 34 models had a more rounded body. At the same time it did retain some of the classic early 1930's styling. It was this mixture of classic styling and independent front suspension that made this car unique..For 1934 the price leader was the “New Plymouth Six” PF. This model was built on a 108” wheelbase. Styles included the business coupe, rumble seat coupe, and two or four door sedan styles.

Competition was intense during 1934 and Plymouth came out with a few additional models. One was the "Special Six". The “Special Six” series PFXX  came out for the spring selling season. This automobile had a chrome-plated grill, chrome windshield frame, twin trumpet horns, twin tail lights, chrome headlight shells, interior sun visor, and an ash tray and glove compartment on the dashboard. Another model, the PFXX Town Sedan also joined the lineup..

Plymouth Shines During the Great Depression

Plymouth was considered a lower priced automobile among the Chrysler line. As such, Plymouth did a lot to help Chrysler survive the Great Depression. Sales numbers for Plymouth were a positive for Chrysler during the 1930's, with it's 25% share of the new car market in 1933 being a good example. In fact, in 1930 the Plymouth automobile was sold by all Chrysler divisions, Chrysler, DeSoto and Dodge.

Plymouth Street Rods

The 34 Plymouth Coupe makes a pretty good street rod and chances are you've seen one. Parts are generally available with a little searching and some companies manufacture body parts such as fiberglass front fenders for those wishing to customize. A good number of these street rods have supercharged engines and modified suspensions for drag racing. We've also come across 34 coupes built as low-riders. Don't be surprised to find 454 cubic inch Chevy engines in some of these Plymouth street rods.

Production did not  begin for the 1934 models until late December 1933.

1934 plymouth

Another front view of the 34 Plymouth Coupe

1934 Plymouth Coupe Specifications

The 1934 Plymouth was built with a 201 cubic inch six-cylinder engine which originally came out a year before in 1933. This engine was mounted in Plymouth's well known "Floating Power" rubber engine mountings.

Transmission was a 3-speed manual. Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drums.

See these additional AutoMuseumOnline cars on the links below...

The 1952 Plymouth Cranbrook 4 Door Sedan

The 1939 Plymouth Coupe

Location of VIN Plates and Stamps on Vintage Vehicles

1937 Cadillac Series 75 Fleetwood Limousine

 

34 plymouth coupe photos

Round styling on the 34 Plymouth Coupe

The Plymouth Coupe had a curb weight of 2,660 lbs.

Plymouth new car pricing for the 1934 models ranged from $485 to $700. The highest priced models were the PE Town Sedan and Convertible. The price range for these automobiles clearly shows the effect of the Great Depression. The year 1934 would have been in the depths of the depression. The 1934 Plymouth Business Coupe sold new for $595. Total 1934 production for that model was 28,400.

1934 Plymouth Business Coupe Collector Cars

Any automobile from this era is a good collector car. The 1934 Plymouth Business Coupe fully restored and in mint showroom condition will have asking prices, as of this writing, in the high $20,000 range to the $40,000 range. We also see a fully restored 1934 Coupe with an asking price of over $50,000. There are also plenty of street rods for sale that also have prices into the $20,000 range.

Reference material and excellent books on this subject include...American Auto Legends by Michael Furman and Tracy Powell....and Art of the Classic Car by Peter Harholdt and Peter Bodensteiner.

(Article and photos copyright AutoMuseumOnline)

1939 Plymouth Coupe

 

Plenty of Cars to Choose From and New Styling

Plymouth car buyers in 1939 were offered nine types of models to choose from. These were a four-door Touring Sedan, a two-door Touring Sedan, a four-door Sedan, a two-door Sedan, a Coupe, a seven-passenger Sedan, a Convertible Coupe, a Convertible Sedan, and a Suburban. Plenty to choose from. In fact, it was the largest selection of Plymouth's in seven years.

1939 Plymouth

1939 Plymouth

The 1939 Plymouth was known as the biggest Plymouth built to date. Extra seat room, leg room and head room was a highly marketed attribute.

In essence, aside from the unchanged under body, the 1939 Plymouth was an entirely new styled vehicle compared to the 1938 model. This included the extra room as mentioned above but also some added safety features such as a flat dashboard. Another interesting feature of the 1939 Plymouth was that the entire car body, fenders and all steel body components received rustproofing.  The styling of the 1939 Plymouth was performed by the Chrysler design staff.

The 1939 Plymouth was known for excellent engineering, durability and styling.These attributes would stick with Plymouth through the mid 1950's. Plymouth was also marketed as a relatively low priced vehicle. The lowest priced 1939 Plymouth could be bought new at around $700. This of course was at a time when the country was still fighting the effects of the Great Depression.

1939 Plymouth Coupe

1939 Plymouth Coupe

1939 Plymouth Specifications

1939 Plymouth specifications included an L-head type six cylinder engine with a displacement of 201.3 cubic inches. The engine delivered 82 horsepower. As an option, Plymouth offered a high compression 86 horsepower engine.

The 1939 Plymouth transmission was built as silent auto-mesh with helical gears and six ball and roller bearings.

Suspension on all four wheels consisted of telescopic aero-hydraulic, double-acting shock absorbers. Front springs were wishbone and rear springs were semi-elliptic.

1939 Plymouth flat dashboard

1939 Plymouth flat dashboard

The Briggs Body Company built all the body's for the 1939 Plymouths. The company began building auto bodies in 1908. Baseball historians might remember that Walter Briggs was an owner of the Detroit Tigers for decades. Also, for decades, the stadium where the Detroit Tigers played ball was named Briggs Stadium just outside downtown Detroit.

Wheelbase was 114.0 inches and overal car length was 188.2 inches.

1939 Plymouth Production Figures

Plymouth, owned by Chrysler Corporation, was a part of the top three American automobile brands along with Ford and General Motors. During the 1939 model year Plymouth produced a total of 417,528 units. About 6,000 of those automobiles were two door coupe convertibles with the popular rumble seat.

1939 Plymouth rear curved trunk

1939 Plymouth rear curved trunk

To give you a perspective of what overall automobile production figures were for the 1939 model year, Chevrolet led the pack with about 577,000 vehicles, Ford came in second with a total of 487,000 vehicles and Plymouth was in third place with about 424,000 vehicles. Buick was  distant fourth with about 208,000 units and Dodge fifth with about 186,000 vehicles. Estimated figures come from the Consumer Guide.

See links below to two additional AutoMuseumOnline photo articles you'll enjoy.

1939 Chrysler Parade Phaeton

1938 Ford Convertible Club Coupe

 

The Long Legacy of Chrysler

Chrysler began operations when Walter P. Chrysler reorganized the Maxwell- Chalmers Company into Chrysler Corporation in the early 1920's. The Plymouth nameplate came about in 1928 when the company started to build a product line at various price levels. That very same year Chrysler bought out the Dodge brothers and the Desoto brand was also introduced. The year 1929 was obviously a milestone year for the relatively new Chrysler Corporation.

1939 Plymouth Two  Door Coupe

1939 Plymouth Two Door Coupe

In the later decades, Chrysler experienced some economic woes which led ex Ford executive Lee Iococca (the man who created the hugely popular Ford Mustang) and then Chrysler president and chairman to seek a U.S. government loan in 1979. The company received the loan, business improved greatly and the loan was fully repaid with interest.

As far as the Plymouth nameplate went, the line was discontinued in 2001. At that time the Chrysler Corporation was owned by the Daimler-Benz German car company. Chrysler of course filed for bankruptcy due to the severe economic downturn in 2008-2010. Chrysler emerged out of bankruptcy with new owners. These included the Italian automaker Fiat, the U.S. and Canadian governments as well as the UAW pension fund.

1939 Plymouth Collector Values

As a ll car collectors know, values for vintage vehicles are determined by on not only the degree of restoration, popularity and rarity of a model but also on current economic conditions.

As of this writing, some of the auction results for the 1939 Plymouth's vary between about $7,000 to the high $30,000 range.

(Photos from author's collection)

1941 Cadillac Series 62

 

The Cadillac Model 62 such as the one shown here replaced the Model 61 in 1940 as the lowest model on Cadillac's list of offerings. Many believed the 1941 Cadillac Series 62 first embodied the ulltimate in style.

1941 cadillac Series 62 Coupe

1941 cadillac Series 62 Coupe

Standard V-8 Engines

The 1941 Cadillac Model 62 was a good seller. For the 1941 model year, Cadillac put it's efforts into one line of V-8 engines. This move replaced the V-16 engine which would never be produced again. Sales of V-16's had been lagging for some time and it made more sense to concentrate on one engine.

All 1941 Cadillac's produced were powered by a 346 cubic inch V8 engine. In fact, all Cadillacs were built with V-8's through 1948. When the new V-8's came out in 1941 Cadillac pointed out the many improvements over the 1940 engine which included a claim of more efficiency delivering 15 percent better fuel mileage than it's predecessor.

The 1941 Cadillac Model 62 had a low sleek body, a more slanted windshield and a curved rear window. The car had a C Body which was also used on the Buick Roadmaster. Of special note was the grille. The grille bars were heavier and there were fewer of them. In 1941 the one piece hood came down lower in the front and included side panels that extended sideways to the fenders. The grille would become even larger on the 1942 model.

1941 Cadillac Coupe

1941 Cadillac Coupe

Cadillac was always considered General Motor's prestige line of automobiles.The line stayed intact during the Great Depression years of the 1930's when some luxury automakers folded. Cadillac solidified it's image as America's luxury automobile by the end of the 1930's. General Motors did everything possible to promote Cadillac's image for engineering perfection and reliability.

This first generation of Cadillac Series 62 were only built from 1941 to 1942 due to the start of World War Two and the banning of civilian automobile production.

The 1941 models were available in a two door club coupe, a four door sedan and a four door convertible. Coachwork was performed by Fisher Body. The Series 62 offered Cadillac's only convertible sedan.

1941 Sales figures for Cadillac were excellent. The automaker built over 66,000 vehicles. It was a record year. This was just under Packard's numbers and about 10,000 less than Mercury. The 66,000 units built were much above 1940's figures of 43,000 cars.

1941 cadillac Model 62

1941 cadillac Model 62

1941 Cadillac Series 62 Specs

As mentioned above, the 1941 Cadillac Series 62 was built with a V-8 346 cubic inch engine delivering 150 horsepower and a top speed of 100 MPH.

Transmission options were a 3 speed Manual Selective Synchromesh or a  4 speed Automatic Hydra-Matic. Hydra-Matic was first introduced by General Motors in 1940. The 1941 Cadillac was the first model with a fully automatic transmission which first appeared in 1940 with Oldsmobile.

Vehicle weight came in at just over 4,000 lbs and the wheelbase was 126.0 inches. It's interesting to note that Cadillac built a Series Sixty-Seven with a 139.0 wheelbase. This was for buyers who really wanted luxury and size.

The new car price averaged around $1,700 which was quite reasonable for a Cadillac product. The Series 61 had sold for a few hundred dollars less. The Series 62 was the lowest priced Cadillac and not too much above the cost of a Buick Roadmaster. The Cadillac line was the next above the Buick offerings.

Links to additional AutoMuseumOnline photo articles you'll enjoy include:

1931 Cadillac V-16

1942 Chevrolet Town Sedan

1949 DeSoto Custom Coupe

1941 Cadillac hood extenders to the fenders

1941 Cadillac hood extenders to the fenders

 

The Five Generations of Series 62

The Cadillac Model 62 Series first introduced in 1941 are sought after collector's cars. Cadillac built the 62 series until 1964. The second generation of the Series 62 was produced from 1946 until 1947 and the third generation from 1948 until 1953.

The fourth generation of the Series 62 was produced from 1954 until 1958 and the fifth generation from 1959 until 1964. At the end of it's run in 1964, the original Series 62 came with a 429 inch engine that provided 340 horsepower. This was one big advance from the series 62 first production car in 1941.

During it's lifetime, the Cadillac Model 62 went through several name changes including the Series 6200 and the Cadillac Calais names.

See our article on Antique and Classic Car Serial Numbers

(Photos from author's collection)