Fin’tastic! 1960 Plymouth Deluxe Suburban

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

The Deluxe Suburban was the lowest-level trim for the Suburban line for Plymouth in 1960, below the Custom Suburban and the top of the line Sport Suburban, which would have been equivalent to their Fury line. This 1960 Plymouth Deluxe Suburban is a rare two-door model and it’s listed on eBay with a current bid price of just over $1,500! What?! Who among us wouldn’t drive day and night to pick this car up for $1,500, it looks fantastic! Well, actually, it’s a project car and everything will need work before you’re entering it for yet another best-of-show trophy. This one is located in Juliette, Georgia, and thanks to Peter R. for submitting this Plymouth!

Dig those fins, chicky-baby! Even with this now being considered a highly-desirable car, in 1960 Plymouth wasn’t doing too well, at least sales-wise. They fell to 4th place after Rambler, falling a little over 24,000 vehicle sales short of the 3rd spot. But, those fins! And, a two-door wagon of this size with those fins, this is one cool car! The body looks deceivingly nice on this car, at least for rust-through, but you can see rust lurking everywhere here.

I know that most people buy station wagons for the maximum utility possible. That’s why the idea of a two-door wagon is a bit of a head-scratcher for me. Now, any car with two doors is usually several levels of desire above any car with more doors, but if a person were looking for ease of use a two-door wagon doesn’t seem to be as user-friendly to me. I guess if you’re loading things in the back more than you’re loading passengers in the rear seats it would be useful, and it sure does look cool!

There were only 5,503 two-door Suburban wagons made by Plymouth in 1960, I wonder what percentage of them have interiors that look like this? In all fairness, this car was “resting in a field in rural Missouri for many many years.” I love that, “resting”, that’s excellent! And, you’re usually redoing the upholstery on restorations anyway. But, other than upholstery, there will be a lot of work to do here as you can see. You’ll give your media-blaster and welder a real workout on this car. But, please, someone save it and restore it back to original-spec, don’t let a tv reality show get their paws on it. The seller, who appears to be a huge Mopar fan(atic!), says that the headliner panels are as rare as world peace so you’ll want to hang on to those, hopefully they can be saved because they aren’t available anywhere. You can see the clutch pedal, this car has a three-on-the-tree manual transmission.

I would have been happy to see the newly-introduced 225 slant-six here, but no, this is even better! This is a 318 V8 that would have had around 230 hp, but this one isn’t running. The seller says that the “engine and transmission are original, condition is unknown. They haven’t been touched in a very long time, although the engine still has dark oil on the dipstick. She rolls fine, no locked up wheels.” I have to believe that the majority of Barn Finds readers could get this engine going again, and they could probably even restore this car to like-new condition. It sure would draw crowds anywhere it, and you, went. What do you think about this car? Would you rather have four doors, and would you restore it back to original-spec or turn it into a resto-mod?

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Comments

  1. terry

    Cool car. I had a 60 Plymouth 2 door in high school, early 70s. Slant six, pushbutton. Getting reverse was always an iffy proposition. Hopefully this one will be saved.

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  2. Dovi65

    Tho I prefer if it had 2 more doors, this is a nice wagon. Hoping someone rescues, & brings it back to factory spec

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  3. The Real Diesel Dick

    Please check the link on the previous MG TD story…it’s not working. It’s throwing an error when clicked.

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  4. jim miller

    It’s hard to imagine that styling that is so arbitrary and meaningless could ever have been desirable. That said, this car should be saved, I’d call it ‘highly desirable’ now, if just as a reminder of where we have been. God, that thing is ugly, please save it!

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    • Dan

      Exactly what I was thinking. No wonder they sold so few of them. The Rambler looked like high style compared to this, especially in 1960!

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    • Wiley Robinson

      No kidding, buy up all the mint Pontiac Azteks you can find.

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  5. Rex Kahrs

    I notice there’s another one in the carport, same color even. It looks better than the sale car. I’d love to drive this one to Home Depot for supplies. Great find!

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  6. M/K

    I”ve always wanted to play with a poly (or single rocker as Chrysler called them, also the hemi was the double rocker) motor just to see how far I could push one. I love this wagon, 2 doors or 4 wouldn’t matter to me. Did y’all know the hemi (double rocker) head bolt right on these polys? A 318 hemi would be cool.

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    • John D

      The cylinder head interchangeability ended in 1955 I believe.

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      • M/K

        Quite possible but I am fairly sure (not positive cause ma mopar isn’t to popular here because they all rusted) that it wasn’t the poly that changed. The 354’s may have been the last double rocker engine to interchange. Also my buddy has a 56 Desoto with a 331 poly an he claims (again I ain’t positive but won’t call him uninformed because he makes a good living with this old iron) the 331 double rocker heads bolt right up. I myself like how the poly looks.

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      • Bruce Fischer

        John, I have a 56 Chrysler with the poly motor and the heads would still bolt on it and it would be a hemi.Bruce.

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      • Bruce Fischer

        Heres a shot of the motor.Bruce.

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    • Ed P

      The early Chrysler v8’s were all hemi’s. They were later fitted with poly heads. The poly and hemi heads do fit those motors. The hemi head will not fit on the new for ’56, and later, A block motors such as this 318. The poly heads for these is different.

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  7. Howard A Member

    You think THIS is ugly, check out the ’61 that followed this. At least this looked somewhat conventional. Great example, but again, this car will need everything, and like someone else said a while back, it’s best to start with a decent example. Rare? You bet. I have a hard time even finding images of a Suburban. Not sure where you’d find trim and interior bits. Not very popular to begin with. Quite a find.
    http://www.stationwagonforums.com/forums/media/1961-left-and-1960-plymouth-suburban-2drs.13106/full?d=0

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    • Steve B

      The new Lexus front ends are strangely akin to the 61’s

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    • Anthony Brown

      I think it’s beautiful, ugly and mean.

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  8. Dave

    We had a ’67 dodge wagon and its forward gears went out at a convenience store one day…drove it home in reverse for about 7 blocks….fun times!

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  9. Cubs win

    ghostbusters

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  10. wuzjeepnowsaab

    I…um…like it!

    3 pedals, 2 doors, long roof, wild fins, crazy pod instruments. To me, just my opinion this is a Nomad killer. (obviously given my username I like quirks and oddities)

    Clean it up, fix what’s broke, drive it. Rinse and repeat.

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  11. Rick

    The floor shows where it was ‘resting’ on the ground. Lots ‘o holes… hopefully nothing too serious that would compromise the frame. I like it. It’s just oddball enough to bring back and make something completely sinister from. Personally, I’d lose the tree shift (never could get the hang of those), and definitely keep the rear window wings! Bagged, steam roller tires in the rear, and the right paint job could really bring this thing to the party!

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  12. David

    I’ve seen many comments on this site about 2-door models being the best..and this and that..Personally, I don’t understand this obsession with 2-door cars. Please do enlighten me.

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    • Howard A Member

      Hi David, I like 4 doors and I think 2 doors just look sportier. Something, I doubt our parents were concerned with. More like not having the kids fall out the back doors on a 2 door. If I’m not mistaken, I think most back windows on 2 doors didn’t go down all the way either.

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  13. Joe

    “R”un “U”r “S”elf “T”heheckway.

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  14. stillrunners

    NO – the heads DO NOT INTERCHANGE on a 277/318 poly motor with ANY HEMI motor. Yes – some polys do interchange – BUT THAT WOULD BE A LIKE ENGINE BLOCK ! The poly 318 was available in the trucks/cars until about 1967 – later 318 poly’s had a different crank so be careful.
    The 277 poly was new for 1956 – the Fury got a 303 poly – 1957 would be the first year of the 318 and was available with a 2-4 set up….
    Nice rare wagon….up past 3 grand…….

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  15. Gear Head Engineer

    Another cool one that got posted since my last visit. I love wagons. I love big cars. I love unusual cars. I love the crazy fins and chrome of the late ’50s and early ’60s. I even love (OK, not really, but I’ve owned a few) 3 on the tree. But alas, I also love four doors. Particularly on wagons.

    This car would be another labor of love, because I don’t think these are popular enough to recoup the restoration costs. This poor thing needs EVERYTHING. A DIY driver level redo might be the ticket with this one.

    I doubt you’ll see another one at your local shows.

    – John

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  16. Rolf Poncho 455

    I like it a LOT!! Just so far far away

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  17. Rick

    And ended by seller… fishing for sale numbers, maybe?

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    • SavoyPlaza

      Rick, I’m the seller. Actually a gentleman from Florida came up “to look” and had to have it. We ended up making a deal and I sold her to him. I’m thinking she’s going to a good home–I probably could have gotten more if I’d let the auction run, but this guy had it bad. Thanks for all the positive comments, folks!
      -Pete

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      • Joe Muzy

        Thanks for the update Pete. I hope he restores and shows it. I show a Studebaker Hawk because it is different than the tri- five chevy , mustangs and muscle cars that dominant the shows. A car like that if done right will be a sure winner

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  18. SavoyPlaza

    Thanks Joe. To me, the Studebaker Hawk, especially the ’57-61s, are one of the most beautiful cars around. Definitely something you don’t see everyday. My grandfather drove a ’53 Studebaker and I recall when I was little I wished he had held out for the Hawk! (his sort-of looked like a Hawk from the front if you squinted your eyes enough!!)
    -Pete

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  19. Kurt Spengler

    Wish I’d seen this posting sooner..This car would’ve found it’s way back to Missouri in a heartbeat! And Pete, I agree with you but consider the ’53 to be a much cleaner,slippery design.

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