1959 Plymouth Belvedere Barn Find

1959 was the third and final year of the original “Forward Look” Chrysler cars that had set the industry on fire – styling-wise, that is. Whereas the ’58 Plymouths had been largely warmed-over ‘57s, the ‘59s would take space-age styling to the next level. The Belvedere model, previously top dog at Plymouth, was now clearly in second place behind the Fury. While they may not have been as well-trimmed as the Fury, they were equally impressive, like this 1959 Belvedere 2-door hardtop. It’s located in Little Rock, Arkansas now and available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $6,059.59, the reserve is not yet met, and a Buy It Now option can be exercised at $11,500.

The 1958 Plymouth Fury gained renewed fame in 1983 thanks to the supernatural horror film, Christine, based on a Stephen King novel. In it, the subject car turned out to be possessed and went on a killing spree. Because the supply of ’58 Fury’s wasn’t endless, several ’58 Belvedere’s made up to look like Fury’s gave their all. As a result, interest in the 1957-59 Forward Look Plymouths saw a bit of a resurgence with collectors. This well-used 1959 Belvedere spent much of its life in California but was later driven to Tennessee for the next chapter. At some point, the car was taken off the road and not driven for 20 years when the seller acquired it. The odometer reads 85,000 miles but the seller cannot ascertain whether that figure is correct.

While a restoration certainly is in order, perhaps getting the body whipped back into shape might not be a huge undertaking. While there is rust around a couple of wheel wells, we’re told the floors, trunk, rocker panels, fenders and headlight bezels are all solid. Which is could news considering these cars had a negative history with the tin worm. The seller has provided several photos of the interior, but they’re narrowly focused so we don’t get a view of the interior as a whole. So, we don’t know what shape the upholstery is in and – in fact – the backseat bottom may be missing.

It appears as though the 318 cubic inch V-8 was disassembled and abandoned. We’re told there was condensation under the intake manifold that caused bigger problems. We don’t know if all parts of the motor are still around. The Plymouth has the push-button 3-speed TorqueFlite automatic that Chrysler used in those days, but there is no mention of its condition. Power steering and brakes are also in place. The seller summarizes that a rebuilt motor and new brakes and tires would get the Belvedere back on the road. Along with a thorough cleaning-up.

The 1959 Plymouth Belvedere was not an uncommon car in the 1960s as the 2-door hardtop alone saw more than 23,000 copies produced. The “Christine” models of 1957-58 seem to command higher prices now than the ‘59s, but a concours example of one would still go for north of $30,000, according to Hagerty. In fair condition, one could go for about one-third that amount, or about what the seller has set as his Buy It Now price.

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Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    Russ, I wonder if you might be off by one year regarding the Forward Look Mopars. Certainly the ’60 models were still carrying that mantle.

    Like 21
    • Russ Dixon Staff

      I went with 1957-59 based on the fact that Chrysler redesigned its cars in 1960. Chrysler Corp. converted its entire model line in 1960 from traditional body-on-frame to unitized construction. So the Forward Look thing was a marketing deal at that point more than anything else. Plus, the slogan “Suddenly It’s 1960” was part of the 1957 campaign and that wouldn’t work by 1960.

      Like 6
  2. Dual Jetfire

    Supernatural horror movie? Christine was a beautiful love story between a man and his car.

    Like 28
    • Chris

      A Great Movie

      Like 14
    • Miguel

      What does Christine have to do with a 1959 Belvedere?

      Also, it wasn’0t a horror movie. For any car guy it was a comedy.

      Like 4
      • Boris

        It was especially funny when the Camaro got smashed by Christine.

        Like 12
      • Miguel

        Boris, anybody that has ever had a car that was vandalized understands how satisfying it is to see the vandals get what was coming to them.

        Like 26
      • Beel

        I always considered the “Christine” movie to be a love story.

        Like 2
  3. Chris

    Christine

    Like 5
  4. Dr. Earl Chrysler

    Stephen King was very apologetic regarding the movie since SEVERAL Plymouths were destroyed in its making.

    Like 4
    • bone

      I once read that there were 24 Plymouths made up for the film, at the end of shooting there were TWO left in running condition ! They used a lot of NOS parts to make all the cars look the same .I considered this movie as a tragedy ; instead of destroying hard to find cars like these they could have used 57 Chevys which are common as dirt and many parts are reproduced .

      Like 1
  5. C P Murray

    I bought a 59 Fury as a parts car in the mid 70’s for the drive train. 361ci. Didn’t realize that it was pretty special . Swivel buckets, AC, cruise control, power windows, etc. Never should have scrapped it.

    Like 7
    • That AMC Guy

      Back then they were just seen as crappy, worn-out old cars. Almost nobody gave them a second thought.

      Like 5
  6. Bigbird

    This one is in great shape. The mechanics, motor, trans, rear end can always be found and replaced. It is the solid body you want, and for a Chrysler product this car did pretty well. Make a good daily driver with some fix up work. If a convertible, I would do a total restore, this one get her back on the road.

    Like 4
  7. Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

    I have heard that the fins on the 59 Plymouth were the highest on any car of that vintage. I guess that would include the 59 Caddy fins too, but I do find that hard to believe. Anyone know?

    Like 2
    • Rex Kahrs Member

      Eric, for some reason I was thinking that the ’60 Fury had the tallest fins, see the photo at the top of the page and this photo too. But I could be wrong.

      Like 1
      • Steve Clinton

        The ’60 wins by a nose…er, fin.

        Like 2
      • Phlying Phlathead Phil🛸

        Someday, som-body gon create a truly revolutionary flying khar.

        I’m kinda thinking it will be styled after “Christine.” Why?
        It already has twin vertical stabilizers.

        There is room for a swing-wing on the sides and enough roof to mount a jet pod.

        Wouldn’t that be awesome?

    • JoeNYWF64

      Well, i believe the record for highest fin is on this concept car, center in the back …
      http://www.carstyling.ru/en/car/1958_gm_firebird_iii/
      which also has the most NUMBER of fins! 7!
      Too bad they reupholstered the interior in black instead of proper ORANGE. Not smart on a car with 2 sealed as you drive bubbles for a roof!
      Firebird I, II, & the Ford FX Atmos also have taller fins than the caddy or belvedere. There may be others.

    • David G

      Take a look at the 1961 Imperial. I think its fin have them all beat. Then alas, by 1962 even the Imperial had no more vertical fins..

      Like 1
      • Dr. Earl Chrysler

        I liked the reverse fins on my 1961 Dodge Dart Phoenix 2 door hardtop. Very creative.

  8. Kenneth Carney

    Don’t hold me to it, but the caddy’s fins
    were 42 inches tall from the top of the
    rear bumper to the tip of the fin itself.
    As for this car, I too owned one in the ’70s. Mine was a Sport Fury that ran a
    361 cube V-8 with dual quads and a
    Torqueflite tranny. It was turquoise with
    a black and white interior. I got it cheap
    from a friend of Dad’s who couldn’t find
    a set of exhaust tips for it! Save for those tips, the car was in great shape
    and was complete down to the original
    set of keys. But it was my love of music
    that made me sell it. I just didn’t have the time to take it to the next level.
    Now that I’m retired, I wished I had it back.

    Like 1
    • Steve Clinton

      ‘I got it cheap…but it was my love of music that made me sell it.’
      So you got it for a song?

      Like 2
  9. Super Glide

    If the body and substructures are indeed still good, replace the 318 Poly with a mild 440 crate motor and definitely rebuild the Typewriter TorqueFlite. Do the body work and interior, power disc brakes, a/c and go power touring.

    Like 2
    • Mark C

      Perfect idea. I’d put some period-correct whitewalls and hubcaps to make it a pretty sweet sleeper.

      Like 2
  10. Steve Clinton

    Why is the left side cleaner than the right side?

    Like 1
    • Steve Clinton

      Er, vice versa.

  11. Bob Mck Member

    Good luck to the new owner.

  12. HARM R SMIT

    Great potential here! Complete and original less engine which can be found.
    Best design of the forward look in my opinion. The sixties model got too heavy and clumsy by design.

    Like 1
  13. JoeNYWF64

    Are those pumps still in service?! Are there any gas stations left with MECHANICAL spinning numbers for the gallons? I would think only some police in remote areas still use em to gas up their cruisers.

    Like 1
  14. N. Utting

    Just needs the right owner, then watch her “come alive”. “Show me”

    Like 1
  15. Jim Majka

    I’ve owned about 60 cars and my 1957 Fury is still my favorite. It had 2, 4-barrel carbs and 3-on-the-tree which was very rare. Most were push button. Paid $1,000 for it in 1962, and sold it within a year to help pay for college.
    Wish I had it back!

    Like 3
    • Jim Freeman

      I also had a 57 Fury with the gold anodized fins dual quad’s push button transmission and signal seeking radio. When I would floor it you could see the gas gauge move and it sounded so cool sucking the air into the carbs. Big problem was the rust. Sure wish I had it now. Can’t be but a few left now.

  16. John Oliveri

    Should have extricated this out of that hole, that they had Miss Belvedere buried in for 60 yrs under water, clocked this one down to zero and blamed the color change on the climate

  17. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Auction ended, but it’s been relisted.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/193762561758?ViewItem=&vxp=mtr&item=193762561758

    Not sure what these are worth, but I figured someone would jump on this with the low rust body. These things turned to dust quickly.

  18. Mark

    Scott from coldwarmotors would have this up and running in between dog walks lol.

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