1953 Plymouth Cranbrook: Blast From The Past

left front

Like a lot of people, I would love to have an old survivor car as a driver – a car awakened after decades. Nothing special, just a typical car one would see driving along the streets or in your garage waiting to take you and the family on a Sunday outing. My father had a car similar to this 1953 Plymouth. He would pick my sister and I up from the children’s home for our Sunday outing and I well remember the fun we had in that old car. This one is listed on here on craigslist for $2,500 and is said to be mostly original.

With only 81,000 miles on the clock, it is also claimed to run smoothly and quietly. It’s the typical flathead 6 cylinder, 3 speed. It looks like there’s some surface rust on the bumpers, but it looks pretty solid. The interior looks to be in pretty good nick too, doesn’t it? If this turns out to be as nice as it appears, I would leave it exactly as-is (or perhaps with AC) and just drive it. If it wasn’t all the way in Delaware, I would be in trouble with my wife right about now. These 1950s Mopar sedans are becoming popular for some reason and perhaps even collectible, but I can’t imagine this one being anything but a great survivor, a comfy cruiser driven just as it is.

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Comments

  1. jimbosidecar

    Man! Chrysler sure did build frumpy cars back in the early 1950s

    • Ed P

      K.T. Keller was the president of Chrysler when this design was in planning. He knew how to build solid and dependable cars. Styling, however, was not his thing.

  2. Charles

    My grandparents had one these in light green.

  3. Barry T

    I’d rather have what appears to be the 1953 or 1954 Ford in the background under the car port. These early to mid 50’s Plymouths never appealed to me even back in 1960 when I was in high school. They looked like a car that your old maid aunt drove to church and back.

  4. Howard A Member

    See, now this car is in a whole different category than the Dodge from the other day. Cars like this have to be nice, as it wouldn’t make a lot of sense sticking 10g’s into this, to make it like the Dodge, unless, like David says, you have a special memory of this car. Yes, they were “frumpy” looking, but totally within the style of the time. It takes years to retool a factory for new models, and I’m sure the all new ’55’s were already in the design stage. These were kind of like the Ford Focus ( trying to think of a basic car nowadays), a car for the masses, nothing fancy. Remember, in ’53, we didn’t live in our cars, like people do today, so this was all that was needed. It’s off the “list”, so someone picked it up, which is cool.

  5. DENIS

    My grandparents had one like this in light green with the dark green top. They gave it to a needy relative when Gram quit driving and it had miles in the 30,000 range. Ugly as hell in the day, kinda neat today. I had several 49-52s…never cared for 53/54, then as with most marques, the 55s were pretty cool. Those old flathead 6s ran forever.

  6. MeToo

    If anyone is interested and is near Kingman AZ. There has to be someone around here selling off a private car collection. In the past month and a half, at the same spot every time, I have seen, for sale, a pristine 1952 Plymouth coupe (2-door), a very early split window VW, and a 60 or 61 white T-bird. All gorgeous and drive-aways. One will be there for a week or two, then replaced with another. Location, lower end of E. Northern Ave on the corner of E. Northern Ave & N. Arizona St. And I am not seeing them on Craig’s List. In the small paved parking lot of a 2 storefront building that seems unoccupied. Strange, but interesting.

  7. bonneville 64

    Up until Virgil Exner took over the design studio for Chrysler corporation, the bodies were designed and built by Budd. K. T. Keller, as the president of Chrysler Corporation, was of the opinion that every man should be able to wear a hat when driving their products, hence the stodgy styling. People in the know, back then bought Chrysler Corp. automobiles as they were an engineers car, rather than a designers car that only looked pretty. Sadly about 1975, Chrysler Corporation ditched the idea of an engineers car, and went with a government bailout to prevent bankruptcy.

    • Ed P

      Briggs Manufacturing was Chrysler’s primary source of bodies. They also did styling work. Briggs body business was acquired by Chrysler about 1954.

  8. GOPAR

    These old Mopars weren’t much to look at, but they were tough old birds. All the cars from this era were pretty boxy and pretty stodgy looking, except for Studebakers. The ’53 Stude was 10 years ahead of its time as far as styling. Compare the lower and wider looking stance of the 1953 Studebaker to GM, Ford Motors, or Chrysler Corp. of the same vintage and I believe many will agree.

  9. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    one of the $50 dollar cars I went with my dad to buy….I must have been about 6yrs old or so…about 1962….one of his daily work drivers…..it was a two door and that light green color……

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