Junkyard Find: 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe Sedan

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1941 plymouth special deluxe sedan

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!

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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!

  • Nrd515 Usually for me it's been Arby's for pretty much forever, except when the one near my house dosed me with food poisoning twice in about a year. Both times were horrible, but the second time was just so terrible it's up near the top of my medical horror stories, and I have a few of those. Obviously, I never went to that one again. I'm still pissed at Arby's for dropping Potato Cakes, and Culver's is truly better anyway. It will be Arby's fish for my "cheat day", when I eat what I want. No tartar sauce and no lettuce on mine, please. And if I get a fish and a French Dip & Swiss? Keep the Swiss, and the dip, too salty. Just the meat and the bread for me, thanks. The odds are about 25% that they will screw one or both of them up and I will have to drive through again to get replacement sandwiches. Culver's seems to get my order right many times in a row, but if I hurry and don't check my order, that's when it's screwed up and garbage to me. My best friend lives on Starbucks coffee. I don't understand coffee's appeal at all. Both my sister and I hate anything it's in. It's like green peppers, they ruin everything they touch. About the only things I hate more than coffee are most condiments, ranked from most hated to..who cares..[list=1][*]Tartar sauce. Just thinking about it makes me smell it in my head. A nod to Ranch here too. Disgusting. [/*][*]Mayo. JEEEEZUS! WTF?[/*][*]Ketchup. Sweet puke tasting sludge. On my fries? Salt. [/*][*]Mustard. Yikes. Brown, yellow, whatever, it's just awful.[/*][*]Pickles. Just ruin it from the pickle juice. No. [/*][*]Horsey, Secret, whatever sauce. Gross. [/*][*]American Cheese. American Sleeze. Any cheese, I don't want it.[/*][*]Shredded lettuce. I don't hate it, but it's warm and what's the point?[/*][*]Raw onion. Totally OK, but not something I really want. Grilled onions is a whole nother thing, I WANT those on a burger.[/*][*]Any of that "juice" that Subway and other sandwich places want to put on. NO, HELL NO! Actually, move this up to #5. [/*][/list=1]
  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
  • SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.
  • Inside Looking Out Scandinavian design costs only $600? I mean the furniture.