First Year Plymouth? 1928 Plymouth Model Q

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The seller refers to this car as a 1928 Plymouth which would make it a very rare Model Q, made only for a few months in Plymouth’s first year. It can be found here on craigslist in Crookston, MN. They have an asking price of $5,900 listed but they’re open to offers. Thanks to Ikey H. for sending in this tip!

I have been racking my brain on this car trying to nail down whether it’s actually an uber-rare 1928 Plymouth Model Q or a 1929 Model U. There are a few differences that are hard for a non-expert to tell in the photos. There is no close-up photo of the radiator badge which on a 1928 Model Q would say Chrysler Plymouth and on the 1929 Model U it should say Plymouth. I believe that the wheels should be wood spoke rather than the steel rims on here now. Wood spoke wheels were standard with wire wheels being an option.

Also, the bumpers on a 1928 Model Q should have horizontal grooves in each bar from what I understand. These bumper bars appear to be flat stock. Jeff Bennett wrote about what was listed as a 1929 Plymouth here on Barn Finds last summer and a couple of readers identified it as a 1930 or ’31. I’m hoping that someone jumps in and can positively identify this one. If it is a 1928 Model Q it’s incredibly rare.

This car will need a full, extensive, expensive restoration. Under this metal skin lies a lot of wood that may have to be restored and that won’t be inexpensive if it’s dropped off at a restoration shop. The seller says that it has a rumble seat and you can see the steps on the right-rear fender. With a rumble seat, I would have guessed this to be a Deluxe Coupe but I don’t know if I’ve seen one without the cloth top and landau bars for a faux convertible look. I wish the seller would have included close-up photos of the tags on the firewall. I believe that there would have been an oval badge with “Chrysler Plymouth” on it in the middle of the dash but I don’t see a spot for it here.

If this is a 1928 model it should have Chrysler’s 170 cubic-inch inline-four with around 45 hp. There is no word as to if it runs or even turns over but most readers could have it humming at 60 mph again in no time, I’m sure. Can any of you 100% positively identify this as a 1928 Plymouth Model Q with the photos given in the seller’s ad?

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  1. HoA Howard AMember

    I think this is a fantastic find, but no comments in 8 hours, tells me nobody cares anymore. As usual, great write-up, however, this car wouldn’t do 60 mph in it’s best day. :)

    Like 7
    • Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

      You’re way too kind, thanks, Howard. The title of Jeff Bennett’s article had “McQueen” in the title which probably caught more eyes than this one did. Or, maybe nobody was up for a challenge and a chance to win the admiration of the Barn Finds staff and readers the world over… (how’s that for a challenge?)

      Period advertising of the day said “smooth speed up to 60 and more mile an hour.”, but sometimes marketing folks tend to guild the lily just a wee a bit.

      Like 7
    • Brakeservo

      It will do 60 and even more right now!! All it takes is the right cliff.

      But personally I hope it survives with it’s original drivetrain etc intact.

      Like 2
    • Jerry Brentnell

      well for 1 thing this car has no wood holding the body together like termite wagon gm’s of these years and and you have a open drive shaft, juice brakes and lots of good stuff ford and chev never had!I remember reading when walter chrysler built the first plymouth he drove it over to show henry ford! ford was not impressed! the plymouth was years ahead of his model A’s

      Like 2
    • Brakeservo

      Actually, the car will probably do 60 mph today, maybe even faster! All it takes is the right cliff!

      And no, I’d hate to see that happen – I would love to see it preserved and driven again with it’s original drivetrain.

      Like 0
  2. Todd FitchStaff

    Nice find, Scotty. I never realized Plymouth started so late. My Grandfather’s second adult car was sharp ’38 Plymouth two-door sedan. We had a 1940 Plymouth sedan when I was growing up; took it to the Senior Prom! Hopefully someone will comment on the details you mentioned. I can’t help thinking of “Q” from the James Bond series, and wondering if this one has spikes that extend from the wheel centers or an ejection seat. “Your enemies won’t know what hit them when you show up in the new Plymouth Model Q!”

    Like 4
    • Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

      Thanks, Todd. My dad’s first car was a Plymouth somewhere around this era but I’m guessing it was from the 30s. I wonder if Cubby Broccoli was thinking of Plymouths when he came up with the Q character for the Bond series. Yeah, probably not..

      Like 2
  3. Jim Benjaminson

    Its a Model 30U – 3rd year Plymouth, not a Model Q. I can see the body tag on the engine side of the firewall but can’t make out the numbers – the first three digits should be 382 indicating a 30U rumble seat coupe – 5,850 were built. Depending on the time it was built (Chrysler didn’t use model years at the time) it could be considered either a 1930 or 1931 model based on the serial number (found on the right front door post).

    Like 13
    • Anthony in RI

      yes… the numbers on the body tag appear to be 382-5478

      Like 2
  4. Anthony in RI

    Found the following on The Model U’s engine was changed, with bigger bearings, a quarter-inch longer stroke, angled distributor drive housing, and exhaust pipe on the front of the engine rather than the rear Based on the position of the exhaust pipe in the picture I think this would be a Model U not a Model Q

    Like 2
  5. dpcdfan

    It’s definitely a 30 Plymouth. 28/29 Plymouths used the thin “ribbon” radiator shell and 30 went to the deeper grill shell.

    Like 2
    • George Hand

      Late 1930s like this one have the thicker radiator shells, the correct model of this is a 30-U, not U or Q

      Like 0
  6. Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

    Thanks for the great info, guys!

    Like 2
  7. AllenMember

    Are those original headlight housings? They seem to enclose sealed-beam lamps – not yet available in the ’30s. Just curious. ‘ Love Plymouths – my first car was a ’37 I bought for $70. Great car!

    It’s always fun to read comments from Jim Benjaminson. He’s a real authority on Plymouths!

    Like 3
    • Ed P

      Was there ever a conversion kit to sealed beam lights?

      Like 2
  8. AllenMember

    Very definitely. Still popular for older cars even in the ’50s. I remember converting to sealed beams on my ’37 Plymouth.

    Like 2
  9. Roger Ramberg

    I would always defer to Jim Benjaminson on matters dealing with the older Plymouths, and I agree with him here. The car offered for sale is certainly a model 30U Plymouth, sold in 1930 or ’31. I have it’s twin in my shed at home, body number 382-5407, with wire wheels. The car offered has the incorrect wheels and headlamps. Hope this helps.

    Like 5
  10. Bob McK

    The thing I like best about BF is the knowledge of the readers. I wish I knew half of what so many of you have forgotten! Many thanks to all of you.

    Like 2
    • Srt8

      I have a hard enough time remembering my PIN at the ATM much less all of that information.

      Like 2
  11. BR

    My Dad had a ’29 Plymouth pickup with a wrecker in the bed. It had wooden spoke wheels, and I think demountable rims. This was in the early ’40’s when he had his garage. I was only 3 or 4 at the time, but I remember it.

    Like 0
  12. David Conwill

    With the later steel wheels and sealed-beam headlamps, it looks like this one was in service quite a bit longer than some of its contemporaries. I’d happily welcome this to my garage.

    Because that’s just how I am, I’d probably be looking to hop up the Silver Dome four-cylinder with some period-style speed parts and maybe adjusting the stance with a dropped front axle and a pair of mild lowering blocks out back. I’ve also heard the later Plymouth sixes and their Dodge brethren will fit in these (that’s essentially what early De Sotos were–six-cylinder Plymouths), but I probably wouldn’t go that far.

    I would re-rehabilitate the interior and fix the top insert, though. They make some pretty slick cloth sunroofs for Model A Fords, maybe one could be adapted here to satisfy my addiction to open-air motoring.

    Like 0
  13. Jeff Yexley

    I have a q out in the pasture. The tag reads Plymouth only. No memtion of Chrysler. There is a 4 door Chrysler right behind it i think its a 26. The wood spokes are rotted away and its frame was rurned into a running gear for something or other years before i was born. Always wondered if anyone would love it enough to restore.

    Like 0
  14. Bruce Nichols

    The 1928 Model Q would have wood spoke wheels.The wheels on this Plymouth are later maybe 40’s or 50’s. The headlamps are incorrect,along with the wheels a good indication the car was probably in use up to the 1950’s or beyond. The split bumpers appear to be correct.
    Total production for all models of 28Q’S was just over 62,000 Last q built was on February 4 1929. Last serial # was RH – 977-H. Last engine # was Q242482. Hope this helps. My guess is it is either a 1930 or 1931 Model Year.

    Like 0
    • Jim Benjaminson

      FYI – Wire wheels were optional in 1928, 1929, 1930, etc.

      Like 0
      • Bruce Nichols

        Yes they were Jim,my point was the wheels were much later vintage on the car. I have a 1932 PB convertible with wood spoke wheels,and I was told when I bought it that wire wheels were an option. I also have a set of wire wheels for the car.

        Like 0
  15. Jeff Yexley

    Would there be any value to a car in the pasture? It’s motor is there but it’s sat there for 50 years at least.

    Like 0
    • David Conwill

      There’s always some value to those things, even if it’s just as scrap or for some tiny pieces needed to complete another car. Whether that value is sufficient to justify extraction is questionable, though.

      Like 0
  16. Pete Hartdegen

    Actually gentlemen, the Q’s would do 60mph. As other commentors expressed – it is not a Q. Also, there is wood in the Q’s. Not as much as other manufacturers – but there is wood. Plymouth & Chrysler would both be on the dash body serial number plate; the Chrysler was removed after the Q’s six months of production.

    Like 0

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