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Hot-Rod Possibilities? 1937 Plymouth Coupe

Synonymous with 1930’s automotive finds in the name Ford – they were everywhere then and covered many bases. Chevrolet had a major presence too but it seems that Ford has had survival on its side. How about Plymouth? Perineally in third place, or worse. And that being the case, it’s always refreshing to find a member of Mopar’s entry-level brand from that economically challenged decade. For your review, is this 1937 Plymouth Deluxe coupe barn find. It’s located in Lubbock, Texas and is available, here on Facebook Marketplace for $10,500. Thanks to T.J. for this find!

The images aren’t the best but they’re fair enough to get a glimpse of what’s going on. The seller claims, “NO RUST whatsoever, even floors are solid as they come, been stored inside…” Fair enough but surface rust is hardly a stranger. It all appears to be minor but it is present, everywhere. The underside is rather remarkable, and you can get a good look at the rear section of it thanks to the missing fuel tank. Not to worry, you can buy a new one for about $300. There’s a dent in the passenger side fender, the front bumper is missing and the grille is going to need some help. But all that noted, it looks like a great basis for a hot-rod! The roofline and C-pillar of the Deluxe coupe, such as this example, has it all over the two-door sedan version.

The seller states that it is not known when this Plymouth last ran but the 82 HP, 201 CI, flathead six-cylinder engine shows as having been dormant for a long time. Plymouth promotional material of the time touts this engine’s 6.7:1 compression ratio! A three-speed manual gearbox transmits power, when operational, to a 4.10 differential ratio – sounds like Mopar “go” from the late ’60s with that gearset!

Inside looks more like the parts department – and then some. It’s doubtful that there is a seat under all of that, and it’s not the seat’s condition so much as just having the seat frame. But then, if you’re going to trip the light fantastic with this coupe, you’d probably pitch the bench anyway.

As is usually the case with FB Marketplace listings, the details are light. The seller does add, however, “can send more pics but need to get down from lift“. That shouldn’t entail a lot of effort and this Plymouth is probably worth further investigation if you’re looking for a vintage ’30s coupe with lots of upside potential. As previously suggested, I’d have to go for a hot-rod build-out, how about you?


  1. Joe Haska

    I am pushing 80 and have been a avid Hot Rodder since the mid to late 50’s. So I am of the generation when Fords were king, from Model A’s to Fat fenders. 32’s to 40’s being the most desire able. That was the deal and it still is for old guys like me who still have and drive traditional Hot Rods. That’s just a fact. Also a fact ,this type and era car is shrinking in popularity.
    There is nothing wrong with the Plymouth, but it is never going to be a cool Hot Rod. Sure you can spend all the time and money and could make it look good, but why? Just to prove a point. I don’t think its worth it. If you want a muscle car you don’t start with a 50 Nash.

    Like 4
  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    Something this clean and complete needs to be restored, at least to driver quality. Maybe warm the engine up or get a similar (newer?) engine and run it. I met a guy from OR at an antique meet clear up at Edmonton, Canada; he and his wife drove there in a ’33 Plymouth (I don’t know if you should call it a roadster or cabriolet). The car was restored to the nines but under the hood was a warmed-over flathead six that was considerably more powerful than the original powerplant. Split manifold, two carbs, higher compression, fully blueprinted; It had no problem keeping up with the freeway traffic and it made the nearly 1,000 mile trip without complaint. I’ve come across him at several meets throughout the Intermountain Region and Pacific Northwest and he and his wife make the journey (at least 400 miles) every other year (alternating with the Model A boys). So there’s always a way to preserve the past but still add some future performance touches to help your car keep up…

    Like 20
  3. Duane Hayes Member

    Even the stock engine runs well, is durable, the car would keep up with traffic today and get good fuel economy

    Like 6
  4. Duane Hayes Member

    I cringe when an author immediately does the “hot rod possibilities” Why the animus towards originality?

    Like 19
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      There is no animus towards originality – at least not on my part. But in this case, and based on this car’s lines and condition, I believe hot-rodding it would be a logical and appropriate route to pursue. It’s an opinion, just like keeping it original.


      Like 5
    • RKS

      I cringe when someone wants to take 85 year old automotive technology on todays roads. Might be ok in a parade I guess if you want to keep it bone stock.

      Like 3
  5. Greg

    Whether the buyer decides to “Rod” the car or return it to it’s natural stock beauty, it’s going to take slot of money & time. The investment of 10 + grand is too much considering the amount of work & extra money to complete the project.

    Like 3
  6. Dave

    With all due respect Joe, I think this car looks terrific as a hot rod. It needs to be lowered is all. Time is not as much of a concern for those folks younger than us, nor is any real money. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stumbled on cheaper/better parts than I already bought for the project du jour.

    Like 7
  7. Terry

    I have a 36 Plymouth and it would not keep up with modern traffic. About 50mph is all it was good for.
    It now has a small block Chevy which shoe horned in and allowed the stock steering box and suspension to be used. 700R4 to the stock 410 rear gives it longer legs on the highway. Front disc brakes to stop the thing. It was a cheap conversion.
    Still looks like an old Plymouth but much more enjoyable to drive.

    Like 11
  8. Ken Lobo McClurg Member

    I’m 80 now, a 37 identical to this one was my first hot rod. 327 with a munci 4 speed, chivy rear end, dropped front axle with mid 50s buick spindles and brakes. With front fenders and running boards removed and cycle fenders added it was a sweet looking street rod and outran anything in the country. I traded it for a MGA in 64 and recently saw it for sale for $20,00.

    Like 5
  9. Ken Lobo McClurg Member

    You forgot to mention that this model was the last to have a canvas roof insert,

    Like 3
  10. William R Hall

    Instead of a small block chevy like everyone else, why not keep it all Mopar? A built 318 would be cheap and loads of power in front of a 727 Transmixer. A bit more adapting and put Modern Mopar rear axle and brakes. If you are going junkyard shopping, you might find some good seating. No limit to what you can do with some imagination.

    Like 6
    • Mark C

      Ha! I was just thinking this. A 318 with a t flite, or just stay with a stick. Like you said, better rear and some disc brakes. I’d give it a very mild custom look but stay mostly stock for the cosmetics.


      I was thinking modern straight 6. GM’s atlas or for something special the ford barra from oz would be near. I keep hearing rumours that FCA or whatever they are called today have a new turbo straight 6 coming out. Something to be a bit different.

  11. Jimmy Novak

    The “keep-it-original” voices are usually in the majority here.

  12. TBone

    If I recall correctly, Bogart drove Plymouth coupes while playing Sam Spade in the movies. Just for that reason I want it. In the movie he pronounced coupe ‘coo-pay.’ This surprised me but a relative born in 1924 confirmed that this was the way it was commonly pronounced at that time.

    Like 1
    • Joe Bru

      Coopay is still the right way to pronounce coupe, a coop is where chickens live.

      Like 2
      • Glenn Reynolds

        “Little duce coopay, you don’t know what I got”
        Just doesn’t sound right

        Like 1
  13. Willy's Mike

    My dad’s first car was a 37 Plymouth he always said that it was so cold blooded that if you walked by it with a ice cream cone it wouldn’t start!

  14. 37hotrod

    Actually, 1937 was the first year for a solid roof with no insert. It was the last year for the crank out windshield.

  15. Ken Lobo McClurg Member

    My Plymouth 5 window coupe was titled as 1957 and had a canvis insert. Could have been a mistake in paperwork but I bought it in 1962 from an old man that had been using it as a daily driver and had owned it for years.

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