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A newbie here

Guest pingi3

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Hi guys,

For some reason last year, I decided to pick up a old car to restore. I was at a mechanics house and he had a 47 plymouth special deluxe. All original but in bad shape. I picked it up and sent it over to a shop that specializes in full restorations. It was suppose to be completed by June of this year but now he says maybe early November. I can not wait to see this thing in all its glory. I am keeping everything original except the 12 volt conversion and a hidden A/C. Maybe a hidden radio cause I dont think they can save the factory radio. And of course the color will change a little. It will be black but a much richer black and also a red leather interior. My favorite feature of the car is the suicide doors. I look forward to taking my daughter to school in it. I am a little worries cause I am keeping the original motor and breaks to sty true but was told it is not the safest in todays highway speeds. We cruise around here at least 70 to 75 mph. The builder said it can probably cruise around safely between 60 and 65. Any experienced input would be appreciated.

And I am new at classics and wanted to get insight into what these cars are at these days. Minus the economic crisis in now, what were these cars fetching? I do not plan on selling this beauty but was curious to see if it is worth what I have into her so far which is $23,500.00. I see a lot for sale but not fully restored or hot rodded. Not sure but I feel these things were meant to be left to cruise quietly.

Thanks guys for your inputs.

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You will probably want to visit the forum that is specifically for your car at P15-D24 Homepage

I think you will have more in the car than it would fetch in the market and with the modifications you mentioned (incorrect interior, AC, 12v electrical, etc.) you will not win awards at shows run by clubs that value authenticity like the AACA or the Plymouth Owners Club. But it sounds like you you will have a car that you will enjoy which is the most important thing.

Regarding sustained cruising speed, given the engine design and stock gearing 65 MPH is probably reasonable. If you get it fitted with the overdrive unit that was available for other Chrysler products of the era then you are in the 70 to maybe 75 MPH range. At least as far as the engine goes. Drum brakes are prone to fading when hot and if you drive it like most people around here you will be running them hot if you are driving fast and putting yourself in positions where you need frequent braking.

Point of reference, my 1933 PD with an earlier version of that engine but with a 4.375:1 rear end (compared to the stock 4.11:1 in your 47) runs nicely at 60 MPH all day. But that is at the high end of what I am comfortable with as far as brakes (smaller drums than you have in your 47).

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  • 2 months later...
Guest 33plypd

Mr 33 ply...you will notice that i am logged in as 33plypd...am brand new to this site and to this whole field...have an original family owned 33 pd deluxe six 2 door...we drove it till 15 years ago when it went into my mothers garage in IL and has sat there ever since...older brother had had it repainted (original color) 40 years ago and new chrome on some places, new mohair interior..everything else is original ..or so I am led to believe...want to put it back into shape so my 95 yr old mother can drive it one more time, and will take to parades locally, etc etc...not thinking about having one of those 100 point cars ( I know so little about that process other than it is expensive)...and yes she still drives at 95...dad and her dated in the car that was his fathers who bought it new.

I am hoping I have not already done something bad as I am working with a friend in the area that has restored other cars, but no really old antiques, so he has contacts with who does motors, stripping and painting, chrome work, etc...but then recently...like yesterday...had another auto dealer who had seen it when I first brought it back here to VA tell me I may have been smarter not to try to restore at all but just get it running and safe (brakes were bad when we put it in storage) however, have already taken it apart down to the frame and beyond...motor is being taken apart and looked at to see what it needs, chassis and body are being stripped/beaded, etc...everyone has the guidance not to replace any parts yet till we talk and they understand what I am after I think...want a 'WOW' reaction when folks first look, but not looking to ensure every nut/bolt is original etc...I dont think...so long story, am I still ok, and since it sounds like you own one already, what can you tell me...any and all info, guidance, tips, are welcomed...my email is ernzenm@bww.com...757-868-0557...Poquoson VA

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Hi 33plypd,

It is your car. Or at least your family's car. And you can do with it as you like.

Since you already have the body off and the engine disassembled you are pretty well committed to a full restoration. Generally speaking though, that seems like a bit much for a car that you plan to use in local parades or to take your mother for weekend rides.

Regarding experiences, everyone's is different. My car was an upstate NY rust bucket. But it was all I could afford on my student budget when I got it and I've sunk way more time and money in it than I should have. It would have been cheaper, and I'd probably have a better car now, if I'd gotten one in better condition once I'd gotten out of school. But that is a few decades ago and the car is now pretty much what it is based on a whole series of decisions I've made. In other words, it is very much my car now.

I assume you've looked over my web site, including the short history of my time with my car at

Plymouth First Decade: My Car

I don't know how much direct guidance I can give. I sure can answer specific questions. And I've gotten to know a bit about the PD over the years. A lot of that by obsessive reading of the parts book. Which does lead to one bit of guidance: Reproduction parts books (e.g. the 1928-33 Master Parts Book), owners manual are being printed. You should get yourself copies. They can often raise more questions than they answer. But they can answer a lot of questions. For example if you want to know if a particular piece of sheet metal was painted the body color or not, you can tell because the parts book will give three sets of numbers (prime, "paint" or "enamel").


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Guest 33plypd

Sir, thanks for writing back, on the way to the office at the moment but did scan your website just now...am impressed, true dedication...so bad news is mine is in parts, down tothe frame as you say...good news is, I am no mechanic shade tree or otherwise, and dont want tobe, so the parts are now in the hands of the 'experts' in about 5 different locations...so I wont have any of that stress. Guess I will have to say...I had the car restored...vice the first person. To me, cars are kind of like my lawn, there are lots of people who actually enjoy working on them.

You can bet I will be back with those specific questions as I get them from others...One item right off the tip is I have been amazed sort of at the lack of specific parts/owners of 33 PLY PDs ...was under the impression fromolder rother whenhe was alive that this was a very common year/make/model sotherefore would never really be worth much...have not found that to be the case so far in the searches I have done online.

So any sites you may know of for parts would be appreciated, looking at replacing all the rubber components I can for example, just do tothe fact that they have been sitting for 15 years detieriating...deteriorating...going bad.

While I have about 6 hubcaps, they are about inthe worse shape of anyhting on the car...too many curb strikes is my guess...actually have two sets but one was a repo that while it looks the same, they could not put 'plymouth' on them so the word says like 'plymnnth' ok from a distance.

Do have that parts manual you mentioned will have to study it closer for all those specs...most of it is greek to me so will have tohave my mechanic dig into it...at the moment it is with the engine guy..Also have a lube chart by 'chek-chart corporation' out of chicago in '37 and the original owners manual as well as several copies of that.

One quick question on the grill and cowling...was that whole thing stainless? My cowling is painted except for the very outside lip but it is all one piece is it not? the grill looks like it has never had anything done to itbut dont believe it is supposed to be chromed.

More later I am sure, thanks again for the replay and again, very impressed with your work and the car...my story will be much shorter...car bought new by grandparents...driven till '55...stored in barn under tarp on blocks till

67...after death of our father older brother got permission to title in my mom's name from only aunt who did not care...put in a new batter, clock started working, engine turned over on first try...had it repainted original color, new chrome parts, wheels taken down to wood (had been paited black which I think now is what they are suppose to be...so it has wood spoke wheels that 6.00 x 16in)...interior mohair all redone and that is about it as far as I know...still checking with folks that worked on it back then...drove in parades/weddings/etc till 94 when the brakes were going bad and so was my brothers health...parked in my moms garage till 29 july this year when I went back toIL, put it on a trailer and brought it here. Short story. thanks for listening, more later.

vr, Mike

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