Junkyard Find: 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Sedan

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

When I first visited the Brain-Melting Colorado Junkyard earlier this year, I was keeping my eyes open for early postwar Plymouth sedans. I’ve always liked the look of those cars, with their sailing-ship hood ornaments and suicide doors. This yard has endless 1946-1950 Dodges, plus lots of Frazers, Willys, Kaisers, but not much in the way of Plymouths. However, if I expanded my search there to include late prewar Plymouths, this car jumps right out.

This 1947 Plymouth sedan that I shot for the Down On The Street series in my former home of Alameda, California, would rumble around town on a regular basis and I thought it was the best-looking car I’d seen in a long time. Someday I’ll have one of my own, I thought.

This one is a bit rougher, having sat in a field in eastern Colorado for decades prior to showing up at the Brain-Melting Yard a few years back. As is typical for cars exposed to the elements in the high desert east of Pikes Peak, the interior is utterly nuked, but there’s not much serious rust.

It was last registered in Nebraska in 1966. 46 years of sitting, waiting to be rescued… or crushed.

All the emblems and most of the chrome are in good shape.

The Chrysler Flathead Six was built from 1929 through 1972 (in later years it was used for military trucks and then as a power source for pumps and farm equipment), a production run length surpassed by just a handful of engines (e.g., small-block Chevrolet, Ford Flathead V8, Volkswagen air-cooled). This one may be seized solid, but you never know on a car that kept its hood closed in the single-digit Colorado humidity.

I’ve been wanting to buy a postwar Plymouth sedan as a recipient for a modern drivetrain and suspension transplant, but this slightly older (yet nearly identical) car really tempted me.

So, what the hell, I went and bought it yesterday. Mine, all mine!

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Emanistan Emanistan on Jul 31, 2016

    Back before it was known as the home of Burning Man, the Black Rock Desert in Nevada was the place to go for land sailing (as well as racing experimental vehicles). The favorite camping spot among my fathers gang was a point somewhere in the middle of the desert known as Plymouth Wreck, named after the rusty old 41 sedan with its entire right side missing, slowly sinking back into the soil. Throughout the seventies and eighties this landmark was iconic among the groups of eccentrics who congregated in the Black Rock Playa. countless photos were taken of it, decorations would be applied, some even draped it in Christmas lights during the holidays. It marked the end of an era when some fool blew it up at the beginning of the 90s.

  • Roberto Esponja Roberto Esponja on Oct 08, 2018

    Murilee, if you read this, please let us know if you've done anything with this Plymouth. Thanks!

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