The 1949 Plymouth Deluxe Sedan / Photos, Specs, Styling, Engine Details

Featured is a 1949 Plymouth Deluxe Sedan. The 1949 Plymouth was entirely restyled and was the first restyle since prior to World War Two. The Plymouth brand was Chrysler’s more affordable entry level vehicle.


1949 plymouth
1949 Plymouth Deluxe

The Plymouth Deluxe and Special/Deluxe

Both the Plymouth Deluxe and Special Deluxe were full size automobiles. The Special Deluxe models were the higher trim offerings. The Special Deluxe sported bright chrome molding around the front and rear windows along with a mahogany styled dashboard and top grade upholstery for the seats. The Special Deluxe was available as a club coupe, sedan, convertible and wagon.The Deluxe Series was available as a four door sedan and two door club coupe.

Of special note is that 1949 was the first year since 1934 that the Plymouth was built on two different wheelbases. The smaller wheelbase was 111.0 inches and was used for the business coupe and new Suburban wagon. A 118.5 inch wheelbase was used for the Club Coupe and Four Door Sedan.

All Plymouth’s in 1949 had the same straight six engine.

Plymouth’s New 1949 Restyle

Plymouth was the last nameplate among the big three automakers to come out with their new postwar styling. The first was Ford and the second was Chevrolet. Plymouth advertising at the time referred to their new postwar cars as “The Great New Plymouth“. In fact, so late was Plymouth in bringing out their new postwar design that it wasn’t until March of 1949 that the models were available.

The entire look changed with the first being no fat fender look. The new fenders for 1949 were integrated into the body which gave the automobile a much more modern appearance compared to the prior year. Just about all redesigned 1949 Chrysler Corporation automobiles had rectangular, bustle-back styling. The 1949 Plymouth grille multi slatted along with a ribbed front bumper

Aside from the new exterior look, the 1949 Plymouth was pretty much the same as the 1948 example. Brakes, engine and suspension were all the same as in 1948. With that being said, Plymouth had built a reputation for excellent engineering which most of the car buying public was aware of.

As a result of the new exterior on the 1949 Plymouth’s, sales for 1949 jumped almost 50 percent which obviously is substantial.  This placed Plymouth in third third in the overall sales race. Third place put them right behind Chevrolet and Ford. In fact, for nearly one quarter of a century Plymouth was the nation’s third best selling automobile.

plymouth deluxe

Along with the exterior changes for 1949, The new Plymouth cars offered more interior room than those Plymouth’s before them which made the exteriors look a bit boxy. Seating is upholstered chair height which added comfort. Regarding interior height, Chrysler’s president at that time wanted Plymouth’s to have living room style seating where someone could sit and drive while wearing a hat.

The combination of new body fenders and Plymouth’s reputation for durability and affordability caught the attention of the buying public. There is no question that there were buyers who stayed away from Plymouth showrooms in favor of some of the more exciting new designs but as 1949 sales figures clearly show, many were ready to buy the new Plymouth’s for their reliability and affordability.

1949 Plymouth Deluxe Sedan Specifications

The engine on the 1949 Plymouth Deluxe is a 217 cubic inch L-head straight six delivering 97 HP. This was a two HP increase over the 1949 models. While these engines were certainly not performance stars, they were reliable and rugged. As a side note, this engine, with some updating along the way, dates back to 1933 for Plymouth and Dodge.

Transmission is a three speed column mounted manual with overdrive.

Brakes are four wheel hydraulic drums. Plymouth called these Safe Guard brakes. These drums are 10 inches in diameter. The front brakes have two wheel cylinders per drum for maximum stopping.

Front suspension are coil springs and the rear are semi elliptic leaf springs. Hydraulic shocks are placed at all four corners.

Dimensions include a 118.5 inch wheelbase, 196.75 inch outside length, 73.6 inch width. Curb weight 3,150 lbs.


As mentioned, Plymouth enjoyed a very successful 1949 model year with over 500,000 vehicles built which represented just under a 50 percent increase.

Related Auto Museum Online articles are on the links below…

The 1949 Ford Coupe

The 1949 Mercury Eight

Reference material for this article includes…Plymouth 1946-1959 by James A. Benjaminson…Complete History of Chrysler Corporation 1924 – 1985 by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide…Complete Book of Collectible Cars by the Editors of Consumer Guide.


The 1947 Plymouth Collector Car

The 1949 Plymouth is a special collector automobile for several reasons. This model represents Plymouth’s first entirely new postwar design. In addition, the Plymouth Deluxe, while having a design which could be considered boxy, did extremely well in sales placing it in third place behind just Chevy and Ford. As mentioned, Plymouth was also noted for solid engineering, reliability and comfort.

49 plymouth

For those looking for a relatively inexpensive classic car to start a collection, the 1949 Plymouth could be the answer. These models in general have been overlooked, mostly because they really don’t have a spectacular eye catching design, but rather a conservative one, although at the time plenty of buyers loved these cars because of their practicability and affordability. Current auction sales and private sales fall in a range of from about $9,000 to $18,000 for sedans and coupes in excellent overall condition. The convertibles and wagon models in restored condition generally fall in a $20,000 to $35,000 range.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)