Finned Mopar: 1959 Plymouth Belvedere

Hank in Ohio is ready to sell this tidy-looking 1959 Plymouth Belvedere 2 Door Hardtop, offered on Hemmings for $21,900 obo. Designer Virgil “Ex” Exner rocked the world with his lineup of boldly finned Chryslers that debuted in 1957. The fins changed each year until 1961, their final year.

In this picture I see the same engine, valve covers, master cylinder, and some other doo-dads from my 318 Polysphere-equipped 1966 Dodge Coronet. This 318 cubic inch V8 shares virtually nothing with the 1967-to-present “LA” 318, though I can tell you that the distributor bushing (at least) is the same. The “Polyspherical” head engine was Chrysler’s attempt to build a “semi-Hemi”, an engine with the benefits of the famous hemispherical combustion chamber but without the hemi’s more complicated (and labor-rich) dual rocker setup.

The Belvedere model sat below Plymouth’s Fury (a ’58 Fury starred in the movie Christine), but it will definitely draw a crowd at your local K-Mart. The mock spare tire cover lends a vintage touch, one shared with other Chryslers of the day.

This interior is not perfect, but the seller says it’s a good driver and everything works except the radio! The new wide-whitewalls look perfect. The seller seems to know the market and cautions against low-ballers. What’s your best offer for this fine fin-mobile?

Fast Finds


  1. Rabbit

    Sweet-looking ride! Just not a fan of the toilet seat on the deck lid. :P

    • Ed P

      I think the toilet seat would look better if it were the same color as the car. Just an opinion, not a deal breaker.

      • Bmac Bmac Member

        Agree not a place for contrast. That being said, this car hits all the right buttons for me. I’m having a hard time saying no, time for some intervention!

  2. Miguel

    This is the only year I really don’t like the rear styling. Too bad because this looks like a nice car.

  3. Joe Haska

    I like this car, and I think If it was bought near the asking price, it would be well worth it. To have a nice presentable collector car, that is also very drive-able, in the 20K range is a deal! Not for a flipper, but for someone who really wants a fun, car for the right reasons.

    • Sam

      Like it, sharp car. I would circle back (if I had the extra cash and space) and buy the 62 yellow T -Bird for $12m from last week.

  4. Dave Wright

    Lovely car……..too bad it isn’t a Fury……….

  5. packrat

    I love all of Exner’s “Look At Me” parade floats through ’59. A rusty one in nasty shape was just ugly ten years down the road, but nowadays they are rare enough to really turn heads in any condition. As they said in the movie quiz show, the Russians may have Sputnik, but they don’t have the Chrysler 300.

  6. Howard A Member

    It really is a unique looking car. You wanted to stand out, this is what you bought. So unlike today. Let’s all drive the same looking cars so we DON’T stand out. I seem to remember terrible build quality with these, premature rusting of suspension, doors popping open. Aside from maybe Rambler, these were the wildest cars to buy, and probably the most powerful. I remember many of these with the headlights falling out, and rear ends dragging on the ground. These late 50’s Mopars were just the coolest cars. This one no exception.

    *site is “bakocked” again,,

    • Dave Wright

      Howard, are you getting spam pop ups that take over your screen? I am only getting them here.

      • Howard A Member

        Hi Dave, no, being a member took care of that. Many times, however, the site won’t take my comment and seizes the computer, and I have to reload the site. This is the only site I have problems with. I think it’s one of their advertisers, as the words in the left bottom corner keeps changing.

    • Ed P

      57 thru 59 Plymouths could easily be called the best looking new cars with the worst build quality. 57 set a sales record for Plymouth, if the build quality had been up to snuff who knows how many they would have sold in 58-59 and onward.


        57-8 & 9 Plymouths were dogs on the used car lots in the early to mid 60’s. My dad’s buddy owned a lot and on one Saturday sold nearly every car on the lot except all the Plymouth’s and Mercury’s.


    Howard not sure what you are referring to in regards to the Rambler? May be that during this time frame AMC took over the number 4 spot knocking Plymouth out.

    To most looking at this Plymouth see just another old car and don’t really know what they are looking at. This 1959 Plymouth is an excellent survivor. It looks like it has had plenty of help from the previous owners. The engine is painted an incorrect color. But all aside you can’t imagine how difficult these are to find in this condition. The Forward Look year Chrysler products truly plagued with many problems.Style is not an issue. Poor build quality and would be rusted out in no time.

    Another factor is at the time people were accustomed to purchasing cars every one to two years. Previous models fell out of favor quickly and in no time had very little value. Many factors led to these becoming rare. I like all the Chrysler built models of the Forward look era.

    • Ed P

      Many new car folks traded for new every 3 years and the used car buyer bought 2-3 year old cars and still traded every 3 years! This car must have been garaged most (if not all) of its life not to be rusted beyond hope.

    • Howard A Member

      Relax, sheesh, you “AMC” moniker dudes( AMXSTEVE too) are a touchy bunch. It seems people that love AMC’s are constantly on guard for ridicule. For the 9,000th time, I grew up in Milwaukee, my parents and grandparents had Ramblers and AMC’s, and many neighbors and friends worked there. To us, it was the #1 car company. What I meant was, Rambler and AMC, like Chrysler at this time, had a knack for being a bit unusual in styling. At the time, we took many a lump defending “our” Ramblers ( and I’m sure the same can be said for people who bought these new too) Yeah, well, today vintage Ramblers and these Chryslers get all the wow’s,,,who’s stupid now???

  8. Brian Joseph

    The last new car my grandfather bought was a 59 4 dr Plymouth, in Cleveland ohio. I remember the green glow of the matching push buttons at night for the transmission and heater controls. The car made it thru 4 Cleveland winters, then was too rusted to drive. It was replaced with a used 61 chevy parkwood wgn.

  9. Dt 1

    The toilet seat definitely got to go

  10. Greg Member

    I’m a Pontiac/Buick guy, but damn this is an absolutely beautiful car!

  11. Bob C.

    I’m guessing those four buttons to the left of the steering wheel is the push button automatic, which would make it the two speed powerflite. No parking gear, just R N D L. You had to rely on the parking brake.

  12. Gary

    Anyone here old enough to remember the private eye series, “Peter Gun”, starring Craig Stevens? I’ll always remember he drove a new Fury convertible each year. Of course it was always shiny and clear in every scene, and definitely no rust!

    • Mountainwoodie

      Gunn…………….yes. great show. We had a ’59 Plymouth wagon.battleship gray. First wagon for a growing family. The old man sold a ’54 Mercury 2 door for it! Damn.

  13. GP Member

    Sharp car, To much cash for me. Don’t know about the top radiator hose custom wrap when nothing else is custom.

  14. Rustytech Member

    This is a gorgeous car. I love the forward look Chrysler products. When I first saw this post I thought the asking price was high for it current condition, but the more I thought about it, the more reasonable the price became. You just don’t find these that aren’t rusted beyond repair. If one doesn’t like the toilet seat trunk you could swap on a Savoy trunk, but save this one for a future sale. Personally I’d leave it alone. I like original.

  15. Ken Carney

    I bought a Sport Fury version of this car in
    ’74. I recall it being the same shade as your feature car. I bought it from a friend
    of Dad’s that was selling it because he couldn’t find a factory set of exhaust tips
    for it. I can honestly say that this car made a statement wherever it went thanks to the anodized gold and silver trim that ran the length of the car and the
    larger than life tailfins at the rear of the car. It used a 361 V-8 with a 4bbl carb for
    power mated to a 727 pushbutton Torque
    flight tranny. The paperwork said that Dad’s friend was the second owner. After
    buying the car that fall, I repaired what little rust there was and then stored it in
    the garage for the winter using that plastic packing wrap on the car to keep
    any type of moisture away from it. .that
    next spring, I added fresh fluids, checked
    the brakes belts and hoses, I added the
    exhaust tips I found over the winter to
    the car, and sold it to a gentleman for
    $2,000.00 sight unseen! Looking back
    on it now, I never should have done it.
    I miss that car.

    • Ed P

      Ken, The 727 was not available until 62. The 488 Torqflite had a cast iron case and was the original w/o park

  16. Robert White

    Cool car, and worth the asking price IMHO.


  17. Rex Kahrs Member

    It’s a fin-gasm. Long live Exner!

  18. jtnc

    Nice car, but at least two things are not authentic: (1) the “toilet seat” should be painted body color, not contrasting white; and (2) the wheel covers are wrong, Plymouth had much simpler wheel covers. These may be from a Dodge, not sure. Both of these demerits are easily remedied, of course.

  19. JCWJr

    My parents bought a 59 wagon new in 59. I always look for a 59 wagon in advertisements for sale. Have never seen one for sale.

  20. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    I saw this car’s twin just the other day – a real eye catcher.

    It must have been heading for Cruise Night at Skip’s Snack Bar in Merrimac, MA.

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