Remarkably Original: 1947 Dodge Custom 4-Door Sedan

I like it when old cars have a story. And this 1947 Dodge Custom 4-Door Sedan’s story was good enough to land it in the Driveable Dream section of the July 2019 issue of Classic Car magazine. The owner, a fellow Tar Heel named Jerry, grew up a Mopar guy and went searching for the most original Chrysler product car he could find from 1947, the year he was born. In 2011, he found this Dodge in New York state of all places. It had somehow survived the harsh Northeast and was remarkably original for a then 64-year-old car. Except for the tires, outside mirrors, and probably the fog lamps, it’s pretty much how it looked when it shipped on November 5, 1947 to Shur Motors in Woodside, New York. Jerry shares that the reason he’s selling the Dodge is that he doesn’t drive much anymore and feels it’s time for someone else to own and enjoy it. Located near Charlotte in Concord, North Carolina, you’ll find this ’47 Dodge Custom 4-Door Sedan for sale here on eBay. As I’m writing this, 20 bids have been submitted, but the current highest bid of $4,250 is below the seller’s reserve.

Based on a copy of the supplied build sheet, the Dodge is wearing Paint Code 209: LaPlata Blue and was ordered with Accessory Group B which is described as front and read bumper end buffers and a cigar lighter. The blue paint is original and except for a deep cleaning by Jerry, this is how the Dodge looked when he bought it in 2011. Its paint doesn’t look too bad for a driver-quality 77-year-old car, and the patina, faded areas, chips, and touched up spots gives the car some “personality.”. The only rust is in the spare tire well in the trunk and the glass is good as is the stainless and chrome. Jerry describes the bumpers as “rough,” but they look okay in the photos. I also like the Dodge’s classic round and roomy ’40’s styling, including the rear suicide doors as well as the red wheels and blackwall tires. (The seller states that the tires still hold air, but splits are showing and should not be driven very far for safety’s sake. He has five used tires in good condition that can go with the car.)
The broadcloth tan interior is also classic 1940’s. Sure, it’s showing its age a bit and is worn in some of the usual places (arm rests, kick plates), and there are some splits in the seats, but overall, it’s in very good original condition for its age. The steering wheel and glistening chrome instrument panel and painted dashboard (with an electric clock and Fluid Drive badging on the glove box) are my favorite parts of the Dodge’s interior. It’s stunning. Jerry says all the gauges work but the gas gauge can be temperamental at times. And, like today’s cars, this Dodge has a “Back to the Future” feature: a push button start.
Under that patina front hood, you’ll find the Dodge’s original L-Head straight-six that produced 102 horsepower when new. It’s paired with a Fluid Drive 3-speed manual transmission with a believed 101,355 miles on the clock. The seller says, “The engine does NOT appear to have been apart! Runs Great! Holds great oil pressure.” I really like this old Dodge and admire Jerry and the car’s other owners over the past 77 years who have maintained it, garaged it, and made it their priority to keep it as original as possible. I hope the next caretaker will also keep that tradition going for many more decades to come. Happy Bidding!

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Joe Haska

    It is a nice old car, take the $42250 and run.

    Like 5
    • Fox owner

      When I saw that picture of the back end, I knew I saw these growing up. beautiful car but I just can’t see myself driving something like this. I’m old but I’m not that old.

      Like 1
    • Eddie Tucker

      Probably not worth a full restoration, but I’d do it anyway. From the time I was a wee lad to right now, I think the Dodges and Plymouths of these years were beautiful. Hard to explain.

      Like 4
  2. Tiger66

    BF Quote: “It’s paired with Chrysler’s semi-automatic Fluid Drive transmission …”

    Incorrect. Fluid Drive was not a transmission, it was a fluid coupling that replaced the flywheel. The semi-automatic transmission (M6 in this era) had to be paired with it to get the semi-automatic shifting, but that option was not offered in the Dodge until ’49. In ’47 you had to buy a Chrysler or DeSoto to get the semi-automatic. What this car has is the fluid coupling (standard in the Dodge) paired with a regular 3-speed manual. My aunt had a ’48 Dodge coupe with that setup. My folks had a ’48 Chrysler Windsor Traveler with the Fluid Drive/M6 combo.

    Like 11
    • Ron Denny Ron DennyStaff

      Thank you for catching that and for the information about the fluid coupling. I have corrected the article.

      Like 9
  3. Big C

    The perfect car for when you wear your fine men’s hat.

    Like 9
    • Ron Denny Ron DennyStaff

      Indeed. They were designed to be fedora-friendly.

      Like 7
  4. AzzuraMember

    I’ve got a 1940 Plymouth that I regularly drive. I’m somewhat old but I will never be too old to drive it, as Fox owner states. The fun factor and the general feeling of being connected to the machine when driving is a big draw. No distractions other than the involvement of two feet, two hands and road awareness. No insulated, soundproof, creme puff ride here. This one requires driver interaction. I love it and I’ll never get tired of it.

    Like 7
  5. AzzuraMember

    Here’s my 40 Plymouth and my other antique car, 80 28ZX 2+2.

    Like 11
  6. Harrison Reed

    Did my comment VANISH??

    Like 0
    • Paul Alexander

      Reminds me of my Aunt’s ’50 Dodge. It was solid, dependable, and the very first car I ever drove. Nothing spectacular, but it always took her wherever she wanted to go. Years later, I owned a ’54 Plymouth, which was very similar. There’s still a thread on me that wants to buy it.

      Like 4
  7. Herbert

    The Plymouths of this era were better looking. Slimmer, prettier in my opinion. The same flathead engine,,just a bit smaller, but you got a wonderful 3sp. Much simpiler and more reliable. I would love a restored 47 Plymouth.

    Like 6
  8. Kenneth Carney

    Fox owner is right. The demand for cars like this has gone down considerably over the past few years as aging boomers like me are either
    dying off or selling their cars while they still have time to thin out their heads before they meet their maker.
    And like Fox owner, I used to see a lot
    of these around my hometown too.
    The nicest one I’ve seen before this car was one that was parked in a garage not far from my Grandmother’s house on Jefferson Street. My Grandma knew the lady that owned it and when it wouldn’t start, she asked me if I’d come by to
    help the lady get it started. When I saw that car, my young jaw fell about
    3 feet! That old Dodge was in the most beautiful condition I’d ever seen!
    The chrome was as shiny as the day
    it left the Dodge dealership downtown. The paint and glass were
    in the same barely used condition.
    The seats were in that same condition as everything else was as
    the car was stored in the garage under large tarps inside and out. I got
    in it, tried to start it, but the battery was dead. My cousin and I pushed it
    forward a bit and with a jump from
    Grandma’s Rambler, we got it running.
    Turns out she was getting ready to sell it as she had to give up driving it.
    Finding this out, I called a friend of Dad’s who got it for $650. That was
    55 years ago and man, does this car
    remind me of that car I saw so long
    ago. Good luck on your sale Jerry.

    Like 10
  9. Lance

    Sadly there has never been much love for the 46-48 Mopars. The ran great but were never really high on anyone’s hit list. A real shame too. Funny too there was a world of difference in the 10 years between 47 and 57 for Mopar. A huge difference.

    Like 2
  10. John T MacKay

    I bought the very same car in 1965 and oaid a weeks wages for it. that price was $ 75.99 and the car had less than 50 thousand miles,

    Like 1
  11. Mountainwoodie

    I had the ’47 Chrysler or De Soto ( I can’t remember which….:( )in 1972 in a small town in Colorado……long before it became an overpriced wanna be Aspen.
    Anyhoo….as I think I have recounted before, I lived in a cabin on the main drag into town. One day after work I parked my grey beast in front of the cabin but some part of it must have been in the roadway easement. Damn if the authorities didn’t come and tow it away! No by your leave or anything. It was legally registered etc and I never received even had a ticket. Being a kid and knowing less than nothing I let it go. Of course it brought the canary yellow ’56 Chevy into my life. You could do that back then.
    It’s great that this example has been so well maintained and worth saving for sure. Not to mention you sit inside and it’s 1947 all over again.

    Like 0
  12. Johnmloghry johnmloghry

    At age 8 I learned to drive a 3 on the tree in my dads 48 Dodge. His was dark green.

    God Bless America

    Like 1
  13. Will

    I’d simply put a clear coat on the hood to prevent any further deterioration… and love leisurely cruising. And, yes, those car would cruise nicely at 65-70 on the open road. I know, I had a ’50 DeSoto, basically the same car but larger, suggied up and with the semi-auto.

    Like 0
    • Will

      That should have read, “gussied-up,” not “suggied-up.” (Durn fingers!)

      Like 0
  14. Steve Mehl

    As a young boy in the early 1950’s our neighbor who rented my parents’ basement apartment owned one of these and I remember at least once playing inside of it one summer night. I saw a lot of them on the streets of Chicago as a kid and also in movies as mainly taxi cabs.

    Like 1

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