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Old 25th November 2005, 23:49   #1
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Default Restoring a Plymouth 1956

Hi guys,

As inspired by Rudra, GTO and others who have restored timeless beauties I am planning to join the party by restoring an old Plymouth (Dodge). I have managed to find one with a single owner. It is a 1956 make with a 6 cylinder, 19hp petrol motor. The car was in working condition till about a year ago. Currently it resides on wooden blocks with the wheels removed and kept aside. The front windscreen and the rear glass have cracked. The asking price is Rs. 75000/-, I have checked the papers and they are in place.

I definately will start a bargain but need to know how much exactly should I pay the seller? Is the plymouth worth a buy for restoration? Will spare parts be a available? Can the spare parts be hand made? I dont want to end up in discarding the project midway, hence inputs from you guys will be valuable.
Thanks.

Last edited by moralfibre : 25th November 2005 at 23:52.
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Old 26th November 2005, 12:31   #2
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Moralfibre,

Its good to hear that I and Rudra inspired you into restoration. Trust me, the experience is akin to watching a child grow.

Buttttttttttttttttttttttttt :

1. We have restored cars for which after market support is STILL available i.e. the original manufactures are directly providing Cheap Parts, Cheap service...You name it. You are looking to restore a "foreign" machine.

2. Our restored machines are and can be used as daily drivers - That adds satisfaction to the months of restoration. I doubt you will use the Dodge as a daily driver.

I dont mean to discourage you, but it will be a very painful restoration experience.

GTO
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Old 26th November 2008, 11:27   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
Hi guys,

As inspired by Rudra, GTO and others who have restored timeless beauties I am planning to join the party by restoring an old Plymouth (Dodge). I have managed to find one with a single owner. It is a 1956 make with a 6 cylinder, 19hp petrol motor. The car was in working condition till about a year ago. Currently it resides on wooden blocks with the wheels removed and kept aside. The front windscreen and the rear glass have cracked. The asking price is Rs. 75000/-, I have checked the papers and they are in place.

I definately will start a bargain but need to know how much exactly should I pay the seller? Is the plymouth worth a buy for restoration? Will spare parts be a available? Can the spare parts be hand made? I dont want to end up in discarding the project midway, hence inputs from you guys will be valuable.
Thanks.

The 1956 Plymouth is a big car - 30hp. The Studebaker Champion of the same year is 21hp. It was a very common car for a long time - so you will get many parts. The engine is the same since perhaps 1940's - 6 cylinder side valve of Chrysler Corporation. Mechanical work shouldn't be a problem. Body frills will be a problem - look up ebay - ask someone to pick it up for you. Windshield if scratched - I guess you manage for some time without removing it. It is doubtful you will get a new one. I wonder if someone can make one to suit. With our traffic you can take it out on weekends to places where you get parking space - but beautiful to drive. Don't give up midway. Mohaan
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Old 26th November 2008, 20:25   #4
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moralfibre lovely to read that you are attempting to restore the Plymouth. It may be a 1956 Plymouth Savoy (6 cylinder). These are rare now a days. The Dodge Kingsway with a similar engine was also assembled from CKD kits and sold by Premier Automobiles. Dodge was the upmarket brand of Chrysler Motors and Plymouth a people's car (in the US).
There was an article on this make and model in Indian Auto about a decade back. The black car was owned by someone in Western Maharashtra.
Sadly, many many of these American cars of the 1940's and 1950's have been scrapped after the 1970's oil shock.Many were also destroyed in the Bollywood films. One usually finds the villians in the old films using old American cars and lastly getting beaten up and their car vandalised or burnt.Most heroes used slick sports cars ironically.
Do keep us posted on the acquisition and restoration.
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Old 26th November 2008, 23:50   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
There was an article on this make and model in Indian Auto about a decade back. The black car was owned by someone in Western Maharashtra.
I guess that was Auto India (article titled "The last mohican"), and that car featured was an older '55 Plymouth Belvedere in Kolhapur (IIRC.) The owner was said to have bought it brand new.

Kiran, congrats on your acquisition man! IMHO 75k sounds reasonable enough if the car is reasonably original and indeed a one-owner car (I woudlnt expect the owner to ask less than 1lac for it!) as Ive come across a comparitively worse (although older- '55) example here that had been dieselised, then involved in an accident, has been junking away in a garage with half the cosmetics missing being quoted 1.5lac, coming down to 85k last!

Still, if it is possible to bargain, why leave the chance?

So Good luck, and even otherwise, GO FOR IT.
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Old 27th November 2008, 08:07   #6
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Guys this was back in 2005 when I had located a Plymouth in Baramati for 65k. I believe its still there but I need company to go see it someday. It had a shattered windscreen.
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Old 27th November 2008, 09:19   #7
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Guys I'm interested. @ Moralfibre: Where is Baramati and when do you plan to visit the place?

cheers
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Old 27th November 2008, 20:43   #8
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go for it dude parts are easily available.
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Old 28th November 2008, 22:52   #9
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Wow Kiran, lovely car. All the best for this project !
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Old 7th July 2011, 18:34   #10
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Default Re: Restoring a Plymouth 1956

Hi!! GTO,
Could you help me find parts for my 1956 PLYMOUTH SAVOY!!
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Old 7th July 2011, 22:39   #11
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Default Re: Restoring a Plymouth 1956

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdhan View Post
Hi!! GTO,
Could you help me find parts for my 1956 PLYMOUTH SAVOY!!
Posted your request on a wrong thread Buddy

Looks like Moralfibre never restored his Plymouth 1956.

But Why.??????
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Old 8th July 2011, 09:26   #12
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Kiran go for it even today. spares are not hard to find im sure and you'll have a lot of help from the entire V&CC section.
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Old 15th July 2011, 05:35   #13
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Default Re: Restoring a Plymouth 1956

hi rdhan,
i know a parts guy in navi mumbai who might be able to help u,reach him at 9757017220 if you wish.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdhan View Post
Hi!! GTO,
Could you help me find parts for my 1956 PLYMOUTH SAVOY!!
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Old 27th March 2013, 21:49   #14
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Default Re: Restoring a Plymouth 1956

I guess this didn't go anywhere :(

My family owned a Plymouth Savoy 1958, purchased around 1962. It was a 6-cylinder with 3 (!) forward gears. Large, luxurious, powerful. We made many long distance trips in it; I have fond memories! On the trips, it never ever gave any problems except once; for some reason, stopped on a highway, they took out the air filter and drove several hundred km without it. Without the air filter, on steady throttle, it would hiss, and during acceleration, it would sound like a ravenous monster! I still remember the sounds vividly. I know it can be deadly for the engine to run without an air filter, but I guess they had no choice in the middle of nowhere. I was too young to know the reason.

As with most of them, it was two color. The body was a light beige, the roof was cream. The hood ornament was a really long airplane! It was a majestic looking beast, magnificent from the front and regal from the side. The fins were just the right size; neither too stunted nor too extravagant! Only the rear was a bit plain.

We had fitted it with loud Bosch horns and a couple of fog lights (both imported at a premium those days). We always traveled in two cars; an Amby and the Plymouth. My father split the family between the two cars, making sure he and mom were in separate cars, and that my eldest brother (first born) was always with mom. His reasons were that if the people in one car were killed in an accident, at least one parent would be alive and one elder male (we were parents + 8 siblings).

The Amby was always in the front. Buses / trucks could seldom hear and didn't care to give room for passing to the Amby. In such situations the Plymouth would move ahead, use the Bosch horns, claim space for overtaking, and the Amby would sit on the Plymouth's tail so both cars could get ahead.

Someone mentioned Studebaker in an earlier post. These were renowned for their gearbox problems!

The Plymouth was sold sometime in the early eighties; it was a gas guzzler, and maintenance became a problem. Traffic became worse, and driving the car in the city became problematic and the poorer and poorer quality of the drivers available (it was the "house" car) just made things worse.

Actor Shivaji Ganesan's family also owned a Plymouth in Madras, and they kept it for much longer than we did (perhaps they have it even now).

I often wish I could find one, restore it and use it as a classic!

But as GTO said, finding parts would be a real problem. I have done Google searches, and there are still a few maintained very well in the US. But it would be too expensive and bothersome to do so in India.

Those were the glory days of Detroit. RIP, Savoy!
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Old 27th March 2013, 22:54   #15
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Default Re: Restoring a Plymouth 1956

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTeacher View Post
I guess this didn't go anywhere :(

My family owned a Plymouth Savoy 1958, purchased around 1962.
I often wish I could find one, restore it and use it as a classic!

But as GTO said, finding parts would be a real problem. I have done Google searches, and there are still a few maintained very well in the US. But it would be too expensive and bothersome to do so in India.
Nice to read your nostalgia about your Plymouth. Where was this btw?
Also if yours was a Savoy, I guess it would've been '56 or '57 latest, certainly they were not sold here from '58 onwards.

And yes, finding parts in India is a problem now, but you can still import them from the US by finding them on websites like ebay etc.

There are quite a number of these cars still running around in India, some very well-restored examples!
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