A Real Survivor? 1929 Plymouth Two Door Sedan

Chrysler needed something to compete with Ford and Chevy’s less expensive cars. Chrysler had absorbed the Maxwell Motor Company, so they based their new car on the Maxwell design and named it after binding twine. This Plymouth for sale at the California Automobile Museum and listed here on eBay is claimed to be completely original with just over 3,000 miles. It looks like it’s in amazing condition but perhaps it’s really an older restoration. This Plymouth was found recently in Leon, Kansas. The seller has no history on this car, so how can one know if it is a restoration or original? The owner has done the necessary mechanical work to get it running and driving.  It does appear to be original, but it’s hard it to imagine it could look this nice after almost 90 years. For example, the glass is all perfect and the top does not appear to be the original material.

One would think the seller could have found a better way to install an ignition switch. The steering wheel appears to have a lot of wear for 3,000 miles. The doors open and close nicely so the wood body frame is apparently in good shape. This old Plymouth does have that wonderful (to some of us) old car smell. Most damage to the interior seems to be from leaking window seals.

Except for the added fuel filter, things under the hood appear very original.

There’s only surface rust underneath and the wood floors look good from this side. Could that be a modern muffler clamp?

This Plymouth appears to a great driver quality car just as it is. There is a little mechanical work that needs to be done, like replacing the ignition key. It looks solid otherwise. It’s been left dusty. The seller says that’s exactly how he found it, after sitting for almost 90 years. The seller is no doubt hoping for a higher sale price based on it being an untouched original car. It will be interesting to see how much someone is willing to pay for this old Plymouth. Perhaps some our knowledgeable readers can shed more light on this puzzle. I’ll be glad to provide detailed photos of anything you’d like.

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Comments

  1. Anthony R from RI

    Odometer appears to read 33,48X.1 miles not 3,348 miles…. Interior really showing its age, would probably need freshening even to be a driver

    • jdjonesdr

      I give up. Where do you see the Odometer?

      • whippeteer

        Scroll down on the eBay ad and you can see a picture with the odometer.

  2. Chris in WNC

    I have owned 4 unrestored 1930s cars.
    the photos are consistent with this being unrestored.

    that said, any buyer would be wise to loook it over carefully in person, and bring a knowledgeable understudy along if possible.

  3. Dairyman

    The untreated fairly new plywood under the car is not 90 years old.

    • whippeteer

      I noticed that immediately. As well as the exhaust clamp that was mentioned in the write up.

    • Tommy

      I saw the plywood too.

  4. Francisco

    If this is an auto museum, why are they selling their cars? I thought the purpose of a museum was to preserve cars so the visitors could enjoy them for years to come. I’ll be damned if I donate a car to these people, only to find out they’re cashing in on it.

    • Todd Zuercher

      They seem to sell a lot of cars. I think one of the BF writers works there?

    • Dairyman

      Francisco I see your point but I think the reason to turn the collection over on a regular basis is to keep people coming back to see new things. Isn’t this the museum that takes people for a spin on Sunday in vehicles that the museum owns?

  5. John

    The first thing I seen was too much wear on stirring wheel and plywood looks too clean. And as for a museum selling it, that’s what they do to change stock and keep up maintenance around the place.

  6. Wayne

    Why do people fit ugly aftermarket fuel filters where they are plainly visible, apart from the fact that they have cut up the original fuel line it takes away the original appearance.

    • Dan

      Because they needed a fuel filter, and who cared 60+ years ago?

    • On and On On and On Member

      Because for $3 you can keep the fuel thats entering the system clean. 90 year old fuel tanks harbor demons that will stop you in your 90 year old tracks.

  7. charlie Member

    Having been associated with three non profit museums in my years, almost all have real money problems. All start with good ideas, and some with a collection, think Harrah’s in Reno NV, but few have enough money to live on, and particularly in the last decade when interest rates have been very low, so endowments produce little money. SO, funds have to be raised. Sometimes it is by selling part of the collection, Harrah’s had to do that, as well as the Seal Cove Auto Museum in Maine, from the big to the small. It is hard to raise big money from donors, hospitals and universities, and national health non profits get most of that. So admission fees must foot part of the bill. To get the public in you must appeal to the public, which, for the most part, is not much interested in pre-1950’s cars anymore. They will come to look at ’60’s muscle cars so the wise museums, from Petersen’s in LA (the HIGH end) to the Automobile Driving Museum also in LA (the LOW end of the well run museums) have expended their collections and special days forward in time to attract the current public. So selling a ’32 Plymouth is a reasonable thing to do. And if you donate anything to a museum these days you sign a waiver permitting them to sell it, at their own discretion.

  8. Allen Member

    The household double-hung sash pulls on both doors cracked me up. No way is that front-seat upholstery original. The color is wrong and so is the pattern. The rear seat at least could be original, but I’m rather doubting those upholstery cards beneath the rear side glasses. Shouldn’t these panels match the door cards?

    I doubt if anybody cut a 90 year-old fuel line to add that fuel filter. A 90 year-old fuel line would no doubt be long gone by now. But wouldn’t it be much more period-correct to have a nice real glass sediment bowl with a brass drain at the bottom? I believe those look like modern hose clamps on the fuel line, too.

    Did these cars come with juice brakes? I see a new brake line – along with lots of evidence as to why it might have been replaced. So, this is not a totally original surviver. Of course, to keep it running, perishables like hoses would have to be replaced, so I do not begrudge the seller those.

    In fact, don’t get me wrong – this is a really neat old car and I’d LOVE to own it! No doubt those creative door-pulls came from the local hardware store at a time when the car was nothing special at all. Perhaps they should be retained as part of the history of this particular car. I’m charmed by the evidence that this car evidences very “ordinary” ownership – guys who “fixed” their cars with stuff that looked OK for the job. Hey, if you were driving your ’29 Plymouth in 1933 at the height of the Great Depression, how would you have fixed your broken door pulls? With no other evidence of provenance, these little touches tell some story anyway.

    My first car was a ’37 Plymouth. Totally different car! ‘ Wouldn’t see differences of this magnitude comparing a 2009 car with a new 2017 model. Despite the depression, those must have been fierce days of competition in the auto industry. WOW!!

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