Yard Find! 1938 Plymouth Hot Rod

This Yard Find hot rod in “never finished” condition beckons you with a 31 word description here on eBay.  Located in Wyoming, Pennsylvania, outside Scranton, this 1938 Plymouth Business Coupe shows signs of recent fabrication including shiny hardware and clean and/or painted parts. Offered with a $6500 Buy It Now option and accepting offers, it presents a reasonable entry point for someone with the skills to sort it out.

Though several Chrysler brands shared this body, only Plymouth mounted headlights to the radiator shell instead of the fenders. Some called the Plymouth headlights “bug-eyed,” but they do offer hot-rodders one advantage:  no need to move them when you remove the fenders. Responding to complaints, Plymouth moved the lights down and rearward after February of 1938 (some details courtesy of allpar.com). While Cadillac and others utilized lever shocks into the ’40s, Plymouth changed to more modern telescopic shock absorbers in 1937. This car appears to have a custom coil-over setup that typically offers some ride height adjustment.

The “blue dot” tail light inserts, red-painted steel wheels, and white whitewalls lend a vintage budget hot-rod look, while the quad tailpipes suggest a more modern custom vibe. Some may see cues from different eras and receive a mixed message, but that’s the great thing about hot rods:  each one is unique. If you don’t like it, do something different on your car, or buy this one and finish it your way.

An otherwise undescribed “Dodge 360 V8”  has replaced the original 82 HP L-head inline six. The seller clearly subscribes to the “my time is more important than yours” school of marketing as no interior pictures or other engine pictures are shown. However if you woke up this morning scouring the Internet for half-finished ’38 Plymouth hot rods, the lack of information and the seller’s Feedback Rating (based entirely on his or her activity as a buyer not a seller) may pose no barrier. All sarcasm aside I like this little coupe. My Grandfather’s second car was a ’38 Plymouth (2 door sedan), and I drove our ’40 Plymouth four-door (among other places) to Prom in high school. What do you think of this one?


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  1. Vince H

    Blue dot tail lights are illegal in PA.

    • Snag5185

      Vince only if you get it onto the road under it’s own power

    • Bill

      It’s a street rod. They are allowed.

  2. Mark S

    Sure hope he still has the front fenders, this looks redicules without them.

  3. Steve R

    I like the line “my time is more important then yours” when describing this ad. If they aren’t willing to put the effort into writing a descriptive ad and taking good pictures, what’s the point, unless the car is cheap. I wouldn’t be surprised if it shows up on this site for round two next spring.

    Steve R

  4. Pat A

    Those blue dots seem to make cops really p.o.’d. I mean, really angry.

    • LAB3

      Remember seeing a blue dot lens on a police bike some time ago and asked the officer “I thought blue dots where illegal” his response was “Not on a police bike”

      • Petey

        Lol I had blue dots on my 49 ford CPE. Back then it was cool .lol wake up police

  5. Joe Haska

    If the owner made those headers , and some how got four exhaust pipes out the back, he might not have enough time to spend on the ad ! Is there anything between the headers and the four tips out the back, looks like they came off a VW.

    • Bill McCoskey

      He went to a lot of work on those custom headers, streamlining the exhaust to keep back pressure down, and at the end the exhaust makes 2 very tight 90 degree changes per side.

      If this was a Ford or GM car, it would be sold by now. Problem is, Plymouth or Dodge coupes just don’t bring decent prices. It’s supply & demand. Not a lot of these around, and fewer people looking for them.

      That said, this car has a lot of potential. Especially if the body is as rust free as it appears. Looking around at the yard & “yard art”, I suspect this is for sale due to a lack of funds to finish it.

    • whippeteer

      If you look, the exhaust comes along the sides which connect straight across with the tailpipes coming straight out. Off looking.

  6. charlie Member

    In 1958 or so, when the front turn signals/parking lights were first amber rather than white, JC Whiney sold some amber tint film to paste inside the lens to “modernize” the ’56 Chevy. I did it, and I got stopped, in PA, and was told what I did was illegal, and to remove the film, which I did. Amber was only legal for ’58 (or whichever year it was) or newer, and older cars had to be white. No ticket that time.

    • David montanbeau

      1963 was the 1st year for amber under the FMVSS.

  7. Denis

    I like the car..needs a lot but would be a kool ride if you have the time to finish. I also agree that the owner would help himself by writing a decent ad. He’s going to get 3-$4000 buyers with that ad.

  8. Ian Brown

    Judging by the exhaust, I would be very concerned how other things were done. However, there are fewer and fewer really clean bodies from this period/style. So, for the right price, someone with some understanding of mechanical/automotive function and design/construction, could buy this, strip it apart, and start rebuilding it properly. The basic shape and structure could be turned into an appealing street rod. Being other than a Ford or Chevy COULD be a good thing. But the way this poor thing has been put together, the owner probably hired a woodchuck to build his house.

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