Drive It Home: 1937 Plymouth Coupe

It takes a fair amount of confidence to advertise an older classic car for sale and to talk about how well it runs and drives. However, it takes supreme confidence in that car to tell prospective buyers that they can come and drive it home. That is precisely the story with this 1937 Plymouth P4 Coupe. Barn Finder Ikey H referred this great old classic to us, so thank you for that Ikey. If you feel in the mood to take a bit of a drive, you will find the Plymouth located in Baudette, Minnesota, and listed for sale here on Craigslist. All you need to do is to rock up with $10,900, and you could be driving this beauty home.

While the paint on the Plymouth is showing its share of scrapes and marks, the vehicle’s body looks to be quite good. There are no signs of any rust issues, and the car generally looks to be solid. The chrome and trim are all present and looks impressive for an 82-year-old car, but some of the glass has something a bit weird going on with it. Of particular note are the vent windows in both doors, which look like they could both require replacement. The reality with the Plymouth is that it doesn’t appear as though there are any particularly urgent issues that need to be addressed, and any work required looks like it could easily be performed in a home workshop.

The interior of the Plymouth is not only complete, but it does look quite tidy. I don’t believe that the upholstery on the door trims or seats is original, but both are in good condition. If I owned this car, I would eventually take steps to have them both match, but that wouldn’t be an urgent issue. What is impressive with this car is the condition of both the dash and wheel. They have survived remarkably well, and as I look at the overall condition of the car, both inside and out, I get the feeling that this car has been well cared for during its life.

Powering the Plymouth is a 201ci flathead 6-cylinder engine, which sends its power to the rear wheels via a 3-speed manual transmission. With 82hp on tap, the performance from the P4 was reasonable. Its greatest strength was always the fact that maximum engine torque was produced at extraordinarily low engine revs (1,200rpm), which makes a P4 a stout little performer when the going got steep. This P4 has recently received a new exhaust and new tires, and the owner is so confident about its mechanical state that he suggests that the buyer will be able to drive it home. That suggests that this is a pretty healthy old classic.

The 1937 Plymouth P4 Business Coupe was a real sales success for the company, and the P4 range in general allowed Plymouth to continue generating profits in a time when other manufacturers were struggling. Eventually, 67,144 Business Coupes rolled off the line in 1937, meaning that they weren’t a rare sight on the nation’s roads when new. Today the challenge is not so much to find one but to find one that hasn’t undergone substantial modifications. The body style lends itself beautifully to a street rod or custom project, and that has been the fate of many cars. Finding a stock and original example for sale today under $18,000 is a battle, and that would indicate that this one might be a good buy at the asking price.

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Comments

  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    This is a car that I’d take home and drive it for a long time to come. Drive it and enjoy it. A respray sometime down the road but I wouldn’t get in too much of a hurry to do that. But definitely do NOT hot rod it…

    Like 36
  2. Gaspumpchas

    I’m with Geomechs, drop the pedal and go!! So rare to find one in this shape. If one was to warm it up with more mill, I’d leave the outside just the way it is. Good luck to the new owner!!
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 12
    • Steven Ligac

      My thoughts exactly regarding more mill, GPC…

      Like 2
  3. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Great one, Adam! This car is up north by the Canadian border (or, south for Geo and those of you north of the US/Canada border) it looks like about 10-12 miles from Canada, bummer. I got excited by the Minneapolis craigslist category thinking I could check it out.

    I believe that Humphrey Bogart used a 1937 or 1938 Plymouth like this in a couple of his movies: High Sierra and The Big Sleep. I’ve wanted one since seeing those movies as a kid. $10,000 will seem like a deal on this car in a few years. I remember passing on them when sellers were asking $5,000 a few years ago, dang.

    Like 12
  4. Bill Wilkman

    I like this car, but hate its presentation in the listing. I find it annoying when sellers show the listed car from a distance. At the very least, photos need to be cropped. But, it’s also important for anyone contemplating a purchase to see closeup photos of areas of rot and damage. The running boards of this car appear to have rust issues and I’d want to see more of this area of the car and other flaws before bidding on it. As presented, it’s impossible to determine if the car is worth the the rather steep $10,000 ask.

    Like 4
  5. Ken Carney

    Can’t think of a better way to see the country than driving this car from Minnesota to my home in Florida. Would
    most likely take a week and a half to do it
    though. I’d probably have to use secondary roads to get home as the car
    couldn’t keep up with modern traffic–especially I 4 or the Florida Turnpike.
    Those people drive like fools and would
    more than likely run your ass over if you
    got in their way. Just had a road rage
    shooting in Tampa a day or so ago. An
    angry driver blew someone away with a
    shotgun for driving too slowly. Would also have to extend the time you have for
    that drive-A-way title you’ll need to drive the car home. Quite an adventure to be
    sure, but one I’d gladly take on. Great way to spend some of that hard earned
    retirement time wouldn’t it?

    Like 12
  6. Del

    What a sweet heart car.

    Love to have it !!

    Like 6
  7. Bing

    These old Plymouths are really unappreciated. I had a 34 Tudor, suicide doors and all, and a 40 Tudor as well. Both were just like this, original cars, black with cloth interiors. Plymouth was the first of the big three to have hydraulic brakes, debuted in 34 I believe. The other great advantage , while frowned upon by the purists, if you needed most any engine part, generator, fuel pump, carb, water pump, etc., you could go to your local junk yard and pick them off late 40’s and early 50’s cars. With little or no mods you just bolted them on and away you went for under ten bucks in most cases.
    10 large for this coupe is very, very fair. Buy it, drive it as is, and love on it. Five years out you’ll make money on it.

    Like 7
  8. Tom Larsen

    They are all steel and heavy duty. I had a 1936 Plymouth and it was as solid as a rock. The mopars of this era are very under appreciated for sure. I would buy it at this price for sure. 😎👍

    Like 3
  9. Melbman

    My first car bought in the late 1960s was a sedan version of this in Australia. It had had a hard life. These cars handle and corner quite well, I remember the brakes being ok. How well the go on the highway depends on how good the engine is. Mine was so so with lots of knocks even after a rebuild. A friend had a 1938 Dodge, the engine in that ran like a Swiss clock. A good one would cruise at 55-60mph without too much protest. From memory about 15mph in first, 30-35 in second. Like all cars of this period quite a long nose.

    Having owned one of these I wouldn’t hanker for another one nearly 50 years on. A late 1920s car yes, a late 1940s, early 50s Lincoln or Ford V8 yes.

    Like 2
    • Gaspumpchas

      Melbman great commentary! Friend and I pulled a 40 Plymouth coupe out of a junkyard. Mint body, engine stuck.Freed it up and it ran like a top. What I remember was you could get 60 out of second gear, but couldn’t get it over 70 even with a tailwind in 3rd. Someone bought it and started to put an olds engine in it, and that’s the last I saw of it. Beautiful styling on that 40!!
      Cheers
      GPC

      Like 1
  10. Bob McK Member

    The trip home would be fun. But remember, it does not have AC and the engine puts off a lot of heat. I have a 38 Buick Sport Coupe in Southern Florida. I had to install AC. She drives like a dream, and I am cool. I think I will get off of Barn Finds and take her to the beach this morning.

    Like 1
    • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

      Now that’s a cool car, both figuratively and literally. I’d like to see pics of your car.
      God bless America

  11. Rube Goldberg Member

    Wouldn’t you just love to know the history on this car? Just think, it sat somewhere inside, obviously not a lot of miles, escaped being driven, or turned into a hot rod, which is amazing in itself. I mean, nobody in the family knew about this car? I bet the last person connected to this car, who never drove it, finally passed away, and somebody was in the right place. I hope it doesn’t become a hot rod, but the allure is just too great. It most assuredly will. Fun to see this stuff pop up, I’m sure there’s more where this came from.

    Like 5
  12. tyson gonsorowski

    I bought this car three days ago. Have not drove it yet but it did drive on to trailer and sounded very good- it needs some basics before driving it, new air filter immediately, still using the , I believe original, horse hair rope screen looking thing. Would let lots of dust in. Frame needs greasing and cleaning. Also front seal on rear end leakspretty good. I’ll drive this thing for a bit but it will need to be completely gone through eventually. It is a super clean untouched original car and I was very lucky to come across it.

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