Period Hot Rod: 1932 Plymouth Coupe

Lately, I’ve had a hankering to build a hot rod. Josh and I even looked at a Model A pickup body and frame this past week, but decided that we’d better start with something more complete. Maybe this Plymouth Coupe would be a better place to start? It’s located in Denver, Pennsylvania and is listed here on eBay where bidding is currently at $5k. Take a look and let us know what you think!

The seller claims that this Plymouth was hot rodded in 1962! There is an Olds 303 Rocket V8 under the hood which is attached to a Hydramatic transmission and ’50 Mercury rear end. The current owner actually tried to buy the car back in ’66 when they were only 16 years old. The owner just parked it in their backyard two years later and there it sat.

Many people had tried, but about 10 years ago the seller was finally able to wrangle the car away from him. It had taken yearly visits and lots of persistence, but unfortunately the chase must have been more exciting than actual ownership. The car continued to be neglected and still needs someone to rescue it. There’s a lot of rust and the engine hasn’t run in decades.

There are a few photos of what it used to look like though. It would take a lot of work, but it would be fun to bring this one back to its former glory. The seller even has the bill of sale from 1941 when the last owner bought it off a used car lot for $50. It may not be as desirable as a ’32 Ford, but the history does make it very interesting.

The distance makes this project unrealistic for me, but it might be worth some consideration if you are in the area. It wasn’t created in today’s hot rod mold, but does the history make it something special? It does to me and I’d be proud to call this “deuce coupe” my own. How about you?

Fast Finds


  1. Dave Wright

    Why would you want to start with something more complete? You are just going to throw it all away and replace it any way. Nothing on these old cars is appropriate for a hot rod or common street driver today. Leave the complete cars for people that appreciate how they were originally built.

  2. madbrit

    Wondered if the string from the door handles was to hold the running board up or keep the rust lightened body from blowing away….. LOL.
    If anyone needs a hydramatic, I have 2, one is a fully chromed B&M race trans. Yes, the whole of the case is chrome………
    Nice car but unfortunately, a lot of rust repair.

    Like 1
  3. Joe Haska

    How about me?, you ask? It would be a nightmare for me to call this, “My Little Deuce Coupe”, though technically it is a deuce coupe being 1932 ,its just not a Ford.
    Period Hot Rod, also a stretch just because, it has red oxide prime ,an Olds motor, and belonged to someone in the late 50’s or early 60’s, and has history, everything old has history!
    It isn’t a Ford, so what? Here’s what, if it was a Ford in the same condition, the asking price would be at least 5 times higher. The cost of everything to make it a car would be the same, allot of money. If it was a Ford ,the build would be 5 times easier, and much cheaper, last time I looked Bob Drake didn’t have a catalog for Plymouth’s ,Oh!, wait no one else does either, but you want to be different and have this project, that’s so COOL, and if you ever get it done, you will be up side down and buried in it , just from the dollars not even considering the work.
    The real cool part is, it doesn’t have a SBC, it has a 50 Olds, that needs everything, but it will be cool ,and think of the history, and on top of that, its in a Chrysler product, can you do that? Isn’t the rule SBC in Chevy’s and SBF in Fords, so why an Olds in a Plymouth, and one with a Mercury rear end and 46 Ford tail lights.
    We could talk about the body work that’s needed, but of course that a piece of cake , because it needs everything! Why don’t we have a Barn Finds and all we do is talk about how cool the car is, how neat it would be, I always wanted one or knew someone who had one, and I could fix it up, IF I had all the money in the world ,and not care how long it took, and I couldn’t sell it for even pennies on the dollar. But ,then everyone would see, how cool I was, that “I” brought this car back to its former glory, and it has history. WOW!
    Wait a minute that’s exactly what you are doing , except you can’t because its to far away, and that makes it unrealistic, That’s what makes it unrealistic?, going to get it! That’s not a fraction of what this car would cost to RESTORE. Give me a break, have you ever built a car, from this condition! Have you ever even worked on a car. I am sorry I am sure, I will get blasted by my comments, but, Jeeze when are some of you going to leave LA-LA LAND, and come back to the real world.

    • Jesse Mortensen Staff

      You’re a real downer sometimes Joe.

      Like 2
    • Charles G Van De Sampel

      The Olds in the Plymouth, for probably the same reason the SOB that bought my dad’s 39 Plymouth pickup installed a SBC 350 in it. The frame rails were to narrow for a proper Mopar mill, but for some reason, the damned GM SB slide right in without any mods.

      According to the guy that bought my old man’s Plymouth, to install a proper Mopar SB, you’d have to either notch the frame rails 1″ wider than box them, custom build a new frame to accept the Mopar, or do like he did and slide the POS Chevy in it. It’s been almost 20 years since I’ve seen the truck, so where it’s at or what ever happened to it is up in the air.

  4. chad

    exact car buddy made an $80K salt flats racer. Put a huge Chrysler w/blower & took it out to Bonneville. Somewhere over 200 mph.

  5. Greg wood

    It is truly sad to see a beautiful classic car reduced to a rod. Keep them stock and beautiful. Rods are a cheap way to destroy history

    • Richard Head

      Hot rods are a fantastic way to bring these cars back from a rusty death… Rodding opens the door for almost anyone to get into the classic car game. Not everyone has $50g’s to put into a garage queen. I support any form of putting classics back onto the road.

      Like 1
    • Darrun

      I agree with you that; if a car is worthy of restoration, that is the best way to go. This car is “History”. It appears this is a true 50’s hotrod, from an era, most of us dream about living.

    • Matt

      You need to read up on your history hot rodding is as old as the model t and very much a part of our history ! To overlook its roll in automotive history is just BS .I appreciate a clean original or restored car as much as anyone but this car is not a resto candidate. it was rodded back in fifties or whenever.The cost to restore it would not be worth the resulting product . If however someone were to turn this old girl into something beautiful functional and fast using a combination of sweat skill , available resources and imagination they will breath new life into old designs and preserve the spirit of these cars fro the next generation . To be honest I’m so tired of these boring BS attitudes no-one would ever restore this old car Walter Chrysler would be pleased as hell to see it shiny with a sweet modern hemi it ,new panels fabricated ,done up in leather and driven all the time ,Bringing smiles to people for years to come. get over it .

    • Jon

      Rodding, a cheap way to destroy history, are you kidding ?, Nothings cheap, It just makes a great looking car better …

  6. RoughDiamond rough diamond Member

    This is sad. “What it used to look like” just shows how long the car has been neglected.

  7. XMA0891

    With so few of these early Plymouths still around, it would be better, IMO, to to return her to stock. It is a great find! I hope that someone does something – anything – with it.

  8. Troy S.

    I can’t help but wonder how strong this car would have ran with that Olds engine.

    • Jerry Brentnell

      bet ya this setup did a fine job of kicking the backside of a lot of flathead powered rods back in the day! this plymouth was a 100%better car than any 32 ford when new! open drive shaft, better engine,hydraulic brakes,and more, if this was a ford coupe you guys would be selling your souls to the devil to get your hands on it! and that 303 olds was the hot engine to get your hands on back in the day! do this car back to what it was and be different and have some thing rare!

      Like 1
      • Troy S.

        That’s the response I was looking for!

    • Phil Tenney Member

      Probably about mid 17’s at about 80mph. Reality is brutal. They weren’t realy fast as I built a stock old’s powered 49 ford and it was peppy but not fast.

  9. Tort Member

    May be a little too late to restore to stock and it doesn’t look that bad too restore. The key is that someone buys it that has the skill to bring it back or lots of money to have it done. If it was stock, yes keep it stock. They make a lot of quality glass bodies but they just don’t look as good as a steel bodied rod.

  10. Brian Dyba

    it really depends on how much you like the current setup. If you are planning on changing it much, this probably isn’t the best candidate and a Ford would be a whole lot easier to find parts for. With that said, this car would be awesome if it was completely restored to it’s 1962 glory

  11. Mark

    The current owner has preserved this car. He has kept it inside the entire 10 years he has owned it. It was just moved outside recently. This car is a cool piece of history. I know of this car as I am from the area.

  12. Adam Richards

    Restore it as the bona-fide 50s hotrod that it is. Fix what needs fixed, polish it up, steelies, caps, and whitewall bias-plies.

    Like 1
  13. Bob Cheek

    Go with your gut…but bring it back to
    The way it was… much to money
    Restore it back to factory specs…
    Original…..things on the car had to
    Been changed to put that rear end
    And motor……….in….

    They had it set up nice for then and

    It all about putting time and money
    And enjoying the time …&doing
    What you like!!!
    Anybody can buy one fixed up!!!
    You learn everyday restoring your
    Dream……lots , & lots of work
    But you’ll enjoy the end results…..

    Have FUN….live the dream

  14. keith

    I like how you guys make fun of a bad ass ride like that, if they were all mint and show ready what fun would that be, bring it back to life and build it the way you want it to look…

    Like 1
  15. newfieldscarnut

    Bring it back to the way it looks in the pictures … 99% sure that engine is seized the way the old hoods let the elements in .

  16. gaspumpchas.

    poor man’s Deuce! Different and very cool love the suicide doors! Good luck to the new owner!!

  17. Mark

    This car will be relisted. Winning bidder canceled the transaction. She said her husband died unexpectedly yesterday morning. Not sure if that’s true or she just bid with no intentions of purchasing. But doesn’t seem right to fight it. The owner will relist it this week.

  18. Keith

    So let me get this straight—the current owner tried since 1966 to get the car back, then 10 years ago (after 40 years of trying) he managed to get the car back, then just let it sit and deteriorate? WTF?

  19. Jonnycrash

    So, just a general statement from a guy that grew up in the rust belt and now lives in NC. A metal car of this era in PA, in this condition is absolutely unheard of. I salivate at the mid 40’s-mid 70’s cars in NC for a song. Cars that I haven’t seen that clean since the late 70’s. If you could see what a single Midwest, salty winter does to a car over the next 30 years, you’d understand.
    That said, great comments as always but realize that for at least half of the country, rust after 5 years is the norm and terminal car-cancer is the long term diagnosis. I agree, if it were a Ford, it would be 15k the way it sits and with the right paint and drive train, would be equally cool and look different than every other deuce coupe at the rod run. I’m no Mopar fan but I’d take the odd duck over the 32 Ford for sake of being different. Everyone picked on the V8 Mustang II I built in the late 80’s until they caught a brief glimpse of the tail lights. :-) True story and wished I’d done a different car in hindsight. LOL

  20. Rocco

    I always liked the look of these old cars, but never was interested in owning one. I’m not knowledgeable enough to work on these. I only go back to the late ’50’s to early ’60’s.

  21. Karl

    I am not opposed to rodding a car like this, in its present condition the cost to restore it to original would be twice the value of the car. I would not consider doing that to a decent original but one like this, let your imagination run wild I am somewhat of a purist in my restorations but in my eyes this is a candidate to do whatever the owner wants!

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