Plenty of Parts: 1937 Plymouth PT50 Pickup

If you owned a Plymouth dealership in the 1930s and found it paired with Dodge, life was rosy. You not only had access to an excellent range of passenger vehicles but could delve into the Dodge inventory to meet the requirements of customers seeking a commercial vehicle. Life wasn’t as good if your dealership was paired with Chrysler or DeSoto. None of those marques offered commercial models, but Plymouth moved to address that shortcoming. The result was their “PT” range, which emerged in 1937. Our feature vehicle is a PT50 Pickup from that model year, and it is a solid classic that would make a prime restoration candidate. Not only is it structurally sound and complete, but the seller includes an excellent collection of spares to help keep this baby on the road. Located in North Hollywood, California, you will find the PT50 listed for sale here on Craigslist. You could become its new owner by handing the seller $9,500. A big thank you goes to Barn Finder T.J. for spotting this promising Plymouth project for us.

If you dig below the surface of a PT50, you discover a reasonable amount of Dodge DNA. The Plymouth utilizes a Dodge chassis and some of its sheetmetal, although there are enough panel and trim differences to throw the less observant off the trail. This 1937 model is essentially complete, although the buyer will need to source replacements for some of the cracked glass. The paint is faded, and the panels have their share of bumps and bruises. However, the problems appear repairable with a bit of time and patience. The front bumper is present, but like the grille, it needs a trip to the platers to present at its best. The best news with this classic is its lack of rust problems. There is surface corrosion, and the buyer’s best strategy would probably be to send the vehicle for media blasting. However, there appears to be no penetrating rust, which could make this a straightforward cosmetic restoration. The seller includes a significant collection of new parts, including trim pieces, dust seals, and other components that could prove invaluable if anything unfortunate happens to this Pickup.

While the PT50’s chassis may be courtesy of Dodge, its engine is pure Plymouth. Lifting the hood reveals a 201ci flathead six-cylinder engine that produced 70hp and an impressive 145 ft/lbs of torque. Shifting duties fall to a three-speed manual transmission that sent the power to the rear wheels. The PT50 was no jet in a straight line, but that excellent torque figure allowed it to easily carry its full ½ ton payload. The engine may not look shiny and new, but there’s plenty of good news lurking below the surface with this PT50. The seller states that the radiator is freshly recored, and the generator, clutch, and Firestone tires are new. They treated the engine and transmission to new seals and were resealing the fuel tank when circumstances caused proceedings to grind to a halt. They fitted new suspension bushings and include a DIY exhaust system for the buyer to install. The listing suggests that the Pickup doesn’t currently run, but getting it to that point may not be difficult.

Apart from the absence of door trims, this Plymouth’s interior is complete. The seat will need new padding and upholstery, while the buyer will face stripping and refreshing the painted surfaces. The wheel is restorable, but the state of the gauges and their lenses is unclear. As with many pickups from this era, returning the interior to a pristine condition is a straightforward process that the buyer could tackle with satisfaction in a home workshop.

While sales volumes weren’t initially as high as Plymouth hoped, their PT50 range accounted for 14,725 vehicles during the 1937 model year. Of those, 10,709 buyers selected the PT50 Pickup. It isn’t clear how many survive, but this is only the third we’ve seen at Barn Finds in over a decade. Interestingly, they don’t rate a mention in the Hagerty valuation system, although the few that have sold recently have done so for between $22,000 and $25,000. One sold for $38,500 in 2016, but that vehicle was a beautifully preserved example with 17,500 genuine miles on the clock. The simple engineering principles the company utilized in the PT range make them a prime candidate for a DIY project, and the lack of rust problems in this Pickup helps its cause. Recent sales results indicate that the PT50 is unlikely to be a short-term mega-bucks classic, but if the next owner takes a hands-on approach, they should be able to produce excellent results while the project remains financially viable. Do you agree?

Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    I can’t think of a single reason to not built a street rod out of this truck.

    Like 1
    • Jimmy Novak

      With your permission, and if I may: it takes guts to restore a survivor and the determination to preserve automotive history with a genuine love and respect for the past.
      It displays a willingness to honor and to celebrate all the great automotive pioneers, engineers, stylists, designers and even line workers whose hearts and souls went into those early motoring classics.
      It proves we’ve invested long research and patience to restore a car correctly, and that we’re proud to know we’ve done it right.

      Like 15
  2. RoughDiamond Member

    It took some big brass ones to drive to office and park in the company parking lot in this amid all of the other iron in the parking lot. I love the old truck!

    Like 6
  3. geezerglide85

    From what I understand a lot of the sheet metal was off the shelf from Dodge or the Plymouth car, but that Plymouth tailgate is a never found part. This one has it, a big plus there.

    Like 6
  4. Fred

    Grille, headlights, radiator surround, and grille shell chrome, and Mayflower ship are specific to the truck. If you’re going original.

  5. gaspumpchas

    Tail gate made of unobtainium. What a project , whether stock or hot rodded. Good luck and happy motoring.
    Cheers
    GPC

  6. Mountainwoodie

    Great truck. Maybe the seller meant 1,500.00?

  7. bone

    I dont know if Plymouth was ever in the same dealership as Dodge , it was usually Chrysler – Dodge and Desoto – Plymouth , but maybe in the 30s they did

  8. Kenny Siefken

    How do I get ahold of the owner ?

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