No Options: 1958 Plymouth Plaza

1958 Plymouth Plaza Business Coupe

Would you ever pay more for a car that doesn’t have any options than one that does? That may seem like a silly question, but the seller of this Plymouth Plaza presents it as being more desirable because it has less. Dealers normally like to stuff as many options as they can into a car in order to make a few extra bucks, so it makes sense that the barebones ones are not as numerous. Either way, this Mopar project does look interesting. It’s listed here on craigslist in Arizona for $3,750 or best offer. Do you really think the “no options” option makes it more desirable though? Thanks goes to George G for the tip!

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Comments

  1. AMC STEVE

    christine!!!

    • Jason Houston

      Christine is a Fury 2-door hardtop!

      Like 1
      • Marty Member

        Not in the book though…

      • Wayne S.K.

        Apples and oranges! Just haul it over to Will Darnell’s garage and let it “repair” itself… ;)

  2. fred

    Can’be be Christine Steve- no radio!

  3. MountainMan

    No backseat? Fixed windows? Was someine planning to make a stock car or something with this one? I have no idea what the value would be on this but it is interesting

    • Geoff S.

      It’s a business coupe; not configured for passengers, set up for samples and so on. Very common in the 30s through 50s. Perfect car, but for the lack of drivetrain.

    • John Schiessl

      Lee Petty tribute car!

  4. Wayne

    While I would not pay that kind of money for a stipper Plymouth, I did pay a premium for a 60 Imperial that had crank windows, manual seat and radio delete. It also did not have air or any other luxury features commonly associated with a luxury marque.

  5. boxdin

    Super rare but not particularly valuable. It would make a killer build into something smashing but as is or stock its just odd.

  6. Dave H

    No back seat. Fixed windows. Sounds just like the spec for the very basic 55-57 Chev 150 which was sold for VERY cheap as a salesman’s car (or to become a racecar such as the infamous “Black Widow” Chev’s). Never knew Plymouth had such a base stripper as well.

    Like 1
    • Blyndgesser

      Official term is “Business coupe.”

    • Jason Houston

      Ford did, too – up through 1960. Ford called it the Fairlane 2-Door Business Sedan. Previously, it was called the Business Coupe, but that ended with the last coupe in 1954, after which they were all sedans.

  7. Cassidy

    Less to fix! LOL

  8. Mitch

    Not uncommon with no options-Plymouth was a low priced car, & used in a lot of fleet service in those days. (Taxis, PD units, etc.)

  9. BrianR

    Based on the front fender toppers and side trim holes, I believe this is a rare Silver Special.

  10. Paul R

    Why am I hearing the song.. “Bad to the bone”?

    • grant

      Because when faced with a 58 Plymouth, regardless of the trim level, people think they seem witty when they reference “Christine.”

  11. Rickreg2

    I like the factory delete engine and transmission!

  12. James

    Interesting offering.. This car brings one back to the day where the manufacturer actually built the car to order, even to the extreme ‘deletes’ as this one was built – in today’s cost-driven world, it wouldn’t make cost sense to build something so special.. The factory fixed window and factory no window regulators are interesting to me – even the base stripper, or business coupes would have had them.. As for the engine, and by the code on the plate; LP1L, it was a 6-cylinder car and built in Los Angeles. I believe this one might be a very rare one, in that its original destiny might have been the race track and it never got there..

  13. Jason Houston

    Now you know what “less is more” means!

  14. Marty Member

    With no paperwork to prove what the original intent for it was, I think it’s just another low-option Plymouth, and is not worth any premium for being a stripped down model. It does look like it has good, straight, solid sheetmetal, and likely has a future as a body-donor for yet another Christine clone.

    • motorrad

      This would be the perfect partner for the rusted out Fury listed here a few months ago.

    • Jason Houston

      CHRISTINE BOOK:

      I never knew there was a book. Now, I have to find one. Thanks for the heads -up!

      • grant

        Seriously? It’s a Stephen King book. One of his more famous ones. Way better than the movie.

  15. john maurin

    Yes, in the book it was a 1958 Belvedere 4 door sedan. this car is not special to me because it was the cheapest model and they didn’t have any options. they are not common because they were cheap models and were all scraped. this one happened to survive but not many did.

    • Jason Houston

      Nearly everything from Chrysler was so bad, none of them saw 20,000 miles, Savoy or Fury. Sad, but quality really took a back seat to styling!

  16. Marty Member

    Christine is one of Stephen King’s first few novels, published around 1982, a year or so before the movie. It can usually be found on ebay, as a preowned paperback, plus shipping to your house, for less than five dollars. It’s an easy, worthwhile read.

    There’s enough in it that wasn’t used in the movie, that it could be a good re-make someday, like we see so often now, although they may not be able to resist the temptation to ruin it next time with too much CGI.

    Although “she” is not referred to in the book specifically, by the description Christine appears to be a four door sedan. I like four doors as much as the next guy, but the movie creators made a wise decision to portray Christine as a 2 door hardtop.

    Check it out!

    • David G

      ‘Christine’ remake seems like something Tim Burton could be good for. Would definitely see it if ever happens…

  17. The Chucker

    Begging for a modern Hemi and the full resto-mod treatment.

  18. Ted

    seen the movie a few times read the book in the movie the car causes arnie to lose his life it turns on him in the book he loses his life in a volvo wagon

  19. seth

    what is parked next to the drivers side of the car?

    • GOPAR

      1959 Ford Ranchero

  20. Ted

    its a ford ranchero truck some where in in later 50s

  21. Rando

    If you like Christine book, may as well read From A Buick 8 by Steven King as well…

    • grant

      From a Buick 8 was a good read.

  22. Paul B

    I think the back seat is simply missing. Something had to go there, at least a shelf for samples without a hole into the trunk. On the other hand, I’m no Mopar expert, not knowledgeable about serial numbers and factory codes. I have no desire to own this thing but someone should. I’d put it back original with a good flathead six — they were unburstable — do the minimum to make it absolutely safe and sound, and use it. The combination of Exner space-age design and total stripper with prewar flathead is too insanely cool. I remember these things back in their day and it all seemed crazy then too. Punched a big hole in the dream the futuristic look was supposed to encourage. Yeah, it’s just the drugstore’s delivery car.

  23. Geoff S.

    This is a car site, right? Not a movie site? Not every 57 Plymouth is “Christine” folks!

    • Jason Houston

      Actually, none are. Christine is a 1958 Plymouth Fury.

  24. Marty Member

    I’m going to have to dissent a little bit on “From a Buick 8”. I wouldn’t tell anyone to not read it, but I didn’t like it nearly as much as Christine. There isn’t much action, and I felt like I could barely get through it. If I remember it correctly, the car remains parked for the entire novel. The whole story seemed to consist of the cops who found it abandoned, spending lots and lots of time reminiscing about it. The entire plot emanated from the car, but it was all past-tense and the car itself never did anything. The human characters progress along, get old, and so on, but nothing much ever happens with the car and it never moves.

    Another King work which is much more obscure, and in which a car is featured prominently, is a short story (or rather, a fragment from a novel that King never finished) which is included in one of his collections of short stories published as a book called “Skeleton Crew”. The name of the short story is: “Big Wheels: A Tale of the Laundry Game (Milkman No. 2)” It’s a companion to another fragment of the same unwritten novel, and the other fragment is called “Morning Deliveries (Milkman No. 1)”

    Although “Big Wheels: A Tale of…” is far more nonsensical than Buick 8, it’s a much better read, much better vintage Stephen King, and was probably written even before Christine. I won’t spoil it by saying too much about it, but the car is a ’57 Chrysler, the story is not any kind of re-hash of Christine, but is a killer atmosphere-type piece with great characters and is sort of a classic, tragic horror story that ends very badly. Very short, and if you like horror, very sweet.

    On the subject of Stephen King’s haunted vehicles, he also wrote another short in the same collection called “Uncle Otto’s Truck”, which I thought was slow-paced and silly, and of course there is “Trucks”, which was loosely adapted to become the movie “Maximum Overdrive”.

    Enjoy!

    • Jason Houston

      You write very clear, prolific reviews. Now, I’m persuaded the Christine book is a POS. Thanks for your great reviews!

      • Marty Member

        Apparently not clear enough. I liked Christine. From a Buick 8 is the one I was less enthused about. Christine was/is worth reading.

      • grant

        Christine is an excellent book, Jason. Just don’t expect it to be much more than what it is. A good horror story.

    • grant

      Lol I remember those stories Marty. They were good reads. King will never be mistaken for shakespear, but he does what he does very well. “Uncle Ottos truck” actually got me interested in old, abandoned cars. I think I was about 11 when I read that. Think I’ll go through the bookshelf and see if I still have a copy of Skeleton Crew.

      • Wayne S.K.

        I don’t know, Grant. 200 years from now, King may surpass “Good William” in popularity. Who KNOWS what will be taught in English class by then?

  25. AMCFAN

    Christine is a book that is the ultimate Science Fiction/Horror book. Mr King really did the research in describing the fine details about the 1958 Plymouth almost like he had his hands on one. That element adds to the quality. Way better then the movie. The description on how the villains were killed in the book were horrifying.

    About Mr. Kings other “car book” I was surprised to find Buick 8 by King at a flea market. It was cheap enough but nowhere near Christine. It was way out there and not worth finishing to me. Donated it to the church rummage sale! Others may consider it to be good and relate to it.

    It must be mentioned that the movie Christine put the 57/58 Plymouth on the map and created a big demand for them. Prior to that there was minimal interest in fact a 57 Fury can be spotted in the demo derby scene in Ron Howards Eat My Dust movie.

    The popularity of Christine has saved many otherwise doomed and unlikely restorable Plymouths and vulted them into cult status. These cars were hard to find in the 1980’s. New they were very prone to rust. In the 50’s many bought new cars every few years. The Forward look cars by Chrysler were futuristic in 1957 but by 1960 were way out of style and were dated very quickly.

    The Plymouth above being collectable because of its lack of options ? Not a chance. The car is collectable because of the body condition. It is actually very nice. It is still a sedan. Sadly Christine is double edged. Because of the movie all models of the vehicle including four doors and wagons are now painted red. The factory colors are very beautiful and are rarely seen. When they do show up I am sure the owners grow tired of hearing nice car. It would look better RED! I must admit. Seeing one not red does seem odd haha.

    • Jason Houston

      A friend of mine worked props on the Christine movie. He was in love with 1958 Furys, and said the movie people scanned Hemmings for months buying up every ’58 Fury they could find, ending up with about 50. Most were destroyed. When the filming was over, a huge lot appeared off the I-10 Freeway near Fontana where all the movie’s Christines were herded inside a fenced area. Supposedly, they were selling what could be salvaged to recoup some of their huge investment. But a lot of locals cussed the movie, for it took ALL the 1958 Furys that were in existence at the time and wrecked them.

      The same thing happened with Dukes of Hazzard, but the loss of Chargers from all over Southern California was much greater than the ’58 Fury loss.

  26. DENIS

    I ever saw one of these with no back seat…I fixed up a post coupe in high school , painted it black with aluminum discs and a Golden Commando engine….it had the luxury items such as a rear seat and push-button trans….cool as hell..handled like a barge. I like this thing

  27. MikeH

    These business coupes/strippers were used by dealers as low cost leaders. The ad would say New ’58 Plymouth, only $XXXX. When customers got to the showroom, they found it was one of these—but it got them in the showroom. I worked for a Chevy dealers in 1960 and they advertised one of these with air conditioning. Turns out the AC was some sort of a wash tub filled with ice that had a fan blowing over it. It was really embarrassing. There were many things at that dealership, for which people should have gone to prison.

  28. Mike

    My Grandfather for a few years when farming was on the lean side worked for Pioneer and he was a traveling Seed & product salesman, he drove a car like this, I have seen it in pictures, and it was just a plain Jane car, it had no back seat and a huge trunk. It was a Salesman sedan.

  29. Alex gilk

    Car is still for sale on tucson craigslist as of 6-27-16

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