Garage Find: 1937 Plymouth Coupe

Simply described as a 1937 Plymouth, this coupe is carefully tucked away in a garage looking for a new home. Stunning in appearance, it is a mystery as to whether or not this one has been restored.  With little information given, it would seem that this one could be a driver with fresh fluids and a tune up, but who knows. Offered for $9,500, this green classic can be found here on craigslist out of Fortville, Indiana. Thanks to reader Rocco B. for this nice looking submission!

Under the hood is a reasonably clean engine compartment with no apparent missing parts. The driveline has simply been categorized as “original” with no hints as to the engines condition, or the last time it was run. The wiring harness looks to have been reloomed, and has a clean and fresh appearance with no evidence of rodent nibbling.

Faux painted and in grand condition, the dash appears to merely be dusty. The interior upholstery is in nice condition, which I would assume the seating to be restored.  The back seat looks equally as nice as the front, and the rest of the interior has a pleasant and similar fit and finish.

Although the driveline is original, it is unclear what else may or may not be original. I am guessing this Plymouth has been repainted, but I would guess it to be an old repaint, as the paint looks to have minor oxidation, or it could just be very dusty. Appearing quite straight without any major apparent damage, this coupe has charming good looks and a great street appeal. The only thing that stands out as odd to me are the rubber rings around where the front bumper supports go into the body. The passenger side piece appears to be adhered with sealant keep it in place, and the driver side appears to have no such treatment. That passenger side area almost looks like the paint is worn from the rubber section moving around at speed, mildly buffing the paint. It is difficult to make out from these photos. The running boards look fine with no apparent rust, and the remainder of the body looks splendid. A great looker, and hopefully a driver without too much work, would you take a chance on this Plymouth?

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Comments

  1. gaspumpchas

    That’s a beauty for Mopar buffs,or any car nut, the green hits me just right. leave it stock looking and swap in a later mopar engine. That straight 6– 60 mph in second, top speed 70!!! Either way is a charm.Good luck to the new owner!!!

  2. Puhnto

    No disrespect to anyone, but it’s a “sedan” not a “coupe.” (Even if it has script on the fender that says “coupe,” it’s still a sedan!)

    Like 4
    • Davey

      The man is correct. It is a 2 door sedan. The business coupe had no rear seat.
      I learned to drive in a ’38 4 door sedan. I was 5 yrs old. My dad would get her going in first gear. He would set the throttle for about 5 or 6 mph and jump out. My brother John(6) and I would drive around in circles in the field behind school. My Dad would sit in a lawn chair reading the newspaper. When we would want to stop we would yell at Dad and he would run out and push the throttle in and we would coast to a stop. I am 65 and my bother is 67. Dad is now 93. Our friends were so jealous. We speak of this story when we get together. My Dad paid $50 for this car. What fun!

    • Mike Lauerman

      Absolutely correct. “The condition of the paint…” Really important, after the misnomer of body type!

  3. Tom

    Two door sedan, not a coupe.

  4. Will
    • Mike

      If I still lived in Fortville I would go check this Plymouth out.

  5. Jake

    Duh, it’s a 2 door Sedan not a “Coupe”!

  6. jdjonesdr

    If I look at this more than 2-3 minutes I’m going to buy it. Beautiful example

  7. Hide Behind

    Inxeed 2dr Sedan.
    If I had the bucks y buddy and I would be on road right now at 1/2 more asking price.
    THOSE EARLY Plymoths Dodges have narrow frames , lousy brakes, non synchro trannys with closed drivellines, making them harder but not impossible to update running gear.Engine easy to rebuild right in car. Valves solid lifters valve job removal spring tools available and hand lapping easy.
    Cranks Babbitt but can still get rebuilt (slendy.).
    Newer more displacement flathead more power but Chrysler slant 6 with Clifford INTAKE carbs and headers cam lifters gets easy reliable 250-27 5 hp.
    Late Volari front and rear not hard change over and with just a wee bit of cutting and hammering fenderwells 319-360 engines do great.
    This as stock drive and mild touring daily great for 4 to travel in comfort.
    Even in Back.
    Would need vaccine wipers converted to elctric.
    Note how glass does not seem crazed or milk , that’s a huge saving.
    One of you here hopefully will get.
    The value on as is mild restore despends on area of states. Out here running paint and all be lucky if $20K.

    • Dick Johnson

      319, 320, 321 engine, what ever it takes. 318s weren’t 2 bad.

      Never have heard of diseased wipers before. The elctric wapppers are a must. Unless you vaccinate with 20cc of a strong antibiotic, the wipers might get styphalistisis.

      The rubber ‘bungs’ mounted in the fenders were intended to keep the rattles down. My 37’s rubbers died from exposure due to unvaccinated wipers.

      The drivel line on my 37 required a driver with finess. The brakes required anticipation. Somehow, we lived.

      I’m glad to see that others are afflicted with large fingers. I jes’ hit the ‘keys’ and let the seek and spell figure it out. I thought that I was the only one afflicted.

      I think I’ll go anf do more sanding on my plymic.

    • Hide Behind

      Bud phoned and as other. Responder noted indeed cranks were not Babbitt

      HE is Dodge Plymoth Desoto Chrysler nut and gave some dudes name and phone # expert:
      George Asche @814-3t3-2621, he said older # but might still be good
      ME BAD and I apologize.
      Been years but we did rebuild his 36 engine in 1970’s.
      HE HAS SOME BIG CUBE Over 350 cFLATHEAD WAS USED IN OLD WA State Columbia River gill net bow picker boat.

      • Hide Behind

        Oo9 ps 814 354 2621
        Don’t blame it is Google messing up.
        Puts odd words and old phone #s as it wants

      • John D.

        I believe George Asche is the fellow I have read about in an eBay ad for a’49 Plymouth coupe and in a thread in Jalopnik’s H.A.M.B. He lives here in western Pa, Oil City and reportedly builds a mean flat head, over 300 horsepower.

  8. Neal

    Looks like a gem. I just saw this ’35 Hudson sedan in my neighborhood last night. Not for sale, but I had to park and take my son to check it out. That one had amazing patina as we say. Also had front AND rear suicide doors which I had never seen, plus wooden-spoke wheel centers with metal rims. Had me yearning for a fun driver. This Plymouth would do. Someday.

    • Hide Behind

      Young man needs a real project, and a fathers project is to rear his children.
      Just think what he and you in future could be cruising in but understand family economics.
      This would make a relatively easy project to build his self esteem.
      Whatever life holds the lure of bling should never outshine Family bond.

    • Neal

      What is this cracked glass seemingly between layers on the side of this Hudson?

      • Ntenna Member

        Early safety glass center plasticised material. Sometimes crystallizes, sometimes turns black!

    • Roger

      My cousin owns a ’35 Hudson like that he has to play around with.its not restored but it makes him happy though,has a straight eight engine in it,just a part of the iron menagerie he has around his place ha ha.

  9. John D.

    The flat head 6, with judicious machine work, dual carbs and a split exhaust will make all the power needed. There is a fellow, I believe in Fla, that makes front and rear disc brake conversions. A lot of the handling is in the tires, so swapping for something more modern should help on the curves.

  10. Rube Goldberg Member

    Please, next owner, DON’T resto-mod this car. It’s way too nice of an original to tear it up. I’m sure it’s an older restoration. I had a friend with a similar vintage ’38 Pontiac, and it was amazing how somewhat modern the mechanic’s were. It cruised @55 just fine. I hope this car stays original. There just can’t be too many of these left.

  11. Steve

    1939 sedan delivery is one of the rarest plymouths out there. Anyone knowing where one is let me know.

  12. Mark S

    I find it amazing how similar things are under the hood to my 1951 dodge. If you look under the hood of a 1959 dodge you’ll see almost the same thing. These flat head dodge Plymouth engines are full oil pressure engines and are noted for there durability. There’s no way I’d pull that engine out of this car. For that matter I would make sure the maintenance is up to speed and just drive and enjoy this car. These flat head engines may have been replaced in 1960 with the 225 slant six but they were in continued use in industrial applications right up to 1972. That is a long history so again why change that out. JMO.

  13. sluggo

    redundant to post but its not a coupe, Caught my eye though as I had a very rough 37 Plymouth coupe and sold it 2.5 years ago but still have a 39 Plymouth coupe and a 39 Dodge coupe.

    This one is very nice condition and should be restored or only minor upgrades not noticable. Brakes and suspension can be done without trauma. But it is in remarkable shape so should be preserved.

    My stuff is rusty crap with bullet holes, so no guilt doing the rat rod-hot rod treatment. Built a few and I get the titles sorted and then mount them on more modern frames. Useful things like Power steering, actual cornering abilities and disc brakes are all worth having. Get a good donor and you can save a bundle on all the little things like fuel lines, and electrical and adapt in the electric wipers..

    Get out a tape measure and theres a lot of viable donor cars out there. One of my donors is a 1979 Chev Malibu which is last of the full frames, Its not a substantial frame so beefing it up but the wheel base matches the prewar coupes often.
    A mid 70s Camaro also works and being a subframe car and with subframe connectors you can lengthen or shorten as needed and then strengthen. But people are shocked when an old prewar car can actually outcorner them,, great fun.

    Just dont cut this one up. Too nice.

  14. David Miraglia

    Better get out my 1930’s clothes and go for a drive.

  15. Allen Member

    My first car was a ’37 Plymouth 2-door sedan – exactly like this one except black in color. I was 16 – two years younger than the car! ‘ Paid all of $70 for it. It was NOT a coupe. They did make a coupe, but this is not it.

    There are comments above about how these cars were hard to drive. NO! The transmissions were definitely synchromesh – but like all cars until perhaps 30 years later, there were no synchros into first gear. In my 16 year-old naïveté, I had no problem with that. Yeah, the brakes were non-responsive, as was the gas pedal. But if you left your foot in it for what seemed like forever, eventually the needle would move up to something a little above 80 mph – something only a 16 year-old could have known. Although 60 years later that same 16 year-old discovered how easily his 44 year-old MGB/GT would reach 100 mph. There’s a kid in many of us who never learns basic rules of sanity.

    Didn’t they steadily increase the displacement of these FH sixes over the years – until circa 1950 they were winning some of the stock car races? As with my MGs, I might update the performance with bolt-on improvements that could be easily reversed. A larger-displacement FH, as long as it was indistinguishable from the original; overdrive (don’t know if that was an available option for Plymouths in 1937, but my dad’s ’37 DeSoto had overdrive. ‘ Can’t imagine it would be a difficult addition. And disc-brakes.

    Handling? I vividly recall driving one of these sideways. It wasn’t the end of the world then, and it’s less likely to happen now. I wouldn’t try to build a ’37 Plymouth for auto-cross, I would simply enjoy it for what it does well and avoid what it does not do so well.

    Ultimately, I am so pleased to see that original faux wood dash still intact. Please, next owner, PLEASE don’t lose that.

    Regarding those rubber gaiters for the bumper mounts. I only have vague memory to rely on, but IIRC, they were originally rectangular. These appear to be round.

  16. wjsvb

    Rod and main bearings are insert type, not babbitted.

  17. RoselandPete

    Great story but couldn’t you just as easily moved the key to “off?”

  18. RoselandPete

    Davey, Great story but couldn’t you just as easily moved the key to “off?”

  19. Jim Benjaminson

    First, lets call it what it really is – a P4 Deluxe two door touring sedan – so called because of the humpback trunk. They also built a flat back version. Lousy brakes? Closed driveshaft? narrow frame? – this guy needs to keep his mouth shut when its obvious he doesn’t know what he’s taking about. Plymouth had the best brakes of any of the low priced three – hydraulic brakes (not mechanical like Ford; Chevrolet went to juice brakes the previous years but prior to that was also mechanical). Its an open driveshaft – 4 bolts front, 4 bolts rear and its in your hands. Chevrolet had a closed drive train (Buick, too). Narrow frame – the frame was as wide as the car with an X-brace center, tube front axle and airplane type shock absorbers. This looks like a decent car and will make someone a real good “driver” —

  20. Chuck

    This is a beautiful hard to believe find!! I only wish I had a place to keep her. By the looks of the old girl it should not take much to get her on the road and enjoy every moment behind the wheel. Some lucky person will be enjoying her. I hope that no one turns her into a hot rod. Please keep her stock this looks like a perfectly good clean original automobile let’s keep her that way for future enjoyment and wonderful memories. I’m a purest at heart.

  21. PAPERBKWRITER

    Not much talk about the asking price. IMO this is entry level collector. I can see some guy and his kids showing it off at a car show or Sunday night hot dog stand.

  22. Charlie R.

    Yes! Please leave this wonderful Plymouth stock….learn to appreciate the vintage vehicles for what they were/are….both the good and not so good. Is that really so hard to grasp? If you must have modern features then buy a new or late model vehicle, geeeessshhh!

    • Hide Behind

      To each their own!
      Some auto afficianados grew to age when improving upon what Detroit had to offer sucked, and others lacking the cash of swells built upon what we could afford, which were damned, not just old but damn slow vehicles.
      A sign of individuality and creativity that so many normal and down their
      nose types put down, but gradually Detroit looked around , and seeing imports kicking their irons ads got into not just grandma and gramps
      bling but some useful sting in their products.
      Todays every F’n auto looks alike, sounds alike and has to be tuned jand fueled just alike breeds conformity and, leave it there.
      Notice it is the Latino, Black, and Asian youths that modify autos today, while older primarily white dudes are trying to buy the past, a past where change well…..
      So restore or not customize little or too the max let each do with whatever their dreams can afford.

  23. LarryA

    I bought this car in November 2019 and had it on the road in July 2020. I still have a lot of work to do but have had fun with it for the past 4-5 months.

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