One Owner: 1950 Plymouth Special Deluxe

'50 Plymouth

When was the last time you saw a one-owner 1950 Plymouth Special Deluxe with 16,021 original miles? This maybe the only one. This car is in Chilton, Missouri and is listed here on eBay with a BIN of $16K.

'50 engine

This is one clean machine. There is historical paperwork included with the purchase including the original invoice, which shows the purchase price of $1,887.60. The buyer traded in a 1934 Ford which brought the total to $1,787.60.

'50 Plymouth int.

The dash, headliner, door cards and seats appear to be new. The interior is all original except for part of the front floor mat and the arm rests.

'50 Plymouth front seat

There other images of this beautiful original car in the ad for your review. This has to be one of the cleanest interiors we’ve seen in a 66 year old car!

'50 Plymouth front

The car was repainted in 2006, which is a bit of a bummer but it looks fantastic. The chrome is said to be good but the gravel shields do have some pitting.

'50 Plymouth trunk

This 1950 Plymouth is still on the road and consider a driver, but rides on the original five tires. We are not sure that it would be safe to take this classic on a road trip with five tires from 1949-50? If you do take a road-trip with the tires as-is, you might want to pack some cans of Fix-A-Flat just to be able to keep rolling. If you want a 1950 Plymouth that appears to be new, but hasn’t been fully restored, this is the one for you.

Motor-on,
Robert

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Comments

  1. Joe

    Great looking car. The wooden dash board, its design, and set of gauges is one of the nicest I have seen. A touch of Art Deco left over from the 30’s and 40’s. And, the whole car is nicely photographed.

    • Blyndgesser

      The dash is actually metal painted in a wood grain pattern. Odd, but original.

      • Joe

        “Blynd”gesser, you are not so “blind.” It is woodgrain–another long lost art.

  2. DENIS

    I had a low-mileage ’50 Plymmie 2 dr….very similar condition except water stains on door panels..mine was original dark blue finish(non-repaint) but was rubbed through in a few spots on the front fenders from waxing. Great 55 mph cruiser…
    40,000 real miles but sold for waaaay less than this one. This is a really nice car but I question the $$

  3. Ed P

    Wow, it looks like with new tires and an oil change, this car is ready for a road trip. The interior looks like the deluxe upholstery. Very nice.

  4. Chuck

    Really nice original–but no way would I go the asking price—-maybe if a hardtop or convertible.

    • Mark S Member

      Hard tops came along in 1951, in the US the Plymouths were called Belvideres, the dodge were called Coronets, and up in Canada they were call Mayfairs which is what I own and am restoring. the Us car had a 217 short block engine and the Canadian cars had a 218 long block engine. Far fewer Canadian cars were made.

  5. Vince Habel

    No hardtop in 50

  6. Dan

    Sweet ole car….don’t want one, but if it was a family thing, I would drive the heck out of it…..

  7. RON

    Absolute beautiful piece of history. Beautiful dash and amazing original upholstery Seldom seen car in this condition. I have a friend with a rival 1950 Ford Customline 2 dr. sedan. has apprx. same miles from new

  8. piper62j

    Talk about a piece of nostalgia.. What a sweet ride.. Nice find…

  9. Paul B

    Dad had a ’50 Plymouth, 2 door in blue. A very high quality car for the time in the low priced field. Smooth six, extremely reliable and comfortable. And yes the dash was painted wood grain. I liked that even as a kid.

  10. Jason Houston

    Being a confirmed addict of low mileage, stone-mint original cars, who is also obsessed with automotive forensics, I studied this beautiful black 1950 Plymouth for better part of an hour, before I was about to pick up the phone and give the dealer my CC #. I was still a little queasy about the stain on the driver’s door panel and both arm rests being recovered, since this was obviously a car that spent 99% of its life indoors.

    Then I saw it: the odometer has been reset. Most cars since WWII have tamper-proof odometers. When they’re tampered with, the wheels deliberately line up unevenly, to signal that it’s been tampered with. What I think now, is, this was perhaps a 40,000 mile car, definitely meticulously maintained, but a subsequent owner couldn’t resist tripping back the odometer.

    The second part that hit me like a ton of Banthricos was the meticulous record-keeping – the cancelled check, the dealer’s invoice, the original registrations, etc., but not a single lube sticker, maintenance receipt, repair invoice or similar document that would vouch for the mileage. Being how this car is offered by a dealer, I’d insist on some genuine provenance before dropping a dime.

    At first glance today I determined $16,000 was a very fair price for a car in this16,000 miles genny condition, but tonight I’m not sure it’s even worth half that. I’ve seen cars of this era with 70,000 and still look this good!

    • Joe

      Would also want to look at tread wear on those original tires. Even though they were removed from the car and then recently replaced, if they have more than 16K miles of wear on them then that fact may support your thinking. If 16K or less miles of wear on them then that fact would not undermine your thinking since the seller says they were removed from the car at some point.

      • DENIS

        Joe, back in the day, those old tires did not run very many miles, so I’m not sure you could base a decision on that…I worked at a Goodyear store and those original equipment “rags” didn’t last long…

  11. jim s

    had one of these in the extended family back in the day. bought new, taken care of, and ran good. way to nice for me as i would want to make a daily driver out of it. great find.

  12. Jason Houston

    DENIS

    Jan 19, 2016 at 7:04am

    Joe, back in the day, those old tires did not run very many miles, so I’m not sure you could base a decision on that…I worked at a Goodyear store and those original equipment “rags” didn’t last long…

    REPLY:

    Again, just playing Devil’s Advocate: how do we know, today, those tires even came off this Plymouth? It’s not like we’re seeing it in the hands of the first owner. When cars like this hit dealers, all kind of provenance can be created. By then it’s too late in the day to verify anything.

    And just because it’s no trick to get a reflection off black paint, doesn’t mean it’s a first-class repaint. But questionable tires and service records aside, I’m most persuaded by the altered odometer. There is no legitimate explanation for that.

    In its present state I grade this a $4,000 car, max.

    • Joe

      Jason, good points. New cars sometimes came with tire warranties and perhaps those shown serial numbers on the tires are part of the original paperwork, maybe? But I don’t see the paperwork on the tires.

      But we could get super skeptical about any one item and even if odometer digits were lined up the odometer could have been transplanted from another car or tampered with in such a way as not to misalign them. I guess the question in my mind is does it all add up? The complete picture? Is this a 16K mile car as presented? For me that question is hard to answer unless it is inspected in person and all evidence is present, available and unmolested. The biggest piece of the puzzle for me is why only 16K? How did this car become a time capsule? I don’t see evidence of Uncle Ray not using it for some reason, this is not explained in the ebay story.

      • Jason Houston

        If there was a tire warranty in 1950, it was probably referenced in the owner’s manual, and not otherwise spelled out for the consumer. And I doubt it would contain serial numbers. Would anyone from that era know? From what I’ve seen over the past 50+ years looking at thousands of 1950s cars is, you got an owner’s manual and a car that might have a body serial number tag on the left door pillar. Period. No warranty booklets, build sheets, accessories catalogs, plastic ID cards, etc.

        I agree with being “super skeptical”. If I were asked to pony up that kind of money to a car dealer, I would assert every right to be super skeptical, especially in view of what I can see, and demand he either prove all those wild claims or admit the car’s been fabricated and drop the price.

    • Bill

      I agree with everything you brought up Jason…however I don’t see the odometer problem you mentioned..it looks ok to me.

      Still, I would doubt very seriously any claim of 16k miles without ANY documentation to back it up.

      I owned a 1950 Plymouth 4 door, just like this for 5 years. Odo read 33k, but I had no way to verify those were original miles. My steering wheel was just as nice, original headliner.. same seat material. Although the man I bought it from said the seats were re done, but wasn’t sure. Wood grain was just like new, except the driver side door, which had seen wear. It had one repaint, driver quality. I sold it recently for $6100..which I thought a fair price.

      I think this dealer will be severely disappointed in what this car is really worth.
      There isn’t a classic value guide anywhere that gets even close to $16k even in #1 condition.

      And every time I see a “survivor” car, that has had that “just one repaint” I have to ask.. why did it need to be painted?!
      I also have a 1954 Chrysler with 82k documented miles, wearing 100% original paint in great condition…why would a car with a supposed 66k fewer miles need new paint?!

      • Jason Houston

        I just now looked at the listing again to see what you are seeing, an odometer that didn’t appear tampered with. Apparently, this very savvy seller is reading these pages: since I posted my comment about it being tampered with, the seller went in on Jan. 18 (according to eBay) and deleted the odometer picture entirely.

        I have some thoughts… but even with “Speak Your Mind”, they are far from appropriate for this site…

        So I’ll just leave it at that.

  13. That Guy

    Without supporting documentation, the most which can be said about the 16,000 mile claim is “it’s believed accurate.” Especially with cars this old, it’s no big deal to set the odometer to whatever you want.

    So what we have is a beautiful example of a not-particularly-rare old car, which is clearly in exceptionally original condition barring the repaint. Price guides generally have caveats saying something like “truly exceptional examples may be worth more.” The spectacular unrestored condition of this car seems to put it in that category. It’s quite possibly the best original example of its kind in the world.

    Is it worth $16K? That’s not a huge amount of money to ask for a beautiful 66-year-old car. It’s being sold by a dealer, this is the asking price, it probably can be had for less. “Buy the best you can afford” is another old-car truism, and 1950 Plymouth sedans don’t come any better.

    • Jason Houston

      You’re absolutely correct on all points, especially the need for a repaint. I’m suspicious too, especially not only coming from a car dealer, but one who is savvy enough to recreate an entire Chrysler showroom of that period. And if this car spent all those years in the garage, it wouldn’t need painting so much as it would a buff and detail job. And even if it displayed a few flaws, it would still be worth more than if it was even professionally repainted.

      My motto, “It’s only original once” I learned back in the early 70’s when a 1937 Deusenberg went thru a classic car auction and the seller bragged it was “the only remaining Deusenberg with original paint”. It was an ugly, bright garden-hose-green color, and there was much paint loss on the hood, but little else. And whether it was true or not, bidders apparently believed it, and it brought a record price.

  14. Jason Houston

    CORRECTION: PLEASE DISREGARD MY LAST COMMENT

    I just reviewed the listing and found the original odometer picture IS still posted. Here is that picture. Notice the “6” and the “0” are out of line with the other three.

    • Bill

      I’m far from an odometer expert.. but I think this looks ok.
      I have found that pretty typical for these older cars, when it turns a big number, like the thousand digit.. it takes a few hundred miles or so, and it starts to even out in my experience anyway.

  15. That Guy

    Auction was ended two hours ago. I wonder if it sold to someone here. I hope we’ll hear more about it, if so.

  16. charlie Member

    I was in charge of my family’s ’56 Chevy from ’57 till ’68. 22 thousand miles was the standard tread life. Same on my ’68 Chevelle, replaced them with the first Sears/Michlen radials in ’69 and got not only better handling, but 55 to 60 thousand miles.

    • Ed P

      The factory tires on my ’70 Plymouth Fury were glass belted, bias ply tires. The owner’s manual warned against using radial tires. I replaced them with radials anyway. The handling improved a whole bunch.

      • David G

        ..Yeah but your tire lifespan just drastically dropped with the rads.

        I guess if i had a 70 Fury (or almost any car really) i’d want the obvious benefits of radial ride & handling too but you better be one who puts LOTS of miles on your classic because radials have a very short lifespan compared to bias. Chances are for most classic owner/drivers on here, they’ll never wear out the tread (or even close) of a radial before the 8-year safety vulnerability kicks in. Remember the Firestone 500 debacle back in the 80s where they were catastrophically failing? Well that’s the vulnerability i’m talking about to *any* radial after approx 8 years due to their embedded sortof criss-crossed internal belting designs. Most of the tire shops now will check your date-codes and decline any services like rebalance, nailhole fix or whatever for any radial over 7 years per their policy, based upon an industry-known liability of running radials past their ‘safe lifespan’.
        Just saying, in case you didn’t know.

        Starts to make the $200 per cost of the period cosmetically-correct bias-ply tires sound not so bad after all, since you can keep those on the car as long as there’s still safe tread showing (maybe 20k miles?).

        Belted / ‘bias’ tires do NOT however mask the effects of improper alignment or loose-y steering box play like radials do though, so better get ready to tighten up your hardware when running bias/belted, as if you didn’t know that too…

  17. Neil

    I have the Canadian version of this car.
    It is a 1950 Dodge Special Deluxe 2 door coupe.
    91,000 original miles.
    25″ 218
    It was my wife’s great grandmother’s car.
    It has been displayed on this website.
    Thanks
    Neil

  18. GOPAR

    My dad bought a new Special Deluxe in 1950. It was a baby blue 2-door with wide whites and a radio. Since I was born in 1948 and since dad never got rid of it, I remember that car very well indeed. In fact, it became my very first car when I turned 16 and got a job (so I could buy my own gas). Of course that was in 1964 and most of my friends had much newer cars than mine, so in the words of Rodney Dangerfield, “It didn’t get no respect”. I drove it hard and turned it into a rat-rod before rat-rods had even been invented. It died an agonizing death. I have a lot of good stories that I could share about that old car, but just suffice it to say it was a big part of my “coming of age” experience. I guess that’s part of why I’ve been a Mopar fan all these years.

  19. Mark S Member

    Now that we have dissected the hell out of this car and questioned the integrity of the sell up the ying yang, the thing that is going to drive the price is what people are willing to pay. IMHO what will pull down the price of this very nice car is not the speedometer it will be the fact that there are two too many doors and KT Keller’s frumpy cab forward styling. These were very well made cars but in there day they were very much considered out of style for there time.

    • Jason Houston

      What people are willing to pay will be based, first, on the true mileage and second, on the body type.

      OK, so you’re not attracted to 1950 Plymouths, but that does not include me. Sure, it’s a frumpy 4-door. But I happen to like them and didn’t have had a problem with 16Gs until the odometer issue.

      Contrary, they were very much in keeping with “there” [sic] time. Mopars and GMs are only considered outdated when compared to Fords of the same period.

  20. Mike

    My Mom’s Dad had a 1950 Plymouth Special Deluxe it was Black with a gray like interior, looked just like this one, he bought it new and it was sold after he died in 79. I can remember a few summer they would come down from Northern Missouri for a visit and he would take us all for a ride in that car. When my Grandmother sold it after he passed, I was up there helping her clean up his collection before the auction, I asked her if I could drive it some so I would run into town for cleaning supplies, and I would take it. Wish I could have bought it, it was nice. I think it sold for around $9,000 that is in the first part of 1982 I remember because it was the year after I graduated from HS. I think it only had about 60,000 miles on it.

  21. Jason Houston

    David G:

    Thanks for your valuable input on radial tires. I just learned a LOT, not the least of which is how glad I am than I run bias-plies on all my vintage cars!

    • Ed P

      David G and Jason: I bought the ’70 Fury as a new car. Bias/Belted tires were the latest and greatest OEM tires and they sucked. More of those tires failed due to internal failures resulting in goose eggs on sidewalls and under the tread. I did wear out the first set of radials plus a second set. As to bias ply tires not having a time limit, I am skeptical of that. Rubber still fails on those to.

      • Jason Houston

        Good points! Personally, I can’t stand the feel of radial tires on a car that was never designed to wear them. But I know I can store even used bias plies and not have them disintegrate after several years of storage! Phoo on radial tires. Keep them on Datsuns.

  22. charlie Member

    I suppose it depends on how much, and what kind of use, you are going to make of the car. If it is a high point trailer queen, bias for sure. If it is a daily driver from the 60’s or later, radials, and if you put 5,000 miles a year on it, on Interstates, as the cars from the mid ’50’s on were designed for, then radials. I was told that I should NOT put radials on my ’60 Jag XK 150, with chrome wire wheels (they did come that way) since they gripped when bias tires would slide and the wire wheel was not strong enough to withstand the lateral force.

  23. Jason Houston

    Sorry, but I would never put radial tires on a 1950 Plymouth, for ANY reason. For me, it’s a matter of personal values. That’s akin to putting wide whitewalls on a 2012 BMW. Wouldn’t that look just peachy…

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