Only Original Once: 1948 Plymouth Special DeLuxe

031816 Barn Finds - 1948 Plymouth 1

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This original 1948 Plymouth found here on craigslist in Reno has supposedly never been restored and it looks like all it would need is a going-over with some rubbing compound and a coat of wax to get the body in shape. For an asking price of $4,500 and another $100 worth of various buffing compounds and a couple of coats of wax you’ll have the exterior looking great again in no time.

The interior is going to need a bit more work than that, at least on the seats. But, maybe it’s just a clean-up here, some new seat covers, some new carpet, and a few hours with your Dremel tool buffing wheel and some q-tips to detail the interior. You could easily fit five of your biggest friends in here for that Sunday drive. Cloth and leather were available in the Special DeLuxe models and the seller says that this car “still has all the leather inside.” I’m not sure what’s happening with the backseat area, however.

031816 Barn Finds - 1948 Plymouth 3

One of the tip offs that this is most likely a Plymouth Special DeLuxe instead of a Plymouth DeLuxe are the rear bumper fender guards and also bright metal trim around the windshield, sun visors, a glove box, and things like that. The exterior of this car looks like it would clean right up, I can’t help it, I just want to try to clean this chalky paint up to see what it looks like shiny. This one has a 3-speed manual transmission of course.

031816 Barn Finds - 1948 Plymouth 5

The only engine available was the tough and steady 217.8 straight-six with a one-barrel carburetor and a total of 95hp. It looks like the block has been touched-up or something, or maybe the whole engine was painted and it’s just worn off of the head. It looks pretty decent in there. You’ll get this “original motor” working like new again before you can say SBC. NO, just kidding, I would never suggest that, but I know a few of you are thinking it. Do these big, old Plymouths turn your crank or do you prefer another manufacturer’s offerings from this era?

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  1. geomechs geomechsMember

    If this was a club coupe, it would be on its way to my place. It isn’t that I’m a big fan of a ’48 Plymouth; my Dad’s first new car was a ’48 Plymouth super deluxe club coupe. Pale green in color, Dad took Mom on their honeymoon in it. He was always very partial to that car. Even though Dad has been gone for almost a year now, I’d still like to find a club coupe and fix it up just like the one that Dad once had.

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    • Fred Kanarr

      Wow, my Dad’s 1st new car was a ’48 Plymouth 4 dr sedan. Pale green in color, Dad took Mom on their honeymoon in it. I’ve only seen pictures of it as it was gone before I arrived in ’55. Dad has been gone over 40 years now so I can’t ask him about it. My Mom says the money came from what he won playing poker on board ship while in the Merchant Marines in WWII.

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    • Gary K

      Hey geomechs, This could be your lucky day, I have a friend here in Norcal, (sacramento) with a ’48 club coupe he will be selling soon. He is doing some detail work on it now, nice old rust free cruiser, if serious and want more information give me a call, be sure to leave message if I am out. 916-359-2159 GK

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  2. geomechs geomechsMember

    I saw this one at a show a few years ago. I left a card under his windshield wiper but got no response. This one looks like a ’46. I think the only real difference is the 16 inch wheels; I think the ’48 went to 15.

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    • Wayne

      The ’47 started the 15″ wheel for Plymouth. This would be a nice club coupe to have.

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  3. Rick

    I don’t think original paint oxidizes quite like that, I bet its been repainted, probably a long time ago

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  4. Ed P

    The dash looks like it belongs to a more expensive car than a lowly Plymouth. I would check over the mechanicals, get seat covers or something, then work on shining it up while I drive it.

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  5. Charles

    Looks solid. It could be made nice again!

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  6. AW240Z

    Actually, the paint looks correct to me. I own an unrestored mate to this. It has 103k original miles, runs, drives, stops, and never fails to get a lot of attention at Cars and Coffee. Great family cruising car. Parts readily available. Great old car!

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    • Charles

      Love it!

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  7. Jubjub

    Wow, my parents honeymooned in a ’48 Plymouth Coupe too. Must’ve been my dad’s first new car too. Have a bunch of cool pics of them in or around it somewhere.

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  8. Kevin

    Had one back in HS ’73. The hoods leak water along the stainless trim. That is why the paint on the head looks bad. The spark plug wells would fill with rainwater

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  9. Robert Turner

    Solid, tangible piece of American automobile history…… dollars n sweat equity would make her quite a doll again! And those flathead sixes are nearly bulletproof as well.

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  10. Ol' geezer

    Wish I had one now… of the most reliable used cars I’ve ever owned. And yes, it’s true about those old Mopar flathead 6 bangers being bullet proof!!

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  11. Johnny Rocco

    Wonder what Walter P. would think of his company now?

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  12. Charles

    If memory serves me correctly, my mother’s uncle Tim had a ’47 that was nearly identical to this ’48 sedan. He kept it as a second car after he bought a new 1961 Fury and still found the ’47 to never fail him! Great guy and 2 fine Plymouths.

    Like 0

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Barn Finds